Can IAS/IPS Probationers be Sacked During Probation Period?
Civil Services is a dream career for millions of aspirants in this country and one who finally makes it to this prized but small and elite group of bureaucrats considers himself or herself as most fortunate. After getting entry into the civil services, a person has to undergo probation period which varies from service to service. For instance, the current IAS probation period is of 103 weeks duration which is almost 2 years. During this probation period an IAS officer has to undergo various training programmes including induction and field training.
This post does not go into the details of the training program or the probation period of an IAS/IPS officer. Rather it explores the question whether an IAS/IPS officer can be dismissed from service for not completing the mandatory training program? This issue has come into limelight after the recent decision of Union govt. of dismissal of two IPS probationers for not comleting their training despite being given multiple chances: 2010 batch Jharkhand cadre officer Kushum Puniya and 2011 batch West Bengal cadre officer Kumar Gautam.
The Indian Administrative Service (Probation) Rules, 1954, as amended from time to time, are applicable to IAS Probationers. These rules state that the probation period shall be of 2 years and the Central govt. can increase the probation period by 1 year. Also if the IAS probationer has not undergone the mandatory induction training at Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), the period of his probation may be extended up to a maximum limit of two years.
Once a probationer successfully completes his or her probation period, then he or she is confirmed to the IAS at the end of the probation period.
During their stay in LBSNAA, IAS probationers have to undergo various tests, including written examinations and also has to undertake a final exam for the training to be considered successful. If an IAS probationer fails at the final exam or does not appear for the final exam, the Central govt. can allow him to appear again for the final exam.
As per Govt. of India’s instructions vide Department of Personnel (DoP) letter dated 13.07.1972, a probationer, who does not complete the probationer’s final examination within a period of four years, should ordinarily be discharged from the service.
In the case of Kumar Gautam and Kushum Puniya mentioned earlier, the officials were given 3 chances to clear the final training exam, including, special examination and re-examination. However the officials failed to clear the exam.
From this discussion, it is clear that clearing the Civil Services exam is not the end in itself. Rather the probationer also needs to clear the training and probation period successfully, including, clearing the final exam to be confirmed in the Civil Services. Only then can he or she say that “I have realized my IAS dream”.