All eyes of the IAS and IPS fraternity are now set on new service rules that will come into existence with the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories on October 31.
As per the Jammu and Kashmir Re-Organization Act, 2019, which was passed by Parliament in August, the state will be divided into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one.
There is lack of clarity amongst officials of the All India Services - that is Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS) about the new service rules.
Officials from these three services, who belong to the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, are waiting for rules pertaining to allocations that will be framed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
As per the Act, IAS, IPS and IFS for the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir shall continue to function on the existing cadres.
"The provisional strength, composition and allocation of officers currently borne on the existing cadre of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh shall be such as the Lieutenant Governor of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir may, by order, determine on or after the appointed day," the Act states.
However, the Act further states that future allocations in the two union territories will be made from the Arunachal Goa Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. The Central government will, however, make necessary modifications in corresponding cadre allocation rules.
"In future, the All India Service officers to be posted to Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Union Territory of Ladakh, as the case may be, shall be borne on the Arunachal Goa Mizoram Union Territory cadre, and necessary modifications in corresponding cadre allocations rules may be made accordingly, by the Central Government," the Act further states.
There is lack of clarity on what the future would hold for merging the cadres of J&K and AGMUT because Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have said it on record that union territory status of Jammu and Kashmir is only a temporary provision.
"It might be one of the strategies of the Central government to retain officials of the J&K cadre in the newly carved union territories so that they can go back to their original postings as and when statehood is restored," a 1999-batch J&K cadre IAS told IANS.
However, other opacities remain. All India Service officers of J&K are not clear if they will be posted to other union territories. There is also lack of clarity on how these officers who have spent substantial years of their career in J&K will manage to understand the administrative intricacies of other union territories.
A section of bureaucrats believes postings of officers belonging to other union territories in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will help in faster integration of the region with the rest of the country.
"The rules that will be framed by the Central government regarding strength, allocation and composition of officers of the J&K cadre is what is being watched out for," said another official.
( 541 Words)