Tamil Nadu CM Stalin opposes changes to IAS Cadre Rules

Chennai: M.K. Stalin, Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday opposing proposed amendments to the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954. He contended that it struck at the country's federal polity and State autonomy at their very core. He urged the Prime Minister to continue working with the States to bolster the nation's federal spirit.

Stalin said, civil servants must be allowed to work freely and remain apolitical, and the proposed amendments' ramifications are dire, as they "would irreparably harm the spirit of cooperative federalism that exists between the Union and the States and result in power concentration with the Union government." The media were provided with a copy of the letter.

Rather than imposing restrictive provisions in order to usurp the States' authority, the Union government can "positively reconstruct the working/service conditions for All India Service officers through a transparent empanelment process and by ensuring professional space and independence" so that officers can opt for deputation to the Union government "voluntarily and without the need for coercive rules,". Stalin added.

Noting that many States were "woefully short of officers," owing primarily to the Union government's ineffective cadre management policies, he said that while the Union government drew on the common pool of Group-I officers at the national level, the States relied on the state's limited pool of IAS officers.

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