Thursday 08 Dec 2022

Goan babus head to J&K to start IAS career



After a bunch of civil service officers left Goa's shores to commence the trajectory of their careers in the country's elite Indian Administrative Services (IAS) cadre over the last few years, two more homegrown bureaucrats will on Monday sign off from the State's bureaucracy to head to the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh -- Sanjiv M Gadkar and Yetindra Maralkar.

On Monday, Gadkar and Maralkar are being relieved from the Goa Administration to join their new posting designated by their cadre-controlling Ministry of Home Affairs.

While Gadkar will be assuming responsibilities in the Administration of J&K, Maralkar heads for Ladakh.

Gadkar was last the special secretary for home and personnel departments in the Government of Goa but has travelled to the top of the State's bureaucratic ladder donning many hats in the middle-level bureaucracy.

Ditto is the case with Maralkar who was last serving as Secretary to the Goa Public Service Commission.

Earlier in June this year, as many as four officers made it to the top-most rung of the State's bureaucracy as Secretaries -- Sandeep Jacques, Menino D'Souza, Sanjit Rodrigues and Gadkar himself -- more than three and half decades after Goa attained Statehood.

Of the four, Jacques had already found his feet in the IAS cadre, doing a stint in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. D'Souza, Rodrigues and Gadkar meanwhile were retained in the State administration despite being promoted to the IAS cadre.

Rodrigues has since been transferred to the Arunachal Pradesh administration last month, and now Gadkar heads for J&K.

Hitherto, IAS officers posted to Goa usually were from outside the State, barring rare exceptions as in the case of DA Hawaldar, Mihir Vardhan and PS Reddy recently.

In past politician-bureaucrat confrontations in Goa, one constant point of contention voiced by local politicians was that IAS officers are a hindrance to smooth administration due to their lack of knowledge of local realities and nuances.

Over the last three decades, there have been instances where politician-bureaucrat confrontations soared to epic proportions.

On at least two occasions, these confrontations had led to at least two former chief ministers -- Luizinho Faleiro and the late Manohar Parrikar -- contemplating Goa breaking away from the MHA-controlled AGMUT cadre and setting one of its own. On both occasions, the moves were stonewalled by the Centre and aborted.

According to Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, who was chief minister for a whole five-year term between 2007 and 2012, he had pursued the proposal for a State IAS cadre but gave up as it was unviable and imprudent for such a small State.

"We would need a cadre of the maximum strength of 20. In that scenario, the MHA pointed out that it would be too difficult to manage it as officers would have no scope for lateral and upward movement and the cadre would stagnate," according to Kamat.

The State has in the recent years contributed several officers to the IAS cadre from the promotional quota but is yet to nix the jinx of having direct recruits by cracking the UPSC examination.

Considered the country's toughest competitive exam which Goan youth are seemingly loathing to take, a common lament of academicians, career coaches and politicians.

Much of the blame lies on successive governments in Goa which have put in little effort, if any, to set up infrastructure and training modules to either create awareness among youth or train them to take the exam.

Over a decade ago Pernem lad Ashutosh Teli, became the first Goa-bred student to crack the exam drawing praise and accolades from many. Teli, son of former senior police officer, Appa Teli, joined the Rajasthan IAS cadre where he currently works at a very senior bureaucratic level.

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