New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, today informed about the setting up of a separate IAS/Civil Services Exam Centre for Ladakh, to be located at Leh.
The announcement came soon after Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh R K Mathur called on the Union Minister at the DoPT headquarters in North Block to discuss the placement of IAS officers and other service related matters in the context of Ladakh.
As per an official handout issued after the meeting, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will, from this year, have an Examination Centre at Leh, which will operate for the first time for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2021, scheduled to be held on 10th of October this year. This will address a long pending demand of the youth from the Ladakh region whose grievance was that they found it difficult to reach Examination Centres in other parts of the country because of the constraints of affordability of air fare and uncertain weather conditions.
Dr Jitendra Singh also informed that monetary incentives called “Special Allowances for AIS officers belonging to NE Cadres of AIS” is paid to the officers who are working in the North-Eastern Region, presently at the rate of 20% of the basic pay and the same has been extended to the AIS officers working in the UT of Ladakh also vide order dated 12th April, 2021.
The DoPT Minister recalled that about five years ago, the demand for a UPSC Examination Centre had been taken up by the Department, but it could not be carried further. However, now since with the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ladakh has been given the status of a separate Union Territory, it was considered in the fitness of things to open an exclusive and self-reliant facility for the convenience of the IAS/Civil Services aspirants from the region, which has, in the past gifted some of the finest IAS officers to India.
In another major decision, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), affiliated with DoPT, is conducting computer based examination for selection to Group ‘B’ and ‘C’ posts of the Union Territory of Ladakh. This arrangement, he said, will streamline free and fair selection on merit for Group-’B’ and Group-’C’ posts in the Government departments.
A new centre of examination will be opened at Leh for the conduct of UPSC examinations, while the Lamdone Online Assessment Institute Leh is facilitating the SSC examinations.
Lieutenant Governor Mathur conveyed his gratitude for the special attention being given to Ladakh and the prompt response of the DOPT to every request put forward by the Union Territory government. He also requested the Minister to help in the posting of appropriate IAS officers in the UT of Ladakh, particularly because a number of ambitious centrally sponsored projects have been recently launched in the region.
Assuring the Lieutenant Governor of every possible support and assistance from the Ministry of Personnel and DoPT, the Minister agreed to the proposal that in the month of September, the Department of Administrative Reforms under the Ministry of Personnel will hold a two-day Capacity Building Workshop for Civil Servants and officers of the UT of Ladakh. Besides this, he said, the inclusion of Ladakh in the AGMUT Cadre of IAS will enable a wider pool and choice of officers for posting in the region.
Lieutenant Governor thanked Prime Minister Modi for his initiative to have a Carbon-free Ladakh. He said, the UT government is trying its best to make the maximum utility of the enormous organic and natural resources available in the region.