CCG STATEMENT – AMENDMENTS TO AIS CADRE RULES

27 January 2022

We are a group of former officers of the All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central and State Governments in the course of our careers. As members of the Constitutional Conduct Group, we believe in impartiality, neutrality and commitment to the Indian Constitution and in safeguarding its values.

In the federal structure of the Union of India, the Union and the States exist as distinct and separate entities, though they work in tandem to subserve common constitutional objectives. The All India Services (AIS) (the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFoS)) constitute the administrative framework for this unique relationship between the two levels of government and give it stability and balance. Maintaining this balance is critical to good governance.

The proposed amendments to the cadre rules of all the three AIS seek to give unilateral powers to the Union to pick and choose any AIS officer(s) working in the States to be withdrawn from their services in the State of their allotment and brought to the Centre without the concurrence either of the officer concerned or of the State Government that the officer is serving. While this change in the rules may appear to be a minor, technical one, it, in fact, hits at the very core of the constitutional scheme of Indian federalism.

It is important to remember that the conceptual design of the AIS is anchored on two features which make it unique among public services anywhere in the world.

One, that the creation of the AIS (initially the IAS and the IPS and, subsequently, the IFoS) was covenanted in the main body of the Constitution, making them creatures not of the Executive but of the Constitution itself. This is a feature unique to the AIS and distinguishes them from other Central Services created by the Centre as well as from services created by State Governments. For Sardar Patel, this feature was critical to guaranteeing members of the AIS their independence and their ability to speak their mind. Their Constitutional status and independence would give them the security to function as a protective ring around the Constitution. It was not merely that Constitutional protection was available to members of the Service but that they were expected to be the ones protecting the Constitution from the vicissitudes of politics and centrifugal forces, thereby giving governance stability and endurance.

Two, the Constitution places the AIS squarely in the middle of a federal, dual polity so that there is a sense of shared ownership between the Union and the States. Whereas recruitment is done centrally by the Union Government on the recommendations of the Union Public Service Commission and the AIS are a part of the subjects listed in the Union List, all members of the AIS are divided into State based cadres, with the Union borrowing officers from the State cadres. Each member treats the cadre of his/her allotment as the ‘parent’ cadre to which he/she belongs.

The allotted State is not just a region where an officer spends a substantial part of his/her career, it is a ‘parent’ that nurtures and grooms his/her career. The primary career management role is performed by the State and it is to the State that each officer reverts after a spell of central posting. This is a unique relationship and establishes a strong connection between an officer and the parent State cadre. When the Union borrows an officer for posts in the Union, each officer brings to the assignment in the Union the perspective he/she has gained in the State. This gives the AIS their distinctive federal character and is central to the constitutional scheme of the AIS.

The proposed amendment to the Cadre Rules fundamentally alters this relationship and makes a mockery of the delicate federal balance that the AIS are designed to maintain. The whole idea of the Centre not having a ‘cadre’ of its own but having to ‘borrow’ the services of an officer for specific periods at key senior management levels is destroyed if the State as a ‘lender’ has no authority on what it lends and on what terms and conditions, but the borrower, on the other hand, exercises superior rights over the lender.  This is turning the federal arrangement upside down.

An important factor which determined the unique conceptual design of the AIS was the need to ensure that certain ‘strategic’ posts (as Dr. Ambedkar called them) throughout the country, both at the Centre and in the States, would be the exclusive preserve of the members of the AIS. While the States would be free to have Civil Services of their own, there would be a set of strategic ‘cadre’ posts in every State to which only members of the AIS could be appointed. The intent was twofold – one, to have officers recruited centrally through a rigorous and impartial selection process to maintain uniformly high administrative standards throughout the country, and two, to act as a check against fissiparous tendencies without disturbing the autonomy of the States within their own allotted spheres. Whatever else may be said about the AIS, their contribution to this spirit of ‘unity in diversity’ in administration has been singular. The proposed amendments in the Rules will adversely impact this distinctive design feature.

