Hitesh Chawda, Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government has been taking of women empowerment since many years, but an eye opening truth has come to light. The number of women officers in the list of bureaucrats joining the state government’s (IAS) administrative services is very less. If we take ratio, there is only one woman officer against 4 male IAS. Not only this, the Government of Gujarat has not involved women IAS officers in many key departments and are given the responsibility of departments such as board ,corporation, health, education etc. In most cases, the Gujarat government sheds its responsibility by deputing few of them to Delhi.
According to the details of IAS officers available on the website of the Personal Division of the General Administration Department of the Government of Gujarat, there are 243 officers of Gujarat cadre of Indian Administrative Service in the State of Gujarat, working at the State, Centre or abroad. Out of them the number of women officers is only 52. This figure is shocking because the no. of women IAS is as less as negligible. The question arises, how much representation does women have in other sectors?
This issue becomes serious when only one women, BR Dave, was able to get in to the list of the 55 GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) officers selected for promotion. She has been appointed as the Additional Commissioner-Rural Development Department (HAL).
Only one IAS female officer from the promotion
According to the statistics available at the General Administration Department of the Government of Gujarat, only 51 + 1 of 243 IAS officers are female. That is, there is one female officer against 4 male IAS. At present there are 243 IAS officers in Gujarat, of which 55 officers have been promoted from GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) to become IAS. Out of these 55 only one female officer is promoted from GAS. While other all officers are of IAS Gujarat Cadre (RR) through UPSC.
Of the top ten senior most IAS officers in the Gujarat, only 1 female officer is there; Sangeeta Singh. Sangeeta is a 1986 RR batch officer and is currently the ACS-Additional Principal Secretary of the Home Department.
Female officer deprived of the highest service post
Claiming the women empowerment and being sensitive in women related issue, why the Gujarat government is unable to give equal opportunities, equal responsibilities and proper representation to women at senior positions is a matter to consider. Not only that, why women officers in the highest service posts like IAS in Gujarat are not given a place in the main departments, the matter itself is worrying and is raising many questions.
No female officer is ready to speak on this issue but an IAS officer says on condition of anonymity, “The government does not stop anyone from attempting UPSC, who gets selected gets a job. While it is not easy for the women of the state cadre to become IAS through promotion and women do not get the same opportunity at Posting and there is a discrimination in positions also;
Injustice with female officers?
In Gujarat government, 1988 batch Anuradha Mal is the GSDMA CEO, 1988 batch Anita Karwal is the Chairman of CBSE, 1989 batch Sunaina Tomar-Principal Secretary of Department of Port and Transport, 1991 batch Dr. Jayanti Ravi-Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, 1991 batch Anju Sharma-Principal Secretary, Higher and Technical Education, 1994 batch Vatsala Vasudev as MD of GIPC, 1994 Batch D Tara at Delhi Deputation, 1996 Batch Mona Kandhar at Tokyo Deputation, Mamata Verma of the as Secretary of Industry and Mines, 1997 batch Shahmi Hussein-MD Gujarat Energy Development Corporation, 1997 batch Sonal Mishra-MD of the GSRTC, Arti Kanwar IAS (2001) as Resident Commissioner Gujarat Bhawan, New Delhi, 2003 Dr. Sandhya Buller on Delhi Deputation, Avantika Singh-Long Term Training Programme ,Abroad, 2004 batch Manisha Chandra as Secretary to Women and Child Development Department and Smt. Pongumatla Bharathi-State Project Director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan have been appointed to the following.
Why these women officers are not given departments like Finance, Revenue, Urban Development and CMO? Does the govt. not find female officers suitable for such important role or it is the problem of women that they cannot handle such important department? Does the state government not consider this issue?
IAS Cadre situation in Gujarat
Although there are currently 243 IAS officers in the state, but according to information available, 43 posts of IAS officers are vacant. The central government often deputes the state cadre officers to Delhi. Senior IAS Anil Mukim (1984-RR batch) on deputation to the centre has been appointed as the Chief Secretary to the Government of Gujarat on November 28 this year. The Chief Secretary JN Singh (on extension) will retire today.