Saturday, November 24, 2007

Retirement issue sent to CPC : FM

Finance Minister P.Chidambaram informed the Lok Sabha on Friday (23/11/2007) the the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) is expected to give its report before 4th April 2008. Finance Minister said that while the specific issue of retirement age did not figure in the terms of the Pay Commission, the government, however, had forwarded references of the matter to Pay Commission for examination. Altlthough the Pay Commissionm, set up last year has not been asked to consider the issue of raising the retirement age from 60, the commission is assessing existing and future liabilities for government on pay and pensions over next 3 to 4 decades. To ensure that the state governments are able to take the impact of any wage revision, the Pay Commission has also sent a questionnaire seeking details on several counts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Debate on for Unified Civil Service

There is no unanimity between different Group-A central services and associations representing the All India Service officers (IAS/IPS) on whether a Unified Civil Service will suit India better.

The Sixth Central Pay Commission had sought response from different services on the case for a unified civil service by merging all Central (both technical and non-technical) and All India Services and whether there should be two distinct streams, one embracing all technical services and another for non-technical services.

The Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) and the Indian Information Service associations supported the idea of unified civil services.

The IRS (C&CE) in its memorandum submitted to the Sixth Pay Commission has said "The recommendations of the IRS (C&CE) is to request the Pay Commission to recommend to constitute a Unified Civil Services pool or an Integrated Management Pool, by empanelling officers from various participating Group 'A' services to fill up posts of Joint Secretaries and higher level posts in ministries/departments of the center. The Government could lay guidelines, uniform for all services and conduct a screening by the UPSC."

The Indian Information Service Group 'A' Officers' Association has responded saying "There is a case for unified civil service. All those who come through the common civil service examination conducted by UPSC, be merged to a single service. This is the first step to end disparity among services and render equal treatment to all the services."

The Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) differs from the IRS (C&CE) on the issue.

The IRS (IT) Association has said "In the age of specialisation or super-specialisation, the case for a unified civil service would be difficult to support. In fact, it is more important to end the glaring inter-service disparity and monopoly of one service over senior positions irrespective of the suitability of officers of that service for the post."

The Indian Administrative and Civil Service (central) association has recommended saying "There cannot be a complete unified civil service system. in fact, such an attempt will blur the focus from the IAS."

(Published in Hindustant Times on 19/11/2007)