IFS, IAS officers at loggerheads over Green India Mission post

The post of Director of Green India Mission, a multi-crore forest generation programme of the Environment Ministry, has become a bone of contention between IFS and IAS officers.

PTI| Last Updated: May 21, 2014, 19:40 PM IST

New Delhi: The post of Director of Green India Mission, a multi-crore forest generation programme of the Environment Ministry, has become a bone of contention between IFS and IAS officers.

The Central unit of 3,000-strong IFS officers have accused the IAS officials in the Union Environment Ministry of "grabbing" the prestigious post created by the UPA government to head the implementation of the programme to tackle climate change.

An Additional Secretary, who is a senior IAS officer, was appointed as the Mission Director in April by the Environment Ministry.
Sources in the Ministry said that central unit of IFS Association had complained to outgoing Environment Minister Veerappa Moily on May 5, against the Ministry`s decision.

In their memorandum to Moily, IFS Association central unit pointed out that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had decided that Mission Director of Green India Mission will be an IFS officer of the rank of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests or Additional Director General.

"However, recently, MoEF appointed an Addl Secretary of the Ministry as Mission Director, Green India Mission paying utter disregard to the said approval," the association said in the memorandum.

Highly placed sources said that Moily had taken "lenient view" of their complaint and asked the Environment Ministry Secretary to nominate a top IFS officer --ADGF (FC)-- as Mission Director instead of Additional Secretary.

"However, till date the Minister`s order has not been complied with," a source in the know of things said.

"Forest generation is our area of specialisation. How can they (IAS officers) do our work. They are trying to grab our job," an angry IFS official said..

The Government in February this year had approved the Rs 46,000-crore scheme to improve and increase India`s diminishing forest cover.

The National Mission for a Green India envisages an expenditure of Rs 13,000 crore in the 12th five-year plan period ending in March 2017, and a total cost of Rs 46,000 crore over the next 10 years.