The government has initiated a major restructuring of the Railway Board, among other “reforms”.
In the backdrop of the anti-CAA agitation and to improve the law and order situation in the state, Uttar Pradesh has decided to implement the long-pending plan for a police commissioner system in the state, starting with Noida and Lucknow. ADGs Sujit Pandey and Alok Kumar have been named the first police commissioners of Lucknow and Noida.
Sources say that the commissioner system will give local police chiefs a free hand to act swiftly in a law and order situation instead of district police chiefs seeking permission from the district magistrate. Not surprisingly, the move faced with stiff resistance from the IAS lobby. However, the IPS Association, which incidentally the Ministry of Home Affairs says it does not recognize, has been quick to welcome the move as “a great opportunity to serve the public”.
In the past too, the proposal for the commissionerate system was shelved in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. But this time Yogi Adityanath rode over all opposition from the IAS officers. Apparently, the Chief Minister was convinced by the police set-up in other states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and Karnataka where the police commissioner system is in place.
Under the new system, 40 police stations in Lucknow will be brought under the police commissioner who will have a team of two IGs as joint commissioners, nine SP-rank officials and a woman officer of SP rank along with a woman officer of ASP rank.
Smoke signal for Changing tracks
The government has initiated a major restructuring of the Railway Board, among other “reforms”. The strength of the Railway Board, the apex decision-making body of Indian Railways, has been cut from eight to five members, including the chairperson. The government has also merged the different cadres into a single Railway Management System. So instead of the current eight services including engineering, traffic, mechanical and electrical, Indian Railways will now have only one cadre — the Indian Railway Service. The modalities will be worked out in consultation with the Department of Personnel and Training in a year.
But the announcement that all eight existing services within the Railways will be merged into one has caused consternation among the babus in Rail Bhavan. Many rail officials have been expressing concerns over “seniority” and “career growth” under the proposed reform. It is being said that the government should have announced the merger only after firming up the policy.
Meanwhile, the term of Chairman of the Railway Board V.K. Yadav has been extended, putting to rest rumours.
J&K officers feel a crunch
The Centre’s decision to lower the quota for local officers from the state services in IAS and IPS in Jammu and Kashmir has expectedly not been received well in the Union territory. Several babus have said that the decision would impede the already retarded career prospects of the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) and Kashmir Police Service (KPS) officers.
The Centre has lowered the quota for local officers from the existing 50 per cent to 33 per cent following the nullification of Article 370 in the erstwhile state of J&K. After J&K was reorganised as a Union territory, the Centre has decided that it cannot enjoy the special quota provision and must abide by the 67:33 rule applied in the rest of India.
According to sources, the move is not surprising as various central laws have now been extended to J&K since it became a union territory. Since the reorganization, officers selected through the civil service examination will now get AGMUT cadre instead of Jammu & Kashmir.