Monday, November 02, 2015

7th Pay Commission rumours force IAS officers to get more active in social media

AS rumours of a possible recommendation by the 7th Central Pay Commission on pay parity of IPS, Indian Forest Service and other Group “A” officers with IAS getting louder, the IAS officers in particular have of late resorted to social media platforms in full force to argue that the “edge” that they have enjoyed till now must continue for a larger good of the nation. A large number of IAS officers have also written to cabinet secretary, the top bureaucrat of the country, arguing the same. Let’s first have the excerpts of blogs of a couple of young officers to see how they are presenting their case:
One of the young officers writes: “Despite getting in to IRS-IT, I never was inclined to join that as my sight was only set on IAS, which is without an iota of doubt the most premier service in the country. Of late, it has been observed that there is a concerted effort by members of certain central services to malign the IAS by launching a vicious campaign in social media and other public platforms. It is clear that the main purpose of the malicious campaign is to gain the mileage before the 7th pay commission and bring in the so-called "parity in services".
The officer then explains the reason why an IAS officer should have an edge. “Every officer gains enough domain knowledge while working in a department...the very nature of our job makes us a specialist in not one but in many areas. It is a unique combination of field experience coupled with functional knowledge in various subjects that give the edge to an IAS officer.” The officer then goes on to say: "It is this very edge over other services that has made me opt for IAS and keeps motivating me to give my very best for this society.”
This and a few other blog posts of IAS officers are getting circulated among the officers in various social media platforms. A number of IAS officers have recently opened accounts in Twitter.
Here is the current system. All officers – the IAS and the rest – get the same salary when they join their service and move up simultaneously till the rank of a GoI director. The IAS and IFS officers race ahead of the rest only from the level of joint secretary onward. According to existing rules, IAS is given a two-year edge as they get empanelled as joint secretary two years earlier than others. But the reality is, the empanelment of most other services get delayed because of various reasons resulting into the rise of seniority gap between the IAS and the rest by five to 10 years.
If the 7th Pay Commission rumours are to be believed, there could be a recommendation of end of that edge for IAS. In that case, a large number of officers from other services will be eligible to be the contenders of additional secretary and secretary, the posts which are largely filled up by the IAS now.
The IAS officers however want that edge to continue. “The 2 years edge in seniority is not given due to the higher rank in the UPSC exam but due to superior work experience an IAS officer has…A person coming into agriculture policy making after spending two decades in taxation or police department, with no knowledge of working with farmers or agriculture department -- what right does anyone have to put poor people of this country through this great experiment?” asks another IAS officer whose letter is being circulated in Twitter.
BoI here avoids going into the details of the existing system of “IAS as the big brother”, as the topic was analyzed in earlier articles in this site. If anyone wants to comment on the issue, we request everyone should use decent language and not to get personal with anyone.


  1. If an IRS/IPS becoming policy maker in Agriculture puts the poor people of this country into experiment, then what kind of experience an IAS has for becoming Revenue Secretary who deals with direct and indirect taxation as well as Enforcement Directorate. For a moment if the logic of IAS is correct, then why don't they allow the Agricultural Scientists or Agricultural practitioners to become the Secy/AS/JS? The IAS always give the logic to suit to their aggrandisement.

  2. As a bystander watching the babus of this country yanking the country into greatness and immortality since the last 7 decades, I am inspired to place before you, my sincere appreciation and great satisfaction that I have experienced when I read the response of the stainless - steel frame to the not-so-stainless – steel-frame of this country. The pre-fixing of Sardar Patel’s name to the steel frame was definitely not necessary sir. It might appear to you that the steel frame doesn’t draw any legitimacy from their own steeliness any more but only from the image of Sardar Patel. Kindly excuse them sir. It is not true. We still believe in the pillars and beams of this country.

    It was correctly identified in this letter sir that a concerted effort by brethren of allied services to spread misinformation and lies about the premier service was on. Firstly, kindly excuse the oxymoronic sentence. For you might ask, “Brethren and premier in the same sentence? But there cannot be a premier amongst brethren”. It has been several years since this pillar sat in the famed UPSC examination; his English skills have warped a bit. It is a stainless-steel pillar nevertheless. The weight on his shoulders has weakened his English skills. Not his fault, not one bit.

    Secondly, kindly excuse the ‘concerted’ part. Tax GDP Ratio has tripled since independence at the same meager cost of collection. Railways handle a million passengers a day, one billion tons of freight every year and 15 million employees. From hand written hand delivered posts to a complete rainbow of 21 specialized communication services by the Postal Department. Safeguarding and preserving the order in society by Police. There seems to be only one concerted effort by the brethren. But you have to consider the fact that these are deeply technical territories and our pillar is a master at whiffing at the surface. Different kinds of surfaces. Not his fault, not one bit.

