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Governments flout policy norms with mass transfers

Nagesh Prabhu

Minimum tenure of three to five years of government servants has remained only on paper


Finding: number of transfers increases whenever a new government assumes office

Transfers have been outside the framework of the Cadre Management Authority


BANGALORE: A transfer policy that was introduced in 2001, to check excessive and non-transparent transfer of employees, and to ensure minimum tenure at office from three to five years has remained only on paper. The recent mass transfer of officials, including IAS, IPS and IFS officials, is an indication that the Government has ignored its policy.

In fact, the transfer of heads of departments and other cadre officials has become a sort of routine affair in the Government. Due to various reasons, the Bharatiya Janata Party Government, led by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, has not been unable to check large-scale transfers.

Transfers and postings of IAS, IPS and IFS and KAS officials started from the day the BJP Government assumed office. More than 150 officials belonging to all India services were transferred in the last two months. An official of the Department of Personnel Administration and Reforms (DPAR) told The Hindu on Tuesday that the Government has decided to bring out a new transfer policy to ensure minimum tenure for officials at one station.

Based on the Administrative Reforms Commission Report, the S.M. Krishna government introduced reforms in administration to make the officials more accountable.

The policy established the Cadre Management Authority and said that transfer of State Government employees should be made by the authority.

The policy envisages minimum tenure of three years at one office in development, regulatory, service-oriented departments and five years in technical and specialised departments.

The policy stated that the authority should make transfers only during April and May. According to Vikram K. Chand from the World Bank, the number of transfers increases whenever a new government assumes office. The first year of the S.M. Krishna government transferred 54,341 employees. The Group C workers, including teachers and health workers, accounted for 73 per cent of the transfers in 2000-01.

Major departments, including PWD, police, irrigation, commercial taxes, public instruction, agriculture, and forestry accounted for 67 per cent of all transfers in 2000-01. More transfers took place in 1992-03, when M. Veerappa Moily was the Chief Minister. The transfer of teachers continued beyond the transfer season, all outside the framework of the Cadre Management Authority, during the Dharam Singh and Kumaraswmay governments.

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