IRAS body demands higher representation in Financial Advisor posts either on rotation or permanent basis

New Delhi:  The 7th Pay Commission has virtually become a battleground for IAS versus all other central services. The latest to join the fight against alleged discrimination is the Indian Railway Accounts Service which has raised a technical point before the panel: out of 30 posts of financial advisors in joint secretary and additional secretary level in the government, 17 are manned by IAS which has no specialization whatsoever.

Those with specialization like the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS), Indian Defence Accounts and Indian Audit Accounts are rarely accepted beyond director level, a representation from the IRAS association said. Sources said the pay commission chairman has called for a detailed analysis, besides the pay parity and delay in empanelment of cadres other than the IAS.

Earlier, the IRS association had demanded scrapping of the empanelment process which is dominated by the IAS. The IPS association had quoted statistics to demonstrate how other central services, which come through common selection process, were discriminated both in pay and positions compared to the ‘elite’ Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

Financial AdvisorsLike railway officers, the IPS association had pointed out to the commission how the IAS had cornered specialized posts in the internal security department of the home ministry – out of 20 joint secretaries in the home ministry only one is an IPS, the rest are IAS.

The key department handling the country’s internal security is not even headed by an IPS which has specialization in policing.

Those who have exercised finance functions throughout are not considered for the posts of financial advisors in various ministries, the IRAS association has claimed.

“Mere stint or two in the area of financial management in one’s career is not good enough for being considered as FAs in ministries,” railway officers have said, seeking an end to IAS domination over specialized positions.

One reason for IAS domination, officers of these three services have claimed, is the “discriminatory” empanelment process where the civil services board, comprising only IAS officers headed by the cabinet secretary, has complete say. There is no representation of any of the other 35 central services in the board.

“IAS decides the fate of all 37 services. This is not just and the board must have representatives of all other services either on rotation or permanent basis,” the railway officers have demanded. IRS officers had even sought scrapping of the board.

About 75% of joint secretaries, 85% of additional secretaries and 90% of secretaries are from IAS. The proportion of IAS dramatically increases from 10-12% at the level of directors to 75% at the JS level, according to the IPS association.