It is abundantly evident that the proposed amendments have not been thought through and are being rushed through without adequate federal consultation in a manner which shows the present establishment’s by now familiar penchant for arbitrary exercise of centralised power. It is not possible to anticipate, at this stage, all the long term consequences of such a major design alteration but the following implications are self-evident:

  • The shifting of the balance disproportionately in favour of the Union in matters of cadre deployment and cadre management will effectively convert the three AIS into three more Central Services.
  • It is possible that AIS officers may view the interests of the State as secondary and subordinate to the Centre and to the political regime in power there. AIS officers working in the State will be reluctant to take any decision or action against the wishes of the political party in power at the Centre for fear of being summarily transferred to the Centre and harassed there. This will undermine the ability of the State governments to implement their policies and stand up against any arbitrary diktats of the Centre.
  • There is a likelihood that States will consider the State Civil Services as more amenable to them and may treat AIS officers with suspicion and distrust.
  • States may choose to reduce ‘cadre’ posts meant exclusively for the AIS and open them up to the State services, thereby seriously undermining Dr Ambedkar’s intention of maintaining uniformly high administrative standards across the country, free of any regional biases.
  • If the AIS begin to play a lesser role in the States, it will also affect the unifying role which they play in the context of federal diversity – social, economic, and cultural (including administrative culture).
  • It will allow greater scope for abuse of power by the Union Government so that whenever it is unhappy with the State Government it can target AIS officers occupying strategic posts (e.g., Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Director General of Police, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police etc.), withdraw them from their posts and place them elsewhere, thereby effectively derailing the functioning of the State administrative apparatus.
  • The introduction of an element of compulsion in cadre management and doing away with a robust and healthy system of federal consultation, consent/concurrence and coordination   will severely impact the morale of the AIS. This will eventually make careers in the AIS unattractive.

We are, therefore, of the view that the proposed set of amendments to the cadre rules of the three AIS are arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional. They interfere with the basic structure of the Constitution of India as a Union of States and can cause irreparable damage to the one institution which Sardar Patel held as being the most critical to the unity of the country.  It is important to remind ourselves of what he said, “The Union will go, you will not have a united India if you have not a good All India Service which has the independence to speak out its mind, which has a sense of security….” (Speech to the Constituent Assembly, October 10, 1949). Will a government which holds the Sardar in higher esteem than any other figure in the history of the freedom movement pay heed to his words and drop the proposal to change the AIS Cadre Rules?

 

SATYAMEVA JAYATE

(109 signatories, as at pages 4-7 below)

 

 

