Bhubaneswar: A shortage of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers has been affecting the administrative and developmental works of the government, sources said. The IAS officer crunch in state has forced many bureaucrats to look after more than one government departments or agencies. As a result, the officials are not getting adequate time to take care of their assignments properly, sources added. Of the sanctioned 237 IAS cadre officers, the state is supposed to get 165 officers thorough direct recruitment while the remaining 72 posts are filled up with officers promoted from Odisha Administrative Service (OAS). At present, the state has only 126 directly recruited IAS officers. Among these officers, 26 bureaucrats including Chandrasekhar Kumar, GVV Sharma, Rajesh Verma and SN Girish are on central deputation. Consequently, the effective strength of IAS officers has come down to 100 in the state. On the other hand, the state government has promoted 63 OAS cadre officers to IAS ranks. However, the government is yet to fill up the remaining nine posts of promoted IAS officers. It is learnt that the IAS officers posted in state are looking after 41 government departments, 70 directorates, the administrations of 30 districts and several public sector units (PSUs). “Many IAS officers are now managing more than one department. Some bureaucrats are also holding some additional charges. Lack of adequate number of IAS officers has been causing hindrances in the implementation of developmental schemes,” said a source. Moreover, many senior IAS officers of Odisha cadre including Aditya Prasad Padhi, R. Balakrishnan, Sunil Kumar Bhargav, Sangram Keshari Mishra, Bipin Kumar Saxena, DN Gupta and LN Gupta have complete their service terms in recent years. Consequently, the state is facing shortage of senior bureaucrats to manage crucial departments and agencies, sources said. In this scenario, some former bureaucrats have opined that the state should recall Odisha cadre IAS officers from central deputation. Moreover, they pleaded that the state government should appoint senior OAS cadre officials to manage PSUs. “To deal with the shortage of IAS officers, the state government can assign more than one department to additional chief secretary rank officials. Similarly, principal secretary rank officials can manage more than one department,” said a former bureaucrat.
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