The Centre has raised the issue of states not sparing the Indian Police Service (IPS) officers for central deputation and directed the chief secretaries to look into the matter 'personally'.
According to the letter dated February 22, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the Centre's "acute shortage" of officers is causing serious cadre management problems.
"Kind attention is invited to various communications of this ministry regarding the nomination of IPS officers from state/cadre for central deputation," the letter stated.
The letter added that ever year, there were insufficient nominations of IPS officers for central deputation from states/cadres to fill vacancies at different levels, from the Superintendent of Police to Director General in various Central Police Organisations (CPOs) and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), ThePrint reported.
Centrally deputed IPS officers are deployed to CAPFs such as the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, others, and in CPOs such as the Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, and Intelligence Bureau.
Centre To Reduce CDR Quota Of IPS
"Forty per cent of Senior Duty Posts in each cadre are marked as Central Deputation Reserve (CDR) posts," the letter read. The CDR quota is the cumulative number of officers from all state cadres deployed at the Centre.
Due to the shortage of IPS officers for central deputation, the government reduced the number of vacancies reserved for them at the central level by 50 per cent in 2019.
According to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, as of December 2019, there were just 428 IPS officers on central deputation out of a total of 1,075, or 39.81 per cent of CDR positions. The ministry also informed states that the central government reduced the CDR quota of IPS officers from 1,075 to about 500 officers.
Sources in the central government told The Print that the government is awaiting input from states on reducing the CDR quota of IPS officers. They claim that states have been reluctant to send central deputation officers as significant IPS officers shortages even at the state level.
As per a written response by Union Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh in Rajya Sabha, there are 4,940 IPS posts across the country, with 970 — or 19.64 per cent — vacant as of 2018.
In the February letter, Home Secretary Bhalla referring to the 40 per cent CDR quota for Senior Duty Posts, stated, "However, it has been the experience that the offer list of some states does not contain a sufficient number of names vis-à-vis CDR utilisation. As a result, states shall sponsor an appropriate number of officers to fill vacancies reserved for IPS officers in CAPFs and CPOs."
Bhalla has encouraged states to make a "conscious effort" to forward lists of officers for deputation so that "every eligible officer gets a chance to serve at the Center at different levels."
According to him, the shortage is especially severe at the DIG and SP levels, causing "significant delays in placing officers at the Centre and negatively impacting the whole phase of appointment, deputation, and cadre management."
"I will respectfully recommend that you directly investigate the matter so that appropriate numbers of IPS officers for central deputation can be sent to fill vacancies at different positions, ranging from Superintendent of Police to Director General," the letter concludes.
The government's letter about the IPS officer shortage comes as a standoff over IPS deputation to top positions in the CAPFs continues.