Bihar IAS officers prefer Delhi over state

Babus from Bihar are ready to give up on their state for a posting in New Delhi [ Images ]. Bihar today is facing a shortage of Indian Administrative Service officers, which is affecting ongoing development work and has badly hit Chief Minster Nitish Kumar's claims of susashan (good governance).

According to sources in the state government, as news spread that 10 Bihar-based IAS officers will be asked to return home from New Delhi, at least three have shown reluctance and extended their stay in the capital.

Interestingly, several IAS officers deployed in Bihar are eagerly awaiting central deputation. It has been reported that many IAS officers left Bihar and opted for a transfer to New Delhi when Rabri Devi was the chief minister because of poor work culture and political interference. But after Nitish Kumar took over as chief minister in November 2005, many Bihar cadre IAS officers said they were keen to return to the home state. However, the statistics tell a completely different story.

A senior IAS officer told rediff.com in Patna that Bihar cadre IAS officers prefer New Delhi because of better working conditions and a better lifestyle. Besides, a central deputation earns them a clout in political circles.

"Currently, nine Bihar cadre IAS officers are managing key departments in New Delhi as Union secretaries," he said.

R K Singh is Union home secretary, another Bihar cadre IAS officer A Upadhyay is secretary road and highways and Naveen Kumar is secretary urban development.

According to official sources, at present 42 IAS officials of the Bihar cadre are on central deputation, two are on inter-state deputation and six are attending training programmes. The state has strength of 206 IAS officers and several officers including five, who are serving in Patna on an inter-state deputation, are holding dual charges.

Some IAS officers of the Bihar cadre have been deployed in New Delhi for nearly 11 years. This despite the Union cabinet secretariat's recent notification that state cadre IAS officers on central deputation would have to return to their home cadres after serving five years.

S P Seth, a 1975 batch IAS officer, has been serving as an advisor to the planning commission and A N Sinha, also from the same batch, has been serving as secretary in the pachayat raj ministry since 2001.

Two other officers B K Sinha (1975 batch), secretary in rural ministry and S K Sharma (1976 batch) have been on central deputation since 2003. A Upadhayay, a 1975 batch officer, has been serving in the capital since 2004.

There are more than six IAS officers, who have completed their five-year term of in New Delhi, but are still reluctant to return to Bihar. A senior IAS officer told rediff.com that some of the IAS officers were overworked due to shortage of staff in Bihar.

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