Seventh Pay Commission: IAS, non-IAS officers spar over parity | Mint
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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Seventh Pay Commission: IAS, non-IAS officers spar over parity

Seventh Pay Commission: IAS, non-IAS officers spar over parity

The Seventh Pay Commission is likely to submit its report in the third week of November


The war of words between the officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and cadres of the All India Services over pay parity ahead of the Seventh Pay Commission is out in the open, especially on Twitter.

While IAS officers last week wrote to the ministry of personnel and training (MoPT) opposing any move to take away their edge over the other services in terms of compensation and promotions, the officers from other cadres have opposed it.

The Seventh Pay Commission, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ashok Kumar Mathur, is expected to submit its report in the third week of November.

Through Twitter hashtags like #parity4allservices and #IASnoUsainBolt, officers of non-IAS cadres are openly challenging the IAS officers’ arguments. Discussions are also on in many closed groups of these cadres on social networking site Facebook as well as on various blogs.

Non-IAS cadres have said merit-based career progression and equality of opportunity should be the basis for growth rather than a one-time result in the civil services examination.

Last week, from IAS officers of different cadres and batches sent more than 100 letters to MoPT, in which they cited their better performance in the civil services exam, their work in the remotest part of the country and the key role they play in policymaking to support their superior status.

A letter even cited the win of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in the 100 metres race in the recent World Championships by 0.01 seconds to justify the lifetime edge received by the service on account of better performance in the civil services exams, Mint had reported on 30 October (

Former UN diplomat and Congress member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, too, has voiced his opinion. “Lively discussion of IAS privileges. No exam result should guarantee an edge for all time. Rule: Perform or perish," he tweeted.

Countering this, IAS officers, using hashtags like #RoleofIAS are pointing to how their work across ministries in their respective states gives them an overall perspective for more effective policymaking.

They are even publishing letters of young IAS officers who recount their experience to highlight their edge over other services.

The Seventh Pay Commission will face the difficult task of balancing the aspirations of the different cadres and suggesting steps to ensure the hostilities between the cadres subsides.

In their representation made to the pay commission, the associations representing other All India Services have pointed out that an IAS or an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer gets 4,000-5,000 a month more than officers belonging to other services after four years of service, which goes up to 15,000–16,000 per month by the 14th year and 18,000-20,000 per month by the 17th year of service.

Further, IAS officers get promoted faster ensuring that they fill a majority of the top-level bureaucratic posts.

“In the overall scheme of things, it’s the IAS and IFS who get the topmost positions. Each service is important in its own way. An IAS officer from his first posting as sub-divisional magistrate to secretary of India-level gathers enormous amount of experience while handling a range of issues like law and order, flood, water, communities, rural development, etc. While a revenue service officer of defence accounts service officer, an expert in his own right, is limited to a certain subject," said former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, a retired IAS officer.

“When an officer is posted as secretary to government of India, he has to hit the ground running. It’s not that top officials of other services can’t do the work an IAS officer can do but they will take time to learn. So you need a person who has got experience of dealing with different kinds of problems," he said.

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Published: 02 Nov 2015, 12:45 AM IST
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