Government changes guidelines for physically challenged IAS officers
After receiving complaints of indifferent attitude towards the physically challenged (PC) IAS officers by state governments and considering their requests for change of their cadre, the union government has recently changed its guidelines which will force the government to accept the newly appointed cadre belonging to PC category. A letter (No.13017/16/2003-AIS-1) issued from North Block on 14 February reads, ‘The department has been receiving requests from IAS officers appointed against vacancies reserved for physically handicapped candidates for change of their cadre to a preferred cadre including their home cadre on grounds of hardship. Therefore, a need has been felt to have a suitable policy by allowing separate dispensation for the officers in the matter of change of cadre.’
The official statement further reads, ‘In this matter the response from the state government will be asked. In case none of the preferred states, opted by the cadre, are willing to accept, the decision of the central government on the selection of the state and cadre will be considered final and binding on the officer.’
However, on the plea of sending them to their home state, the government has decided that, ‘No such transfer to the home state of the officer shall be permitted.’
While commenting on the recent guidelines, a North Block source said, ‘To avail the benefits of changed guidelines, the officer have to make a request application to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) through the parent cadre within three months from the date of notification of the cadre’s allocation in the official website of the DoPT for preferred postings.’
The union government has found that IAS officers appointed against vacancy reserved for the PC category usually face extreme hardship as per the medical board’s report. Also, in some cases, the concerned state government’s indifferent attitude was seen while giving them in official work.
Considering all these factors, the union government has decided to change their policy which further reads, ‘Permit transfer of an IAS officer appointed against a vacancy reserved for physically challenged category to a cadre in the immediate neighbourhood or proximity of his or her home state for the purpose of mitigating such hardship.’
On the context of already serving IAS officers belongs to the PC category, the guideline reads, ‘They will be given one-time option to exercise their choice for change of cadre as per notification in the DoPT website.