  3. The letter was absolutely correct in stating that an overwhelming majority of the toppers prefer the steel frame. The point being sought to be driven was that the best is defined by a rank and the steel frame is made of the best. Again, excuse him sir, many sleepless nights were spent watching development limp and fall, decisions taken and dropped that the eyes are still groggy. The mind is still smoky. One factor was forgotten in the equation. Reservation. Once it is added, the argument of the meritorious service falls. It’s a mistake that deserves to be pardoned sir. Because the mind is focused on delivering development by using revenue collected by the brethren, a development which is yet to come after 70 years. Not his fault, not one bit.

    A bright point which is worth mentioning comes next. It was stated that only young IAS officers serve in the remotest corners of the country. It was remarkably close to being the truth sir. So remarkable that the pillar wouldn’t have had to look too far out. As a silent bystander, I can see many of his own brethren of his own year serving in the North East and J&K. They too were caught in floods, affected by landslide, road blocks and traveling constraints. However, kindly excuse sir. Though they were of the same batch, the feeling of premiership had taken over and the brethren in the same region remained a non-entity. The feeling is worth it. So this deserves to be condoned. Not his fault, not one bit.

    The variety of functional domain was the picking point next. The variety of services performed by the steel frame are truly worth a reading. I should accept sir, that from the standpoint of an onlooker, I say to myself, this is “the premier service”. Or should I have another look at it? Perhaps. Magisterial Functions, Dispute Resolution and settlement of liabilities also seem to be daily endeavors of the brethren. The brethren have been heavily involved in electoral management, organization of important events and at the higher levels of various ministries too. Kindly excuse sir. It’s only a matter of time till the pillar obtains a wider perspective, ample understanding and a spacious vista. So much for a ‘generalist’ attitude. Not his fault, not one bit.

  4. An aspect of considerable importance is discussed in the next paragraph. It has been rightly stated that interaction with the people’s representatives overshadows, in quantity, quality and importance, the interaction with taxpayers. I will take the blame for the quantity part of the argument first. There seems to be a whopping calculation gaffe here. It is difficult to imagine India with 50 Crore politicians with whom the steel frame interacts. For quality part sir, as a bystander, I have no clue, but credit should be given where it is due. At a cost of collection of merely 75 paise for 100 Rupees, the efficiency and quality of interaction with tax payers seems nice bang for the buck. But why should the steel pillar care. Spending is tough too sir. Give the spenders some credit. Not his fault, not one bit.

    The high point of the argument is reached in the next paragraph where the sharpest sword yet, the fastest bullet yet and the heaviest axe yet is drawn. A specialist is an inferior super-authority over a generalist. I cannot agree more sir. There might be a small number of small organizations with limited success with specialists holding generalist posts but that’s not the norm. It’s the generalist organizations with an inordinately huge number of generalists at the top that outperform in the long run. I have a small list of these small organisations with limited successes. ISRO, Apple, Google, NASA, IISc., Infosys, CIA, Tesla, China Railway Corporation, DMRC. The list is small you should accept and the achievements are limited. You might have contemplated, atleast once, why the Armed Forces of various countries including ours, are run by specialists and not generalists. Don’t even ask. The pillars are busy signing Order Sheets. Not his fault, not one bit.

  5. The angst and uneasiness in the tone and tenor of the last part are so apparent, I beg you to excuse sir. The pillar has been too busy to know what’s happening with his brethren, the life of a civil servant from the not-so-stainless-steel frame has been reduced to a cushy 9 to 5 desk job. The premier has assumed that Quality Audits, Performance Audits, Inspections, Intelligence Gathering, Investigation, Reconnaissance, dry runs, traffic control, Customs Checks, Income Tax Raids all suddenly vanish into thin air as the clock strikes 5 in the evening. Some of his brethren don’t even have the pleasure of a private desk, forget the cushy and the urban and the comfort and the friends and the family. But the premier has been too busy waiting for the flight called “development” that hasn’t arrived on time yet. Forgive him sir. He may not want to catch the flight if he knows the pilot is a specialist. Not his fault, not one bit.

