30 of 36 disputed villages along Assam border to remain in Meghalaya: CM tells Legislative Assembly
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma

Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday has stated in the ongoing Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly that the state government does not agree with the Amendment to the IAS cadre rules as communicated by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). 

According to the proposed amendment, in earlier cases central deputation was done with agreement between the state and the Centre with no timeline. However, the amendment proposes a timeline. Also, if the state government doesn’t agree, the matter shall be decided by the Central government and the state shall give effect to a decision of the Central government within a specified time. 

Second, the amendment gives Centre the power to relieve an officer from the state if the latter fails to implement the decision of the central government within a specific time. 

Responding to a question by East Shillong MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, the Chief Minister stated that two letters were sent by the Meghalaya government, communicating its opposition to the proposed amendment.

Adding a supplementary question, Mawlai MLA PT Sawkmie questioned whether the state has sufficient IAS officers. Sangma responded in the negative, stating that Meghalaya’s IAS strength is low compared to other neighbouring states of the region. 

When asked how many IAS officers does the state have, Sangma informed that against the total strength of 77 IAS posts, there are only 41 officers out of which 23 are Direct Recruits and 18 promoters.

“There are five officers on Central deputation. The problem arises when we need to send officers on central deputation. That is where the GOI and state government are trying to ensure that these rules don’t effect the state… where they can take away officials even though the state hasn’t given permission. The issue here is our work gets affected. We have a huge deficit,” informed Sangma.

He also clarified that this shortage has not just happened overnight and that it has been there for years.

The Chief Minister also stated that the state government had written to the Union government in 2019, urging it to consider a separate cadre for Meghalaya, and hoped that the state will see more IAS officers in future. 

Sangma also shared in the House that the state was also working to produce more IAS officers from Meghalaya by introducing coaching programmes for aspiring candidates.

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