• THE DEN

Central govt to promote 8,089 officials, grants reservations to SC & ST

|HT|


The central government is set to promote 8,089 officials, including granting reservation in promotion to members of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), officials familiar with the matter said on Friday. Of the total promotions, 1,734 are posts not covered under the reservation in promotion scheme, while 5,032 are unreserved promotions. In the SC category, the government has accorded 727 promotions and 207 in the ST category. For 389 posts, details were not immediately available.

Many of these regular promotions were pending for over six years, leading to protests by officials demanding a resumption in the practice, as well as granting reservation in promotion, which applies up to the rank of undersecretary in the government.

The department of personnel and training issued several orders, on Thursday intimating the names of officials being promoted. “Several orders have already been issued, while others are in process,” an official said on condition of anonymity. In the Central Secretariat Service (CSS), nearly 4,734 officials are set to receive regular promotions. These include over 1,757 officials who will receive regular promotion from assistant section officer to section officer, which has been pending from 2018, followed by over 1,472 section officers being promoted to undersecretaries, which has been pending since 2015. As for promotion to deputy secretary rank, 1,097 officials will be getting the elevation (from 2013 to 2022) apart from 327 director-level promotions.

In the Central Secretariat Stenographer Service, 2,966 officials will be elevated, while 389 officials from the Central Secretariat Clerical Service are set to be promoted.

“All the officers as indicated in the Annexure who are in service as on date of this Order are retained in the respective Ministries/Departments where they are currently posted on their regular promotion to the Grade, until further orders,” the DoPT said in the order promoting undersecretaries, seen by HT. “Officers included in the Select List for any year and still holding the post of Under Secretary is required to assume charge of the post of Deputy Secretary and their regular appointment will be effective only from such date.” In case of officers currently on deputation, they have been asked to repatriate to the cadre to avail promotion by submitting their willingness within seven working days and reporting to the CSI Division within 30 working days of issuance of the order. “In case they opt to continue on ex-cadre posts, an appropriate proposal from the borrowing authority concerned is required to be forwarded to this Department within 20 working days of issuance of this order, for consideration of grant of proforma promotion in terms of extant instructions. Only on grant of proforma promotion, notification for their regular promotion shall be issued by the Ministry/Department concerned from where the officer proceeded on deputation,” the order added.

Central secretariat officials and the CSS forum have been protesting against the delay in promotions for years now. A delegation of officials called on the Union minister for personnel, public grievances and pensions, Jitendra Singh, in February and discussed with him the issue of promotion as well as other service matters. On reservation in promotion, a ruling by a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court in the M Nagaraj case in 2006 laid down three conditions: Collect quantifiable data showing the backwardness of the group, its inadequacy of representation in a particular level of public employment and ensure administrative efficiency. After the judgment, some high courts struck down reservation in promotion policies by state governments.

In 2018, another Constitution bench of the Supreme Court endorsed the stipulation of quantifiable data in the Jarnail Singh case. The court said that governments need not collect data on the backwardness of these groups but upheld the two other criteria, while mandating the exclusion of the “creamy layer” before providing reservation.

But the Centre and some state governments said that these conditions created administrative difficulties and stalled the promotion of thousands of employees, and requested the apex court to review its judgment. It was in April this year that the government asked all ministries to begin collecting data on the representation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe employees at all levels, according to an official order, marking a crucial first step in implementing reservation in promotion for these groups that have emerged as a key electoral force in recent years.


(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)