    Lastly sir, it appears and I fear, my premier has not realized yet, that it is the edge in empanelment and pay that makes a pillar premier or a frame foremost. As I have already stated, Service and Merit seems an inaccurate argument in light of the positive reinforcement provided to the weaker sections. That argument set aside, the wafers of separation between services are so thin, an officer of a service wouldn’t bet his selection into the same service if he/she writes the same exam again, the next year. My dear friend it appears, in his resolute letter, has inadvertently spoken his heart out. His last paragraph it appears states, if the edge in empanelment and pay are discontinued, it would be a rather better choice to move to a not-so-premier service. You may now feel, if it is empanelment and pay that makes people choose this service, that is precisely the reason why it is premium, not because of the assumed lack of accomplishment or prowess in the other Services. But please don’t think that way. It is a wrong notion. My premium needs to feel premium. He needs the edge in pay to stay premium. He needs the empanelment to stay premium. Not his fault, not one bit.

    An Officer from a not-so-stainless-steel Service

  6. What is the need of IAS people in ministry of finance ? Infact, IRS officers are most suited for ministries like finance, commerce where IAS officers have zero knowledge. lateral entry should be norm in area where specialists people are available so as to bring efficiency in administration. Why IAS community is running away from competition if they are so proud of their competency! Usain Bolt can't just win a race and argue that he is unbeatable forever! He has to prepare himself for yet another race within a week time.
    IAS officers should not be allowed to serve under central government but they should give there mighty contribution in respective states! There are examples in every batch in IRS where officer trainees were having options of getting IAS and IPS . Revenue is most underrated subject in India whereas IRS service is most prestigious in USA! Knock knock!

  7. A civil service aspirant aspires for IAS and IAS only. Only people with corruption in mind have nowadays started option for IRS but they also dont fill it as first preference for the fear of being perceived as corrupt in interview board.
    For a civil service aspirant any dilution in IAS is heart breaking. It will end the very charm of examination and public service.

  8. Hello aspirant-remained IAS, do you know why the post of COLLECTOR is called so? Collector was a quasi judicial officer under the British Government. No more the Collectors are collecting Revenue and rather the Revenue collection is entrusted to the IRS. Throwing reckless comments at IRS shows your poor knowledge of Quasi judicial functions of the Revenue Collectors, the world over. Still if you are stuck to your guns on reckless comments, then be brave and reveal your name. We, the IRS, reveal all the assets of your family members upto extended ones. Our intelligence network is impeccable.Our systems are very strong and robust.

  9. @Anonymous at 9:23PM. What about Singhwi, a 1983 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS who was recently arrested by ACB, ips officer.IAS IS THE MOST CORRUPT SERVICE IN INDIA.

  10. While, report of 7th CPC is awaited, the IPS and IRS associations have raised banner of revolt demanding parity with the IAS in pay scales and promotions. Other services are likely to join the issue in due course. Apartheid in bureaucracy is discriminatory. Creating artificial hierarchy in organized services infringes the Rule of Equality before Law, besides causing heart-burnings, biases, prejudices, fall in efficiency.The IAS officers oppose the parity demand, saying they are “ first among equals”. Other Services oppose the doctrine of primus inter pares as irrational, not relevant to Services .
    Justice A K Mathur, Chairperson, 7th CPC, is interacting with Services associations. Will he succeed in breaking the anomaly,is a million dollar question? Chances are remote.A wild goose chase. The IAS association claims, their members shoulder larger responsibilities and deserve preferential treatment. Against this backdrop, why can’t the 7th CPC recommend constituting a unified single Service with same service conditions across the spectrum and train the officers for specific jobs? Brazen inter- Services fighting sends a wrong message to civil servants.

    A K Saxena (A retd. civil servant)

  11. Even if the argument that everyone apprearing civil service aspires to become IAS, only top rankers get IAS etc., there is genuine need for mid-term re-evaluation of all government officers. Even schools have yearly assessments, rankings change on performance, then why we india should have crazy policy that once ranked, it continues for the entire service. No other country has such outdated system. Even other south asian countries have re-evaluation / re-selection from one grade to higher grade. Indian Bureaucracy achievement at best can be rated as poor to worse, then why to keep this system as sacrosant. Country needs dynamic and performing government system, change is necessity and everyone including IAS need to accept it.

  12. It happens only in our country that a person getting good rank in one exam claims lifelong superiority over others irrespective of merit, competence or integrity.As a group the IAS has proved to be the biggest roadblock in the development of the nation where the country is lagging behind even the third world countries in terms of various human development indices.Instead of feeling guilty, the arrogant members of this service certify themselves as the best,while the common man hates their existence.How come many IAS toppers have landed in jail on corruption charges, and still it claims to be the premier service.There are honourable exceptions of honest and sincere officers, but they are hounded out by the sycophants and parasites.Same is happening in other services also where honest and competent people are suffering .The present govt under the leadership of our visionary PM should put to end this outdated bureaucratic structure and induct real experts at top in every govt dept, otherwise this feudal service will nullify the magnificent efforts of our PM for development of the nation by its power manipulations, which they have been doing since independence.It is a now or never situation.

