Congress opposes proposed foundation course before cadre allocation

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Will politicisation of bureaucracy become more pronounced? It may, if the Prime Minister's Office has its way.

The topper in the UPSC-conducted civil services examination may not get the service and cadre allocation of choice as a matter of right, if a proposal put forth by the Prime Minister's Office, is cleared.

The Department of Personnel and Training has circulated a PMO letter of May 17, suggesting for implementation from the current year itself the idea of cadre and service allocation after the foundation course.

The foundation course is conducted at different institutes like the Mussoorie-based Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration or the Sardar Vallabhbhai National Police Academy, depending on the service allocated on the basis of rank in the public service exam.

The letter suggests that the allocation should be done “giving due weightage to the performance in the Foundation Course and making service allocation as well as cadre allocation to All India Service Officers, based on the combined score obtained in the Civil Services Examination and the Foundation Course”.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said this was in violation of the Constitutional provisions governing the cadre selection of All India Services. “Civil services feel threatened. There will be a UPSC merit list and our merit list,” he said, adding such allocation will compromise the neutrality of services and poses a grave danger.

It was not yet clear if the issue will be referred to the Supreme Court; but sources said the bureaucracy formed a very important pillar of governance, and should be kept free of politicisation which would come into play if such an order is cleared.