Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 29:
A whopping 162 all India services officer positions are lying vacant in Odisha seriously affecting the state’s administrative capabilities.
These positions include 43 IAS, 77 IPS and 42 IFS cadre positions. Lack of eligible officers and court cases are being cited as the two primary reasons for these vacancies.
The IPS is the worst affected among the lot.
The state has 188 sanctioned IPS positions, out of which 131 are supposed to be direct recruits and 57 are supposed to be promoted from OPS rank. Apart from 20 vacant positions in the direct recruitment category, all 57 positions of promotee IPS officers are also lying vacant.
Even though the state has quite a few senior officers in the OPS ranks, none of them meets the eligibility criteria set by UPSC making promotion a difficult task.
Similarly, out of the 226 sanctioned IAS positions, 158 are supposed to be direct recruits and 68 positions are supposed to be filled with officers promoted from the OAS rank.
While 19 of the direct recruitment positions are lying vacant, 24 of the promoted ranks are yet to be filled. To make matters worse for the IAS cadre, 32 of these officers are on central deputation while five of them are in inter-state deputation.
Even though the UPSC met on July 2 to decide on 13 of these promotion based positions for 2014, the approval is still awaited. Only six new recruit IAS officers have joined Odisha cadre in 2014 and they are being trained at the district level.
Out of the 141 sanctioned positions for IFS cadre in the state, 99 are supposed to be direct recruits and 42 are supposed to be filled through promotion from OFS ranks.
As of now, only 86 direct recruit and 13 promoted officers are working in this cadre making for a shortfall to 42 officers. Nine of these officers are on central deputation.
Even though a decision has been taken to promote 17 OFS officers for 2008, 2009, 2010 and this year, the names are yet to be finalised because of a court case. The High Court, however, has recently directed the government to set up a selection committee.