Zonalisation: Handle with care

Zonalisation: Handle with care

THE HANS INDIA |   Oct 12,2017 , 12:34 AM IST

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The Government of Telangana has issued GO.Ms.No.233, dated 07-10-2017,  constituting a high-level committee to study and submit a detailed report on formulation of New Presidential Order suitable to the State of Telangana.  Prior to formation of State of Telangana, in the integrated Andhra Pradesh, the total 23 districts were divided into 6 zones specifying the names of the districts.  

The united State of Andhra Pradesh has been divided, and two separate states, segregating districts consisting of Zone-I to Zone-IV  with 13 districts as State of Andhra Pradesh, and Zone-V and Zone-VI with 10 districts as State of Telangana, were formed. Later on, through amendment, some of the mandals of Khammam district have been included in the State of Andhra Pradesh. 

The Government of Telangana has taken up the task of district reorganisation of the existing districts, excluding Hyderabad, for better administration and development of the areas.  Accordingly, as per the Telangana Districts Formation Act, 1974 and Telangana Districts Formation Rules, 2016 under section-3, the process of reorganisation is completed and now the State of Telangana consists of 31 districts.  

There is no dispute with regard to powers of the State government for reorganisation and formation of new administrative territories. The topic of debate is the Presidential Order which needs to be amended in context to formation of the State of Telangana as well as formation of new districts. 
The Article-371(D) was to empower the President to issue order providing for equitable opportunities and facilities for people belonging to different parts of the State of Andhra Pradesh with respect to matters relating to public employment and education.

In accordance to the Article-371(D), the Govt. of India issued the “Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Organisation of Local Cadre and Regulation of Direct Recruitment) Order 1975.” The Constitutional experts argue that there is every need to amendment the Presidential Order with inclusion of title of State of Telangana and also specification of new districts.  

This needs a resolution of the Legislative Assembly of Telangana State, to be passed in both the Houses of the Parliament, or at least an Executive Order of the President of India.  In either case, the involvement of Government of India /President of India is must for amendment the Presidential Order which governs the AP Public Employment Order-1975.

In the integrated Andhra Pradesh, there was a 4-tier system which was in implementation in public employment viz; District, Zonal, Mutli-Zonal and State. The basic objective of Zonalisation is to give adequate opportunities to local candidates.  The local reservation is as follows: District cadre posts – 80% local reservation and 20% open category; Zonal cadre posts – 70% local reservation and 30% open category; Multi-Zonal cadre posts – 60% local reservation and 40% open category; and, State Cadre posts – No local reservation. 

Now, it is the best opportunity for the employees associations to recommend the best solution which nullifies the inequalities in employment opportunities and promotional avenues. It is a known fact that now also there exists irrational distribution of mandals, perhaps, due to geographical contiguity and other factors, but the fact is that all districts are not having equal number of mandals. This may create discrepancy in promotional channel from district cadre to zonal cadre post and also to State cadre posts. 

A justified approach needs to be adopted in formulation of zones wherein maximum care should be taken to have rational distribution of districts and mandals in the zones.  Now with 31 districts, the State of Telangana should be divided into Six Zones.  The departments have a major role wherein each department should demarcate the posts classifying into District, Zonal and State Cadres.   

A massive and exhaustive exercise is needed before coming to conclusion and recommending for amendments in the existing Presidential Order. These amendments in Presidential Order for public employment will be in vogue for the coming generations.  (Writer is an Assistant Director (Retd), Economics and Statistics Department, Govt. of Telangana) 

By Syed Saleemuddin



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