GUWAHATI: The morale is down among a section of Assam Civil Services (ACS) officers following stagnancy in their profession. According to sources, this is particularly so due to poor cadre management by successive State governments. Though these senior ACS officers even submitted memoranda to the Chief Ministers yet nothing fruitful has resulted. Against this backdrop, they have urged the government to initiate measures for better service prospects of all the ACS officials.
The worst sufferers of government apathy have been the batches from 1992 to 1999. This is particularly so not only in terms of delays in their promotional prospects but also with respect to the "time scale" (in terms of their salaries). As per the 'Time-scale' rules, if the government fails to promote any ACS officer within the prescribed timeframe, the officer is entitled to get the salary of the next higher grade that he/she should hold.
According to the 'Assam Civil Service Rules-1998', a Junior Grade ACS officer is eligible for promotion to the Senior Grade-II on completion of six years of service. But the ground reality is that most of them got their maiden promotion only after a gap of 17 to 18 years of their service.
On the other hand, as per Rule 13 (3) of the Rules, the officers in the Senior Grade-II are eligible for promotion to the next higher grade i.e., Senior Grade-l (Joint Secretary) after completion of 15 years of service in ACS. However, while some officers of the 1997 batch got promoted after a huge gestation of 23 years of service; there are still many yet to get this benefit. Besides, none among the 1999 batch of ACS officers has got their due promotion even after 21 years of their service.Against this backdrop and for better management of the cadre, a section of the victimized ACS officers have sought the following moves from the government. Besides seeking a review of the entire ACS cadres, they have sought increase in the number of posts in the grades above the level of Joint Secretary. They feel that such steps by the authorities concerned will not only remove the stagnation in the higher grades but also remove the disparity presently witnessed where officers who are 14 to 16 years junior are holding the same rank (ADC/Deputy Secretary) along with officers who are 14 to 16 years senior to them.
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