ASSOCIATIONS OF IAS and PCS (Provincial Civil Services) officers in Uttar Pradesh seem to be heading towards a confrontation over postings in urban local bodies with the IAS body seeking to stake a claim on posts that its PCS counterparts believe are “earmarked for them”.
“There are very few posts where senior PCS officers get the chance to work independently and show their caliber. All we want is that at least these posts (Municipal Commissioners, Vice-Chairmen of Development Authorities) be reserved only for PCS officers,” said Pawan Gangwar, association secretary.
At its Annual General meeting during the IAS Week two days ago, IAS officers’ association had raised the demand for postings in urban local bodies, prompting the PCS association to come out in opposition and seeking to revive its own meetings on the lines of IAS officers so that it, too, can raise such issues.
The PCS association has also sought a meeting with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on this matter. “We do not wish to snatch something from the IAS officers. (But) there are certain posts in urban local bodies that are earmarked for PCS officers. We only want them to be posted on these,” Gangwar said.
The PCS association believes working on these posts will be “below the dignity” of an IAS-ranked officer and “would not send the right message”, Gangwar added. When contacted regarding the objection raised by the PCS association, Bhuvnesh Kumar, secretary of Uttar Pradesh IAS association, said, “There is no confrontation. Our young officers raised the issue because they feel they must have the experience of working in urban local bodies before they are posted at the state level. So we will raise our demand and they (PCS association) have the right to object — but it is upon the government to decide.”
According to sources, IAS officers are of the view that these postings were “taken away” from them and given to PCS officers because of the reduction in their numbers. But with their strength back to being “sufficient” and there being “enough officers” in the rank, the association believes these posts should be duly given back to its officers. Some have even pointed out examples of cities like Ahmedabad and Mumbai where IAS officers take up these posts.
On the other hand, PCS officers allege that young IAS officers, who have to work as special secretaries in the state, want to “occupy” these urban local body posts during initial years of their services to work independently.
While the cadre strength of IAS officers in UP is about 500, that of PCS is about 1000. Although both the associations became non-functional during the five years of Mayawati regime between 2007 and 2012, the IAS association revived its activities of conducting Annual General meetings and holding IAS Week from 2013 onward.
The last PCS association’s general body meeting, on the other hand, took place in 2007 and the association has remained inactive ever since.