Shortage of IAS officers has forced the state government to hand over additional responsibilities to senior officers, some even handling two to three departments. M I Khan reports.
The government in Bihar which faces an acute shortage of IAS officers has decided to overburden its incumbent senior officers with additional responsibilities.
According to official sources in the personnel department, the state currently has 209 IAS officers despite sanctioned posts of 327. 118 posts remain vacant.
Not less than forty IAS officials of Bihar cadre are currently on central deputation, officials said.
"It is an old problem but currently shortage of IAS is affecting ongoing development work" an official in the state government said.
"It is a serious issue as about 36 percent of IAS posts are vacant. It is bound to affect development work and functioning of the state government," said an IAS officer, who did not wish to be named.
He informed that shortage of IAS officers has forced the state government to hand over the charges of secretary of several departments including agriculture, transport and tourism to secretaries of other departments. "Some IAS officials are in charge of two to three departments due to
the shortage," he said.
It was reported that many IAS officers left Bihar and opted for a transfer to New Delhi when Rabri Devi was the chief minister due to poor work culture and political interference. However, after Nitish Kumar took over as chief minister in November 2005, many IAS officers of the Bihar cadre said they were keen to return to the home state.
However, the statistics tell a completely different story.
Vayas Ji, principal secretary of labour department has been given additional charge of disaster management department. Both are important departments as far as ongoing development work is concerned.
Dipak Kumar, who is principal secretary general administration department has been given additional charge of tourism department. Other senior IAS officers like, principal secretary public health engineering department Ravindra Pawar, A Santoh Mathew, principal secretary rural development department, Arun Kumar Singh, principal secretary information technology department, Ravikant, principal secretary cabinet department, Afzal Amanullah, principal secretary water resources development department, C K Mishra, principal secretary Industry department, are given additional charge of other important department.
"There are senior IAS officers like principal secretary Amita Paul, J R K Rao, Sishir Sinha, C Ashokvardhan have also been given additional charge of different departments.