IRS OFFICER TRAINEES: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu with the 71st batch of Indian Revenue Service officer trainees from National Academy of Direct Taxes, in New Delhi, on March 20

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Are multiple extensions of the last date of applying in foreign universities under DFFT scheme fair? Internet to be blamed, really?

THE multiple extensions of the last date for applying and the finalisation of the application under DFFT scheme — at times on somewhat flimsy grounds of “net related issues” — has forced some officers and applicants to wonder whether it would be a fair process this time. Though no one has formally complained in the DoPT (the department of personnel and training), the agency that selects the applicants among IAS, IPS, IFoS among others for the  long term and short term programmes under DFFT scheme — the officers have been gossiping whether such unprecedented multiple extensions were actually carried out to prolong the selection process so that some officers manage to procure…
their no objections from their respective states. BoI, however, wishes to clarify that it could not independently verify the reasons behind such repeated extensions. But an extension on the ground of Internet problem, as was mentioned in the DoPT’s office memorandum dated February 6, 2018, would naturally raise a question.
Some officers have now been discussing how could the internet problems be the reasons for extending the last date of the civil servants’ applications when the GST (Goods and Services Tax) filing across the country is done online. 
The DFFT or Domestic Funding of Foreign Training, is a scheme for IAS, Group ‘A’ officers belonging to Central Secretariat Service (CSS) etc., and then the IPS, IFoS and Group ‘A’ central civil service officers during the tenure of deputation under the Central Staffing Scheme — for applying in courses conducted in top global universities such as Harvard University, University of Chicago, University of California, Berkeley, Duke University, ANZSOG, Australia, London School of Economics, King's College, London et al. 
The question is — whether internet related hiccups are so big that the last date needs to be extended. Here is what the office memorandum dated February 6, 2018, said: “Keeping in view the fact that a large number of officers have not been able to apply due to net related issues, it has been decided to reopen the DFFT portal for the period from 06th to 09th Feb ’18. The last date for finalisation of application has also been extended to 15.02.2018”.
In at least two extension orders issued in the month of January — the one on January 17, 2018 and the other on January 25, 2018 —  there was no mention of the reasons behind extension of the last date of application. 

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