  13. I as a silent bystander has been seeing this for last few days. One newspaper is covering on its front page. Whenever I think of bureaucracy or civil service only IAS n IPS come to my mind. Probably because I get to hear news about them as DM/SP in district. But frequently of DM because of variety of kob they do in district. For any work one always think of DM in district. Even for my caste and domicile certificates I have to go to DM office. In my neighbourhood one person qualified civil service and his parents announced that his son has become IAS. Later on we found that he joined railway. So even in hinterland we connote civil service with IAS. I ve gone through comments put by many. They have been talking about specialisation. In such case IRS should claim only for revenue secretary and not for any other post. Police can claim only for home deptt. They must not claim posts for other para military organisation. I know one uncle who keeps criticising IPS as they join para military post from top having little understanding of organisation. They don't join from lower officer rank like asst commandant but join as DIG/IG.

    I have come to know that DRDO head is generally scientific advisor. Similarly ISRO head is space secretary. Similary why can't we havr system where CBDT head can be Tax Advisor. Like we have internal security advisor, we can have IPS officer as advisor to the government. Tax expert can't guarantee a good revenue secretary because domain is limited to tax. We have seen many success stories of RBI where governor has been either ias officers likr YV reddy or Subbarao and also economist like Raghuram Rajan and our ex-PM too. Our financial system or banking system more precisely withstood recent recession under ex- governor. So I think person havung domain knowledge can be given task of advisor who can give timely advice.
    Rest I don't know much.


    hey I found two news on lesson of honesty n efficiency of indian economy. No wonder why our tax base is still so low and where all tax goes. Mainly salaried persons give tax. We have never achieved our conservative tax target. As per domain knowledge and specialisation is concerned I as a civil servant aspirant wonder why can't we have CA/economist as revenue/finance secretary. IES may be a better choice. I m little inqusitive what role this IES plays in bureaucracy.

  15. I have read all the comments made by everyone with great interest. The claim of service parity has gone pretty far. The entire debate is centered around the fact that how IAS are not most suitable for the JS/AS/ secretory posts at GoI...

    Well to begin with , let me reverse the question and ask any line department / group A central service what is their justification to be empannelled to the JS/AS/ Secretary posts at all?

    Currently IAS is given a 2 year edge in empanellment. However in my personal opinion, to improve the system, other services should be barred at all to get into these posts. My recommendation might seem revolutionary. However below is my justification.

    Central services have time and again claimed how hard they are working and how much specialized knowledge they have. Therefore they should be empannelled to the highest policy making level posts in place of IAS who are generalist and do not in depth understanding of the department.

    Here we have mixed 2 concepts. Let me clear this by taking example of a software development company having software engineer and a project manager. A software engineer has the knowledge of all the required languages , knows programming and conceptually can make any program.

    But then what is the role of project manager. He does not have software knowledge. However he is required to tell what is to be made. A project manager can understand the need and the manner in which a particular app / program has to be made so that it will be more useful to the public. The software engineer on the other hand has to ensure that the app is made without any bugs. It runs smoothly and does not face any technological problem.
    The job requirements of both the post are totally different and require different expertise.

  16. Similar is the case with any ministry / department in GoI. Ministry can be linked with the project manager and department can be linked with the software engineer. All the department whether income tax, police or railways are headed by the respective service people. They have the specialist knowledge and know best the working of their department.

    However ministry is the policy making body. A policy making body has to consider various inputs. A specialized technical knowhow about the working is just one of the input and not the whole of it. Here let me clarify that the post of JS/AS/Secretory relate to ministry and not to the department. It require such people who are generalist (manager kind) who can see the larger picture. If a defense policy has to be framed, only knowing what is the latest technology is not sufficient. The policy also has to take into the account foreign policy, impact on national economy, impact on farmers etc when formulating a defense policy. A DRDO chief may be the best person to tell us what is the latest defense technology but he is not suitable for other considerations. An IFS may know the foreign policy but he will not know the impact on local economy. An IRS may analyse the economy but he may not be able to understand the law n order / communal situation that might arise from a economy policy decision and so on and so forth. Therefore it is the IAS who by its very nature have been developed to think and act in such holistic manner so as to ensure a proper harmony among all the inputs.

