The Bold Voice of J&K

Why even ‘Top Grade’ Engineers even from IITs rush for IAS stream & not even IES as first preference?

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To be brief a Graduate Engineer through PSC presently enter service ( SRO 297 of 14 September 2006) at Grade Level 8-A (8000-275-12950/ 9300-34800 GP 5200/ 50700-160600 ) as Asstt Engineer where as a KAS ( even with a simple graduate degree) enters service at Grade Level- 8 (Jr Scale 7500-12000 / 9300-34800 GP 4800/47600-151100) through PSC in Jr Scale but for a KAS officer Non Functional Grade Promotion Provision is there for rising to Grade level – 13 after 18 years where as for a Asstt Engineer there is no provision for Non Functional Grade Promotion and even through regular promotions one can rise only to the Level 13 as CE and no promotions beyond CE where as Jr KAS officer can rise to Grade Level – 14 without out much problem. Erosion in the status of Gazetted Engineering service cadre which was much above many other gazetted JK services in 1960s well reflects in Table – A referred here in even if progress there in an ideal time frame laid in the service regulation/ recruitment rules (297 of 14 September 2006 ) what to talk of the way the service matters are being handled on ground for J&K Engineering Services in PWD (R&B)/ PDD/ PWD (MECH)/PWD(Hyd) and like where it has become a routine for promotion of Engineers in Incharge capacity as AE to I/C AEE then I/C to I/C EE then I/C SE then I/CSE to I/C CE and retiring officers as I/C CE with pension pay orders in the grade or AEE or EE ( even I/C promotions are not made as per due schedule). Retired engineers have been found running for regularsation of I/C promotions even for 8 to 10 years after retirement or even more . Wide GO No 271 PWD(R&B) of 2021 dated sanction was accorded for placement of two I/C SEs as I/C Chief Engineers in their own pay and grade ( how was charge allowance worked out for them could be a ?).
In 2024 the administrative departments may try to contest the quotes made here saying that position is not like that now in 2024 ( G.O 27 JK(JSD) of 2043 dated 31012024 promoting Mr Tariq Ahmed Dar AEE wef 01-05-2020 and Ashwani Khajuria AEE wef 01-01-2024 as EEs pre revised pay scale of 15600-39100 GP6600 REVISED TO 67770-208700) . True after 2018 some activity regarding clearing cases of Retired engineers had been initiated with the representations even through other sources ( including media ) and notice must have been taken by some senior officer in Administration and bulk orders in favour of retired PDD engineers were issued in 2022 where after in recent years some cases of I/C promotions of some working Engineers like I/C AEE/ EE /SE have also been regularized in wings like PWD(hyd) but the position as regards regular promotions to AE after 2yrs as AEE, after 8 yrs as EE, 17 yrs as SE and 20 Yrs as CE in regular grade have not started yet. There have been complaints that some officers even after working for 3O years could not get regularized as SE before retirement because they were promoted as EE after 28 years of service or someone could not be regularized as EE even after 20 year service since one was promoted as AEE only after 18 yrs. So much has to be still done for stream lining the service progress of Engineering ( Gazetted) cadres in J&K.

Not only that in some other J&K departments regular posts/ avenues are there to reach to the levels of L-13A ( 131100=216600 ) and L-14 post ( equivalent to super time scale of IAS) but not in Engineering services.. A newly recruited IAS officer starts in Junior Time Scale in 1st yr. as trainee in Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, his 2nd year is as probationer in cadre state/ region ending with posting at levels like SDO / SDM getting promoted to Senior Time Scale ( with two extra increments) just after 4 years (a screening Committee consisting of the Chief Secretary and two officers of atleast Super time Scale level ) for rising to levels like Additional DM followed by District Collector ; then to Junior Administrative Grade ( This grade is non-functional and shall be admissible without any screening, as a matter of course ) on completing 9 years of service ; followed by Selection Grade on completion of 13 years ( level of DM / Special Secretary); after 16 years of service gets in the Super time Scale worth posting as Secretary / Div commissioner in State; after completion of 25 years gets 1st Above Super Time for posting as Principle Secretary / Additional Secretary GOI and can be Promoted to the Rank of CHIEF SECRETARY (fixed scale) after completion of 30 years of service and the Screening Committee here too shall consist only of the Chief Secretary concerned , one officer working in this grade in the cadre and another officer of the cadre serving in Government of India in the same grade;then it is Apex Scale Fixed salary Secretaries to GOI level with a minimum experience of 30 years and then to Cabinet Secretary Scale ( fixed basic pay). So far the IAS officers have not in general become the victim of irregular / delayed handling of their service related matters like have been the cases with other Gazetted services in erstwhile state of J&K / UT of J&K. At occasions IAS officers still in Level-10/ Level -11 of the Grade Matrix could be found posted as Deputy Commissioner just on length of service basis . That could be answer to those who ask why the IAS officers are mostly found assertive and performing. Where as one would very very remotely see a Chief Engineer heading even a committee constituted to promote Assistant Engineer to the level of AEE.
No doubt presently the HR affairs for the Gazetted Engineering Services are handled by the Administrative departments in J&K which are mostly headed by IAS officer who have well set process for their own timely promotions. Nobody should doubt the capacity and sincerity of IAS officers in general but surely the people working under them for sharing the load have to be in adequate numbers and of adequate status but that is not the case and may be due to this the Administrative Secretary/ Commissioner/ Principal Secretary/ Financial Commissioner who is IAS officer is over loaded. We may find instances where a department is headed by Principal Secretary or Additional Chief Secretary but there is no Commissioner/ Principal Secretary there under in the department . Ofcourse a good number of IAS officers are Engineers ( even post graduate engineers) so one should expect that they would not treat the personal affairs of their engineering fraternity family members without intimate compassion. Had the career progress in services like IAS not been that smooth & superior as is in J&K Gazetted Engineering services may be many from Engineering Degree from Governement Engiineering Collegesm would not have rushed with that much curiosity for appearing in UPSC CSE exam targeting IAS/IPS.
(The Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist and Social Activist [email protected]

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