New Delhi: South Indian states are facing an acute 23 per cent shortage of IAS officers. With so many key decision-making posts unfilled, governance is likely to be affected in these states. The country has a total authorised strength of 6,154 IAS officers, out of which 1,407 have been authorised for five South Indian states, namely, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Five South Indian states have only 1,095 IAS officers out of authorised strength of 1,407.
According to figures available with Express, Tamil Nadu has a total authorised strength of 355 IAS officers, but presently only 286 officers are serving in the state, resulting in a shortage of 69 officers. The scene is even worse in Andhra Pradesh, where only 284 IAS officers are posted against a total authorised strength of 376 officers. The state is falling short of 92 officers.
In Kerala, the total authorised strength of IAS officers is 214, but the state has only 158 IAS officers, resulting in a shortage of 56 officers. In Karnataka, there is a shortage of 80 IAS officers. The state has a total authorised strength of 299 but only 219 officers are posted. Odisha has a total authorised strength of 226 IAS officers, but only 148 officers are posted in the state, resulting in a shortage of 78 officers.
Former IAS officer Arun Bhatia said that there should be no reason for this shortage as recruitments are held every year. "The real reason is that the state govts are not keen on getting All India Service officers, namely, those from the IAS, IPS and IFS. The state governments would rather have state service officers promoted to the cadre posts eligible for IAS officers. I don't mean to say that the officers from All India services are more honest."
"Like many other countrymen, they too are corrupt. But among them, some, say five per cent of them, resist pressure from the state government and politicians. Also, the state govt cannot get rid of them, penalise them without the permission of the Central Government or the UPSC. They also cannot be bullied, manipulated to make pliable like the officers form state services," Bhatia said.