UPSC Reduces Vacancy In Civil Services To The Lowest In 6 Years When India Has A Shortage Of Nearly 1,500 IAS Officers

The Logical Indian Crew

February 13th, 2018

Courtesy: The Indian Express, NDTV, The Telegraph | Image Credits: India Mart

In a notification released earlier this month, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) announced that in 2018, 782 officers will be hired to fill vacant positions in civil services.

Last year, there were 980 vacant posts – which was the lowest in the past five years – and this year, the number has gone further down. Since 2014, the number of seats in civil services has been reduced considerably. In 2014, there were 1,364 vacancies; 2015 had 1,164 vacancies, and 2016 had 1,079 vacancies.

Contrastingly, the number of IAS, IPS, IFS officers being hired before 2014 was increasing. In 2011, there were 880 vacancies, which increased to 1,098 in 2012 and to 1,228 in 2013.

The 782 vacancies announced by UPSC, the government body that conducts the civil services examination, include 27 vacancies reserved for the Physically Handicapped (P.H) category.


Shortage Of Nearly 1,500 IAS Officers In Country: Union Minister JItendra Singh

The UPSC’s notification comes at a time when Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh revealed in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that India has a shortage of nearly 1,500 IAS officers.  

As of January 1, 2017, there are 5,004 officers against the total authorised strength of 6,500 – vacancy of 1,496.

Giving state-wise details, the minister said Uttar Pradesh has 515 officers against the total authorised strength of 621 – a dearth of 106 officers. The shortage in some other states, as in the Lok Sabha reply, is:

  • Bihar – 99
  • West Bengal – 82
  • Madhya Pradesh – 98
  • Kerala – 81
  • Tamil Nadu – 87
  • Rajasthan – 70
  • Jharkhand – 71
  • Haryana – 50
  • Gujarat – 56
  • Himachal Pradesh – 32
  • Jammu and Kashmir – 46
  • Nagaland – 27
  • Sikkim – 11
  • Telangana – 78
  • Punjab – 39
  • Chhattisgarh – 39

Last year too, Singh had said in the Lok Sabha that India has a dearth of IPS, IAS and IFS officers.

“There is shortage of over 1,400 IAS and 900 IPS officers in the country. At present, the nation has 4,926 officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) while the total authorised strength of 6,396,” he said in 2017, as reported India Today.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha last year, Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju said that the number of sanctioned posts in the IPS category depends on the functional requirement of that particular cadre, reported The Telegraph.  

“As per rule 4 (2) of IPS cadre rules 1954, the Centre at the interval of every five years reviews the strength and composition of each such cadre in consultation with the state governments concerned and reviews the authorised strength of the IPS for each cadre,” the reply said.

To fill up the vacancies, Rijiju said that the batch size of direct recruits (those who are hired through the written exam) had been increased from 88 to 103 in 2005, to 130 in 2008, and to 150 in 2009. In this year’s reply to the Lok Sabha Singh said that the government has increased annual intake of direct recruits IAS officers to 180 in the last six years.

However, sources informed The Telegraph that a committee set up by the Centre to arrest the growing shortage of IPS officers, highlighted the low intake of direct recruits over several years as the reason for the dearth. “Persistent shortage of IAS officers ultimately affects governance in the country,” the committee had said in the report submitted before Parliament.


Government’s reasons for decreasing vacancies

Junior Home Minister Rijiju had said in 2017 that litigations contributed majorly to the increasing vacancies, with discontented state services officers challenging the promotion of fellow colleagues to all-India services.

Sources in the government of West Bengal told The Telegraph that apart from the shortage of IPS and IAS officers, the administration’s reluctance to release officers for central deputation is another problem. In the IPS category, the WB government should have released 30% of its officers, but freed less than half of that.

However, for a country of 1.2 billion people to deal with joblessness of its youth because of lack of coordination between the Centre and the States is a pity.

Report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission says India has 33.02 lakh government personnel. If we were to exclude employees from the two departments that employ the most  – Railways and Postal – the country would have 139 government personnel  for every 1,00,000 citizens. A Quartz report said that in the US, there are 668 government personnel for every 1,00,000 citizens in the country (the US has a population of 326 million).  

“The ‘core’ of the government, so to say, is actually very small for the Government of India, taken as a whole,” the seventh pay commission report says.


India’s unemployment problem

With the number of seats decreasing and more and more youth applying for UPSC every year, cracking the exam will be even more tough.

Moreover, India’s youth is already grappling with a huge unemployment problem. Recently, government abolished all seats that have remained vacant for more than five years. This came in the backdrop of the finance minister promising to create 70 lakh jobs in its last remaining term.

NDTV journalist had reported that on January 16, the media received another news that as of March 1, 2016, the central government had more than four lakh posts vacant in its ministries and departments.

Unemployed youngsters have reached such levels of desperation that even the ones with engineering and MBA degrees are applying for Grade 4 jobs. More than two lakh youth in Madhya Pradesh applied for jobs of sweeper, watchman, driver and peon in the state high court.

Last month, the Maharashtra government had announced to cut down its job force by 30%. Maharashtra has 19 lakh government employees. A 30% cut would mean about 6 lakh people would be jobless.

The Logical Indian had earlier written multiple articles on the predicament of students who took examinations of the Staff Selection Committee (SSC). SSC recruits candidates in various department and ministers of the central government. 10,661 qualified candidates of the SSC CGL 2016 exam are still jobless. SSC CHSL 2015 qualified candidates are coping with the same.

Students held a protest in Delhi on January 22, demanding that the SSC pursues their case with urgency. But the protest hardly caught our attention. While we discuss fringe groups and the country’s youth resorts to outrage only when their false prides are offended, India’s future remains bleak.


Also read:

  1. Govt To Scrap Thousands Of Vacant Posts While Finance Minister Promises To Create 70 Lakh Jobs In One Year
  2. More Than 2 Lakh Youth, Including MBA, Engineering Graduates Apply For Jobs Of Sweeper, Watchman
  3. Students Protest In Delhi As Over 10,000 Aspirants Wait For Jobs Even After Qualifying SSC Exam
  4. Not Even A Single Candidate Out Of The 10,661 Who Qualified The SSC CGL Has Been Given Jobs
  5. Unemployment: More Than 10 Lakh People Including PHDs Applies For Jobs Of Patwari In Madhya Pradesh

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