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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CIMA Gallary

Engineers ask for IAS berths

Ranchi, Dec. 2: The state engineers are planning to convince Jharkhand government to give their due share in IAS the cadre and enhance their retirement age.

On October 22, Jharkhand Engineering Services Association wrote a letter to chief minister Arjun Munda to this effect. Now, the outfit is planning to meet the chief minister, chief secretary and personnel secretary. The decision was today taken at the office-bearers’ meeting of the outfit.

Citing documentary evidence, association’s president Deepak Kumar Sinha argued that on October 17, the Union personnel ministry informed the state chief secretary that three posts of Jharkhand cadre IAS could be filled up by non-state civil services officials, which include engineers. But, there is no move to fill the vacancies yet.

Incidentally, the government had earlier proposed that the state civil service officers might fill the vacancies.

A top official of the personnel department explained that the government had to first certify specific circumstances that require vacancies to be filled with non-state civil service officers. The government also has to notify the availability of sufficient number of such officers of merit.

“Here the actual situation is over 35 per cent of the total number of sanctioned posts of engineers is vacant. A majority of serving engineers will retire within two years. In unified Bihar, over 6,000 assistant engineers were appointed, 484 of who are now serving in Jharkhand. In 2007, 60 engineers were appointed through JPSC. The state is now somehow ploughing on by engaging consultants or appointing engineers on contract basis,” he clarified.

However, the engineers’ association is not convinced. They question how they can be penalised if the government was not making regular appointments.

“Not a single engineer in the state has been given IAS cadre position after 2003. Arun Kumar, too, was made IAS cadre in 2003 after sustained struggles,” Sinha rued.

He added that considering the impending scarcity of engineers, his association had already requested the chief minister to raise their retirement age to 65 years, as has been done in case of doctors and college teachers.

“Further, even if the government is in a mood to continue with consultants and contractual engineers, it will have to give at least Rs 50,000 per month to every regular engineer in terms of post-retirement benefits,” he said.