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Order by Centre on Central Deputation of DIG level IPS officers

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    9th Mar, 2022

Context

Order issued by Central Government makes the entire pool of DIG-level officers in a state eligible for central deputation.                            

Analysis

What does the order actually state?

  • As per the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT)- IPS officers of DIG level would no longer be required to be empaneled with the Union Government before being considered for deputation at the Centre.

How is it different from the existing system?

  • Earlier, a DIG-ranked IPS officer with a minimum experience of 14 years could only be deputed to the Centre if the Police Establishment Board listed them as eligible to serve at the Centre.
  • The Police Establishment Board chooses the panel on the basis of officers’ career and vigilance records.
  • The new order therefore makes the entire pool of DIG-level officers in a state eligible for central deputation.
  • Only Superintendent of Police-level officers do not require empanelment for Central Deputation.

What is the reason for changing the existing system?

  • The move aims at increasing the pool of DIG-level IPS officers for central deputation in the backdrop of massive vacancies in central police organisations (CPOs) and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
  • It is important to note that out of 252 posts reserved for IPS officers at DIG level at the Centre, 118 (almost half) are vacant. 
  • Empanelment process has become cumbersome and it takes almost a year to just complete it.

Can DIG level officers be deputed by Centre directly?

  • No, it does not mean that DIGs level IPS officers would automatically be deputed to the Centre.
  • Officers would still have to be put on the offer list for central deputation and then the deputation itself has to be decided by the states and the Centre in consultation.
  • For the process of Central Deputation of DIG level IPS officers to be complete, the home state (state government for which the said officer is discharging his/her duties) of the officer would have to be willing to relieve them.

What problem do states see in this order?

  • States see this order as part of Union Government’s strategy to gain more control on All India Service officers and hence secure administrative upper hand and political upmanship.
The Union Government had recently issued a proposal according to which the Centre would have powers to demand, within a stipulated time frame, a certain quota of officers from the state for central deputation, and also to call any IAS officer on central deputation in “public interest”.

In case the state failed to relieve the officer, he/she would be deemed relieved following the fixed date.

  • States have also emphasized on the fact that there is little evidence that a waiver of empanelment conditions would have an impact on vacancies at the Centre.
  • Statistics show the vacancies are close to 50% at the level of SP, even when there is no requirement of empanelment for this level for central deputation.
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