The proposed Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) will include all government departments except technical services such as doctors and engineers. A tenth of all the second gazetted posts will be filled through KAS, as per the chief secretary’s proposal to be submitted to the cabinet soon.
More than 50 departments will come under the KAS. Officers will be initially appointed in a rank equivalent to deputy collectors. A committee headed by Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan has been appointed to suggest amendments to the law after bureaucrats from almost all departments and their organisations demanded their inclusion in the new service.
The service is being formed to overcome a crisis caused by the shortage of IAS officers and to raise the standards of the civil service.
The government has already approved the chief secretary’s proposal to include 18 departments.
KAS officers will be appointed just above the first gazette rank. This will be the post of assistant director/deputy director in many departments. All these will be made the equivalent of deputy collector. About 7,000 vacancies are expected from all departments every year. KAS will contribute to 10 per cent of this. Half of it will be through the Kerala Public Service Commission’s examinations and the other half through the promotion of serving officers. Special tests would be conducted for them. Though the chief secretary discussed the inclusion of officers in the secretariat, a meeting remained inconclusive after association representatives disagreed.
Graduation will be the basic qualification for direct employment to the KAS. Age limit is 21 to 28. Those who get through to the service are eligible to be conferred IAS after eight years. IAS posts will be filled from a joint list that includes those who have passed KAS exams.