    Therefore, I think I have made my point very clear. An IRS should aspire to become CBDT chairman and not revenue secretory and definitely not Agriculture secretory. Same goes for IPS, Railways and any other service. Policy making is a generalist job and should be left to IAS. Here i would like to add that the head of any ministry is the corresponding minister who is an elected representative (off course not having any specialized knowledge of the ministry). However his importance and primacy is established. Same logic goes for any IAS being JS/AS/Secretory to the ministry.

  17. Even though I have successfully established that to be a revenue seceratory an IAS don't need to be a revenue expert, still to clear some doubts i must clarify how an IAS has requisite knowledge in these fields.

    Renevue - As DM he is the head of revenue collection. It includes land revenue, entertainment tax, sales tax, bank dues, panchayat dues etc. Clearly its ambit is much larger than what an IRS-IT or IRS customs do.

    Law and Order - A DM is the head of law and order in the district and not the SP. SP is supposed to help DM in maintaining the law and order and cannot act in isolation. DM participates in the crime meetings and SP is supposed to update DM of all the law and order situation in the district. Further it is DM who decided which case to be pursued if the convict is relieved from the lower court. He also oversees the district Jail. So his working oversees the functioning of SP+ Jail commandent + DGC combined and not just the law and order. His responsibility is right from catching a thief (with help of SP) to getting him punishment from court (with help of DGC) to keeping him in jail (with help from Jail commandant)

    Rest of the other developmental functions / enforcement functions and various other roles performed by an IAS in district is well known and don't need to be told again.

    Here again, an IAS officer before coming to GoI functions at the policy making level at the respective state government and helps in formulating various state policy. He serves as the secretory of various state ministries and does the same work which he will be doing as JS/AS/Secretory at GoI.

    So now I ask the other service personnels how do they justify them fighting for the JS/AS/Secretory post at GoI level when in reality neither do they have any experience in policy making nor do they have any breadth of knowledge and understanding. They have at best a specialized knowledge of their department and they can very well be consulted by JS/AS/Secretory. Kindly enlighten as to why they should be made JS/AS/Secretory at all. leave aside the debate of 2 year edge.

    1. Respected sir, are you still oblivious of the govt structure in the developed world?In all the developed countries only the experts or the specialists occupy top positions and the generalists or career bureaucrats work under them.It is only in underdeveloped countries that an outdated service like IAS continues to dominate, whose overall performance since independence is well indicated by the low human development indicators and prevalence of corruption in the country today.Of course you have no other option but to perpetuate your superiority by self- certification, because the day we become a truly developed nation, your service will be abondoned.So please keep on trying perpetuating your hegomony till the nation decides to end this obsolete structure of bureaucracy.

  18. Being working in the Ministry it happened one day that a World Bank technical team came out of the room of Secretary. The team leader an US expert nauseatingly asked me the man we just met was short of fundamentals and was not able to respond well to technical queries. For all discussions why he always calls his team of advisors like you for technical discussions, he appears to be a quack. This summarizes the whole debate above. We can not allow this country to be run by quacks.It is an international shame for India. When we have an eye problem we go for eye specialist, for heart we go to a cardiac expert, for bone an orthopedics and so on then why we compel India to go a generalist when specialists are available. Who is bothered about the demoralized cadre of 25000 group A officers in India in order to placate 4000 IAS officers. It is a pity that in Govt. of India people with knowledge have no powers and people with power have no knowledge.The change therefore will never come. The whole IAS system is based on 1786 formula of east India company translated today as True Indians vs rest of Indians. It believes that other Grp A services are not patriotic, not nationalist and have no love for country, they need guidance. IAS are a blind man sitting in a dark room looking for a black cat which is not there. 21st century Indians are shining in the USA administration as USA chooses the best qualified men unlike India where reservation for IAS by their gang leaders is the way of life.

    1. Well said brother.But these people will never understand unless they are shown the door by the democratic leadership of the country.The old time zamindars didnot leave their privileges till the govt enacted ZALR and similar enactments after independence.It is futile to expect that those enjoying powe similar to 19th century lords will give up these powers on their own.The leadership of the country has to show them their proper place.

  19. Dear friends,

    In My post of Nov-8, I tried to present a logical debate and asked a question that how is an IRS eligible for Agriculture secretory post.

    However, the responses which have been received are nothing more than hate speeches. I thought we were debating a much serious issue and a much more serious and logical response was expected instead of name calling.

    I again challenge if you guys have logical response to my above question, kindly respond.

    However be rest assured that your name calling is not going to let down IAS. For an IRS who interacts with just 4% of country's population, kindly go and talk to any citizen of India and ask if he knows a DM or he knows a assistant commissioner IT. The response of that citizen will be answer to your mudslinging.

    By writing such comments you are only showing your shallow attitude and making a public mockery of yourself.