Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Separate cadre to benefit M’laya

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Call for separation of Assam-Meghalaya joint cadre

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: With the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Act, 2011 being tabled in the Parliament recently for the separation of the cadre for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS) for Manipur and Tripura, there is a general feeling that there should be a separation of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre also.

Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Conrad K Sangma, said that the State Government should immediately follow up this matter to see that Meghalaya gets its own separate cadre.

Sangma observed that if both Manipur and Tripura cadre were being separated then there is no reason why the State Government cannot impress upon the Centre for separation of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre.

“The State would be greatly benefited if we have our own cadre,” the Opposition Leader stated.

Former Chief Minister and UDP president Dr Donkupar Roy said that the demand for a separate Meghalaya cadre is a genuine one.

“It is high time that the State gets its own cadre. If Tripura and Manipur who are equal in terms of population can have separate cadre, I strongly feel that Meghalaya should have the same,” Dr Roy said.

While informing that they have earlier tried to pursue the matter with the Centre, Dr Roy said that the Centre had earlier expressed difficulty in separating the cadre since Meghalaya was a small State.

“We had earlier been informed that that there would be a single cadre for the entire North East,” Dr Roy said, while pointing out that this separation of the Manipur and Tripura cadre has renewed hopes of a separate Meghalaya cadre in the future.

Additional Chief Secretary PBO Wajri said it would definitely be a great thing for Meghalaya to have its own cadre.

“Practically there is more flexibility if there is a larger cadre. The fact is that the Assam-Meghalaya joint cadre is more flexible,” Warjri said while adding that if there is really a separation, the Meghalaya cadre would be a very small one.

He, however, said that it was in the overall interest of the State to have a separate cadre.

HSPDP supremo Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, who has been advocating for the separation of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, said, “Having a joint cadre with Assam is a clear indication that Meghalaya is still a sub-State.”

However, there were some who also spoke out on the flip side of having a separate cadre. CBI Deputy Inspector General (DIG), H Nongpluh, observed that though there were benefits of having a separate Meghalaya cadre, there would be a situation where people from the State clearing the Civil Service Examinations would not get the opportunity to serve since there would be no or limited vacancies in the Meghalaya cadre.

Nongpluh observed that there would be more vacancies for the candidates from the State in the Assam-Meghalaya joint cadre but if Meghalaya gets its own cadre then there would be very less vacancies to absorb all of them.

Citing an example about Nagaland, he said that there were many people in Nagaland who cleared the Civil Service Examinations but are forced to work in other states because the Nagaland cadre is a small one and there are no vacancies.

Former IAS officer Toki Blah also felt that a separate Meghalaya cadre would not make much of a difference.

In fact a separate cadre would reduce the quota of insiders there is a hardly a single vacancy in the State in a year, Blah observed.

“A joint cadre with Assam means there would be six to seven vacancies every year. With a higher number of vacancies, a person who hails from the State would get more opportunity to serve in the State,” Blah said.

He, however, pointed out a significant disadvantage of having a joint cadre with Assam. “We have found that on several occasions we are getting officers rejected by Assam. But this can be checked by having a proper policy and political awareness,” the former bureaucrat pointed out.

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