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No, the government did not appoint 340 upper caste people as IAS officers through lateral entry

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A social media post claiming that ignoring SCs, STs, and OBCs, the government has appointed 340 people from upper castes as IAS officers without any exam is being widely circulated. Through this article let’s fact-check the veracity of the claim made in the post.

Claim: The government has appointed 340 upper caste people as IAS officers without any exam.

Fact: The government made no such appointment of 340 upper caste people as IAS officers without any exam. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

In 2018, the central government has taken a decision to induct private sector professionals into the administrative setup of the government at the Joint Secretary and Director levels through a lateral entry scheme. It is in this backdrop the claim made in the post is being shared since then.

Lateral Entry

Earlier NITI Aayog, in its three-year Action Agenda, and the Sectoral Group of Secretaries (SGoS) on Governance in its report submitted in February 2017, recommended the induction of personnel at middle and senior management levels in the central government.

Accordingly, the central government in 2018 has decided in principle, to appoint outside experts to 10 positions of Joint Secretary in identified Ministries/Departments and 40 positions at Deputy Secretary/Director level. The government has confirmed the same in the Parliament.

In the subsequent years, ‘9 candidates were selected for appointment as Joint Secretaries in various Ministries/Departments of the government of India through lateral recruitment in 2019. Further, 31 candidates have been selected for appointment through lateral recruitment in 2021, comprising 3 candidates for the post of Joint Secretary, 19 for the post of Director, and 9 for the post of Deputy Secretary.’

Further, details of recruits and various positions filled under different departments/ministries can be viewed here & here. Therefore, as per the available information, till date, the recruitments made under the later lateral entry are very less (40), compared to the claim made in the post (340).

Reservations in Lateral Entry

Moreover, contrary to the claim made in the post, reservations or caste-based quotas do not apply to these recruitments.  Responding to a question in Lok Sabha on the impact of lateral entry on reserved posts, the government has stated that it does not maintain any centralized data on the category of persons appointed through the lateral entry scheme. This implies that caste/religion is not a criterion while recruiting for these positions.

This is also evident from the recruitment notifications issued by the UPSC (here & here), for filling the lateral entry positions. In this notification, there is no mention of caste/religion in the eligible criteria.

Further in the above-mentioned Lok Sabha reply, the government has categorically mentioned that there won’t be any reduction in reserved posts meant for SCs, STs, and OBCs in the regular posts as the lateral entry recruits are appointed on a contract basis. This means the recruitment through lateral entry would not have any impact on the reserved posts, who are usually recruited through an examination conducted by UPSC. Thus the available information proves that the claims made in the post are fictitious rather than based on factual information.

To sum it up, the government did not appoint 340 upper caste people as IAS officers through lateral entry.

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