GUWAHATI: District and sub-divisional-level civil administration work has gone seriously awry due to a large number of vacancy in Assam Civil Service (ACS) posts in the State.
ACS officers — right from Assistant Commissioners to Circle Officers — play a crucial role in the State administration. ACS comes under the Personnel department of the State government. According to official sources, the total sanctioned cadre strength of ACS officers in the State is 1,100. The State, however, has only 762 such officers with as many as 338 ACS posts lying vacant. It has almost crippled the State administration. Retirement of four/five ACS officers almost being a continuous process every month in the State, the crisis is going to deepen further.
The situation would have been even worse had the previous Congress regime not created the Assam Land and Revenue Service (ALRS) cadre. The State administration has more than 100 ALRS cadres under its disposal now. The government has elevated many ALRS cadres as full-fledged circle officers. They have already been given the magisterial power by the present State government. Such a move has helped the administration to tide over the situation to an extent, but that's not enough to solve the problem.
In 2018, the State government moved the APSC (Assam Public Service Commission) to select some ACS officers. However, the selection process has been stuck following a case filed against the Commission in the Gauhati High Court. The High Court has asked the APSC not to declare the results of the CCE (Combined Combined Competitive) Examination (main), 2018 without permission of the Court. The CCE, 2018 was held to select 43 ACS officers.