New Delhi: Irked over the lackadaisical approach of some IAS officers to undergo training aimed at improving competence level, the Centre has warned them to ensure timely completion of the programme, failing which they would be deprived of career benefits.
The Department of Personnel and Training in a letter has asked the Cadre Controlling Authorities (CCAs) not to grant any benefit to officers who fail to complete the mandatory phases of the Mid-Career Training Programme (MCTP) aimed at improving "next level competencies", officials said.
The move assumes significance as there were difficulties in relieving the officers by CCAs for MCTP apparently due to "administrative exigencies".
"I have observed that the full capacity of the various phases of the programme is not being utilised as officers are not being released by the CCAs. It has also come to my notice that the CCAs have been granting the aforesaid career benefits to the officers without their successful completion of the respective phases of this mandatory programme.
"I would like to reiterate that it is mandatory for every IAS officer to complete the various phases of the MCTP... within the given three chances...and that the officers should be granted the career benefits only after they have successfully completed the respective phases," DoPT Secretary (Personnel) P K Misra said.
The government in January 2007 had started the programme for IAS officers at three different levels of their service. According to a DoPT official, the programme consists of two eight-week training -- the first in between the seventh and ninth year of service and the second in between 14th and 16th year of service -- and a four-week training between the 26th and 28th year of service.
He said participation in the programme between the 26th and 28th year of service is the minimum requirement for empanelment as additional secretary or secretary and for further increments.
"The CCAs were citing administrative exigencies in permitting officers to attend the career training programme. At times, it was due to the concerned official lack of interest. Hence, the DoPT decided to write to all states and UTs to send IAS officers for such programme," said an IAS officer privy to the matter.
The career programme is conducted at different training centres, including the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie.
According to a DoPT data, the authorised strength of IAS including promotees is 6,077.