IAS officers, retired but not out of work

For IAS officers, retirement doesn't mean the end of their career. Among the various lucrative post-retirement options now available to them is this one: overseeing the functioning of government departments that are, interestingly, already manned and headed by IAS officers.

This is the ultimate outcome of a much-hyped scheme launched two years ago by the Performance Management Division of the Cabinet Secretariat. The division formed six syndicates to provide performance reports, or Results Framework Documents, to government departments and ministries to make them more "accountable".

The scheme also turned out to be a boon for retired IAS officers, including some who called it a day 15 years ago. At present, of the 78 syndicate convenors and members, 42 are retired IAS officers.

Sample this: former home secretary K Padmanabhaiya is the convenor of syndicate-3 on Resource Management, former secretary Arvind Verma heads syndicate-2 on Human Development, S Sathyam is the convenor of syndicate-4 on Trade Industry and Services, Vinod Vaish is the convenor of syndicate-5 on Infrastructure Development, SP Jakhanwal is the convenor of syndicate-6 on Social Welfare, and former agriculture secretary JNL Srivastava is the convenor of syndicate-1 on Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to information accessed by The Indian Express from the Cabinet Secretariat under the RTI, these officers are given Rs 5,000 per day sitting fee. In addition, they are given Rs 5,000 per day boarding and lodging charges and Rs 500 as conveyance, along with air fare from the place of their residence to Delhi, where meetings take place.

According to the Cabinet Secretariat, since the inception of these syndicates ó also called the Ad-hoc Task Force ó there have been 176 meetings, out of which 115 were for all syndicates, while the rest were held separately.

While former World Bank economist Prajapati Trivedi is heading the PMD, all six posts of convenors are occupied by retired IAS officers. The rest of the members and convenors are academicians or from other services. Even before they joined the PMD, these IAS officers were part of various commissions, committees and boards of PSUs, where many of them still continue to work.

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