“After 30 years of attaining statehood, it is the right time we get separate cadres so that development percolates down to all parts of the state in the real sense,” chief minister Pema Khandu said.
New Delhi: On October 18, the Arunachal Pradesh assembly adopted a resolution to urge the Narendra Modi government to form a separate cadre of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS) for the northeastern state, like most other states.
Tabling the resolution, chief minister Pema Khandu reportedly said:
“After 30 years of attaining statehood, it is the right time we get separate cadres so that development percolates down to all parts of the state in the real sense.”
Presently, Arunachal Pradesh comes under the All India Services (AIS) grouping of Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram and other union territories (AGMUT). Prior to putting forth the resolution, Khandu raised the issue during a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh and minister of state for personnel and training Jitendra Singh on September 13 in New Delhi too.
However, Khandu’s demand is neither new from an Arunachal government nor is it the lone one. In fact, it is the last of the three states, clubbed under AGMUT, to pass such a resolution in their respective assemblies.
While the assembly of Mizoram, which became a state in 1987, has time and again demanded a separate cadre for itself, in March this year, cutting across party lines, it adopted a resolution on the issue. Goa, which was also declared a state in 1987, sent a similar proposal – twice – to the Union home ministry in 2011.
Those proposals were dismissed by the then Central government. In 2014, during the Manohar Parikkar regime, the Goa assembly passed a resolution and re-sent the proposal to the Manmohan Singh government. Though the Arunachal assembly has adopted such a resolution recently, it has also been sending similar requests to the Central government.
The common grouse of these states for demanding an exclusive cadre for them has been that the officers sent by the Central government under AGMUT “know that they are there for a short period” and therefore do not have “institutional memory” to be able to concentrate on the exact development and administrative needs of the states.
On October 18, Khandu too said in the state assembly:
“Because of absence of separate cadres, the Central schemes could not be implemented and executed properly in the state as AGMUT officers come to the state for a short period and are not able to understand the tribal culture and sentiments.”
In the meeting with Singh, Khandu reportedly mentioned that due to lack of institutional memory and a dedicated bureaucracy, the state has so far not been able to rise to its full potential.
“Therefore, in the interest of development of the state, it is felt that a dedicated bureaucracy will bring continuity in administration. Separation of Arunachal Pradesh from AGMUT is, therefore, a genuine and urgent need of the hour.”
In December 2016, in response to a written question in parliament to Congress member of parliament Shantaram Naik, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said, Parikkar, by then Union defence minister in the Modi government, mentioned five grounds to demand a separate cadre in the 2014 proposal to the Centre:
“including the fact that the state government was hardly consulted on transfer and posting of the officers as the home ministry retain these powers solely, that the officers posted in Goa know that they are there on a short tenure and also that the Goa government has no control over their transfer, posting or disciplinary matters.”
Interestingly, though Rijiju had then said that the proposal was under consideration, the home ministry is said to have “finalised” a new policy of cadre for the IAS, IPS and other officers in order to ensure “national integration” among the bureaucrats.
As per a news reports this past August, those selected for the AIS would be asked to choose cadres from “a set of zones instead of states.”
“The existing 26 cadres (as per states) have been divided into five zones in the new policy proposed by the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions.” AGMUT will be included in zone 1 along with states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana, according to a report this past August 23.
A Hindustan Times report quoted a ministry of personnel official as saying, “This policy will ensure national integration of the bureaucracy as officers will get a chance to work in a state which is not their place of domicile.”
Though the government is so far quiet on the zoning issue, Khandu told reporters that “the Joint Cadre Authority of the union home ministry has fixed a preliminary discussion on the issue in New Delhi on November 3.”
Besides the existing AIS cadre groupings like AGMUT and DANICS or Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Island Civil Service, there used to be MT or Manipur-Tripura cadre as per which IAS, IPS and IFS and other AIS officers were posted in Tripura and Manipur governments. After years of demand by the two states for separate cadres, it got separated in 2012.