1. Anita Agnihotri IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Social Justice Empowerment, GoI
2. Salahuddin Ahmad IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
3. V.S. Ailawadi IAS (Retd.) Former Vice Chairman, Delhi Development Authority
4. S.P. Ambrose IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI
5. Anand Arni RAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
6. J.L. Bajaj IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Administrative Reforms and Decentralisation Commission, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
7. G. Balachandhran IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
8. Vappala Balachandran IPS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
9. Gopalan Balagopal IAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
10. Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
11. Rana Banerji RAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
12. Sharad Behar IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
13. Aurobindo Behera IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Odisha
14. Madhu Bhaduri IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Portugal
15. Pradip Bhattacharya IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Development & Planning and Administrative Training Institute, Govt. of West Bengal
16. Meeran C Borwankar IPS (Retd.) Former DGP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, GoI
17. Ravi Budhiraja IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, GoI
18. Sundar Burra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
19. R. Chandramohan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
20. Rachel Chatterjee IAS (Retd.) Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
21. Kalyani Chaudhuri IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
22. Gurjit Singh Cheema IAS (Retd.) Former Financial Commissioner (Revenue), Govt. of Punjab
23. F.T.R. Colaso IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Karnataka & former Director General of Police, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
24. Anna Dani IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
25. Vibha Puri Das IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
26. P.R. Dasgupta IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
27. Pradeep K. Deb IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI
28. Nitin Desai   Former Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI
29. M.G. Devasahayam IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
30. Sushil Dubey IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Sweden
31. A.S. Dulat IPS (Retd.) Former OSD on Kashmir, Prime Minister’s Office, GoI
32. K.P. Fabian IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Italy
33. Prabhu Ghate IAS (Retd.) Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI
34. Arif Ghauri IRS (Retd.) Former Governance Adviser, DFID, Govt. of the United Kingdom (on deputation)
35. Gourisankar Ghosh IAS (Retd.) Former Mission Director, National Drinking Water Mission, GoI
36. Suresh K. Goel IFS (Retd.) Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
37. S.K. Guha IAS (Retd.) Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI
38. H.S. Gujral IFoS (Retd.) Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab
39. Meena Gupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
40. Ravi Vira Gupta IAS (Retd.) Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
41. Vivek Harinarain IAS (Retd.) Govt. of Tamil Nadu
42. Siraj Hussain IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, GoI
43. Kamal Jaswal IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
44. Najeeb Jung IAS (Retd.) Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
45. Ajai Kumar IFoS (Retd.) Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI
46. Ish Kumar IPS (Retd.) Former DGP (Vigilance & Enforcement), Govt. of Telangana and former Special Rapporteur, National Human Rights Commission
47. Sudhir Kumar IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Central Administrative Tribunal
48. B.B. Mahajan IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Deptt. of Food, GoI
49. Harsh Mander IAS (Retd.) Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
50. Amitabh Mathur IPS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
51. Aditi Mehta IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
52. Shivshankar Menon IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser
53. Sonalini Mirchandani IFS (Resigned) GoI
54. Malay Mishra IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Hungary
55. Sunil Mitra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
56. Noor Mohammad IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India
57. Avinash Mohananey IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
58. Satya Narayan Mohanty IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
59. Deb Mukharji IFS (Retd.) Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
60. Gautam Mukhopadhaya IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Myanmar
61. Pranab S. Mukhopadhya IAS (Retd.) Former Director, Institute of Port Management, GoI
62. T.K.A. Nair IAS (Retd.) Former Adviser to Prime Minister of India
63. Surendra Nath IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Finance Commission, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
64. P.A. Nazareth IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Egypt and Mexico
65. P. Joy Oommen IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Chhattisgarh
66. Amitabha Pande IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
67. Maxwell Pereira IPS (Retd.) Former Joint Commissioner of Police, Delhi
68. Alok Perti IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI
69. G.K. Pillai IAS (Retd.) Former Home Secretary, GoI
70. R. Poornalingam IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, GoI
71. Sharda Prasad IAS (Retd.) Former Director General (Employment and Training), Ministry of Labour and Employment, GoI
72. Rajesh Prasad IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to the Netherlands
73. Rajdeep Puri IRS (Resigned) Former Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, GoI
74. N.K. Raghupathy IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI
75. V.P. Raja IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
76. C. Babu Rajeev IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, GoI
77. K. Sujatha Rao IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
78. Satwant Reddy IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
79. Vijaya Latha Reddy IFS (Retd.) Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI
80. Julio Ribeiro IPS (Retd.) Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
81. Aruna Roy IAS (Resigned)  
82. Manabendra N. Roy IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
83. A.K. Samanta IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police (Intelligence), Govt. of West Bengal
84. Deepak Sanan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
85. S. Satyabhama IAS (Retd.) Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
86. N.C. Saxena IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI
87. A. Selvaraj IRS (Retd.) Former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chennai, GoI
88. Ardhendu Sen IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
89. Abhijit Sengupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
90. Aftab Seth IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Japan
91. Ashok Kumar Sharma IFoS (Retd.) Former MD, State Forest Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat
92. Ashok Kumar Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
93. Navrekha Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Indonesia
94. Pravesh Sharma IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
95. Raju Sharma IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
96. Rashmi Shukla Sharma IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
97. Ajai Vikram Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Defence Secretary, GoI
98. Mukteshwar Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission
99. Ramesh Inder Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Punjab and former Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab
100. Sujatha Singh IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
101. Tara Ajai Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka
102. Tirlochan Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI
103. Narendra Sisodia IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
104. Parveen Talha IRS (Retd.) Former Member, Union Public Service Commission
105. Anup Thakur IAS (Retd.) Former Member, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
106. P.S.S. Thomas IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
107. Hindal Tyabji IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
108. Jawed Usmani IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh & former Chief Information Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh
109. Ramani Venkatesan IAS (Retd.) Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “CCG STATEMENT – AMENDMENTS TO AIS CADRE RULES

  1. KVSingh

    Alas – the AIS is still behaving if they are in service of the British Raj. Their behaviour is so obnoxious : ask those they are supposed to serve. There are still forms that read :
    Seva main. Whose seva may I ask. They are staying in bungalows in the districts with acres of land surrounding them. Why cannot they volunteer to stay in smaller places. And finally why they are still called Collectors. Why Not Pratham District Sevak ?

    Like

  2. KV Singh

    As per a survey conducted the Indian bureaucracy is the most corrupt in Asia. The so-called steel frame has contributed in no less measure to this perception. The whole system of recruitment is erroneous.

    Like

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