A BRIEF NOTE ON INCLUSION OF EDP IN SSS CADRE
Many of you may be aware that Team SSOA has always opposed any possible decision to encadre EDP staff into SSS Cadre because the lateral entry of the said EDP staff (which is above 500) in SSS will be detrimental to the interests of the existing SSS incumbents. This will place the EPD personnel in a comparatively higher seniority jeopardising the whole structure of SSS. Please keep reading below to understand the whole story.
Subordinate Statistical Service (hereinafter SSS) was formed as per the recommendation of 5th CPC and various other commissions/committees including the recommendations of Dr C. Rangarajan Commission to bring under a single umbrella all group C and group B statistical functionaries working in various departments/ministries under Govt of India. Accordingly a notification was issued in 2002 and following which the Service was in effect from 2004. Options were served to all the functionaries who were eager to join the service; the primary constituents (almost 85%) being field officials of NSSO (FOD). Following the recommendations of 4th CPC, Dr. Sheshagiri Committee Report came out aiming towards Rationalization of Electronic Data Processing (hereinafter EDP) staff working across the Central Government. The Ministry of Finance OM dated 11/09/1989 and following Department of Statistics OM dated 02/07/1990 which followed the recommendations of Dr Sheshagiri Committee Report extended full benefits of the said Rationalization. The benefits were extended to all Data Processing Staff of DPD, SDRD and other similar staff of Department of Statistics. Reference may also be drawn to The Hon’ble Supreme Court direction and the orders dated 16/03/1998 and 04/08/2000 in this context.
Later, in 2009, Shri Arvind Cairae & Others approached the Principal Bench of CAT seeking inclusion into SSS. It is relevant here to say that all of the said applicants were EDP staff under MoS&PI who were already enjoying the benefits as per recommendations of Dr Sheshagiri Committee. In the speaking order of OA No.767/2009, the Principal CAT directed the Ministry of Statistics to include the applicants in SSS. This was contested by the Department in Delhi High Court who in the order dated 27/09/2010 in the Writ Petition (C) No. 5370/2010 set aside the aforesaid CAT speaking order and it has been remanded for fresh adjudication by the Tribunal. In the final order of O. A. No. 767/2009 the Hon’ble CAT, Principal Bench, dismissed the plea of the said EDP personnel of NSSO into SSS after rigorous consideration. However, a group of officials from NSSO (DPD) are continually persuading to get themselves included in SSS. This is evident by the letter dated 18/06/2018 written to Hon’ble Secretary, MoS&PI, by Dr. Md. Ali Asgar Mondal, President, All India Data Processing Officer’s Association (Gr-B). Similar endeavours were made in the earlier occasions also.
On the other hand, the staff and Associations of SSS are protesting against such inclusions, as is evident from the letters dated 16/12/2009 and 23/03/2018 from SSOA and 26/03/2018 from AIASO and various other communications. The grounds on which such opposition is done are —
- DPD (and other EDP staff of the Ministry) personnel are reportedly not considered to do purely statistical work by the Department.
- The referred EDP staffs have already enjoyed huge benefits under the recommendations of Dr Sheshagiri Committee Report. It may be seen that EDP personnel were enjoying higher pay scales than SSS incumbents for relevant posts for a longer time. The lateral entry of the said EDP staff in SSS will be detrimental to the interests of the existing SSS incumbents. This will place the DPD personnel in a comparatively higher seniority jeopardising the whole structure of SSS.
- Lastly, such entry will let EDP personnel under MoS&PI to enjoy double benefits and violate the principle of equality against incumbents of SSS.
II. Recommendations of various Central Pay Commissions:
We may here refer to the recommendations of various Pay Commissions in regard to the EDP/DPD personnel of MoSPI.
5th Central Pay Commission: In para 81.19, the V CPC says, “In the two divisions of NSSO i.e. SDRD and DPD, there are 166 sanctioned posts of Data Processing Assistants (Rs 1640-2660) and 463 sanctioned posts of Data Entry Operators Gr B (Rs 1350-2200). National Sample Survey Employees Organisation have put forth their demand that DEO Gr. ‘B’ and Data Processing Assistants should be upgraded into the scales of Rs 1660-2660 and Rs 1640-2900 respectively. Further, DEO, Gr. B and Data Processing Assistant should be re-designated as Data Processing Assistant Gr A and Data Processing Assistant Gr B respectively. We have examined the issue and found that the DEO Gr B and Data Processing Assistant had received a higher pay scale on implementation of the Sheshagiri Report. We recommend that status-quo be maintained. As regards their designation, we suggest that the Department of Statistics may review the matter.”
6th Central Pay Commission: In para 3.8.11, the VI CPC says, “The Fifth CPC had recommended standard pay scales and qualifications for various grades of EDP staff. No further changes would, ordinarily, have been necessary in the extant structure of the EDP staff. However, some restructuring has become necessary pursuant to the reorganization of the pay scales being recommended by this Commission. The following revised pay structure is,therefore, recommended for the various categories of EDP staff:-
|Designation||Present pay scale||Recommended pay scale||Corresponding Pay Band & Grade Pay|
|Pay Band||Grade Pay|
|Data Entry Operator Gr.A||4000-6000||4000-6000||PB-1||2400|
|Data Entry Operator Gr.B||4500-7000||4500-7000||PB-1||2800|
|Data Entry Operator Gr.C#||5000-8000||6500-10500||PB-2||4200|
|Data Entry Operator Gr.D#||5500-9000||6500-10500||PB-2||4200|
|Data Processing Assistant*||6500-10500||7450-11500||PB-2||4600|
# Data Entry Operator Grade C shall stand merged with Data Entry Operator Grade D.
* Data Processing Assistant shall stand merged with System Programmer.
All Group ‘A’ posts of EDP staff shall be accorded the corresponding replacement Pay Band and grade pay.”
It may also be seen that, there is no reference Data Processing personnel of MoS&PI (of DPD and any other offices) in entire chapter 7.41 meant for MOSPI.
7th Central Pay Commission: In para 11.47.18, the VII CPC says, “The Data Processing Officers have demanded restructuring of Data Processing Division as follows:
i. In Data Entry Stream (DES), the existing three grades of DEO Grade A (GP 2400), DEO Grade B (GP 2800) and DEO Grade-C (GP 4200) should be merged into two grades, namely DEO Grade B (GP 2800) and DEO Grade C (GP 4200).
ii. In the Data Processing Stream (DPS), the Group `B’ posts of Data Processing Assistant/Data Entry Operator Grade D (GP 4600) and Programmer/Data Entry Operator Grade E (PB 2, GP 4800) should be replaced with the post to be named as System Programmer in GP 4800.
iii. The posts of Senior Programmer/Systems Analyst/System Security Officer/Data Entry Operator Grade-F (GP 5400 (PB-3)) should be re-designated as System Analyst.
iv. The posts of Senior System Analyst/Data Processing Manager (GP 6600) should be re-designated as Senior System Analyst.
v. The posts of Joint Director/System Supervisor/Principal System Analyst (GP 7600) should be re-designated as Principal System Analyst.
vi. Data Processing personnel of different ministries be formed into All India Data Processing Cadre, under the control of PMO as the data provided by this cadre has important contribution in development process of Government of India as the supporting cadre of Indian Economic Service.”
It may noted that, in subsequent reports from 5th to 7th CPC, data processing personnel of DPD and other offices under MOSPI have been treated as EDP staff consistently. In fact, in 5th CPC report it is clearly written that their Association/s has/have put forward demands for betterment of pay and re-designation of posts as EDP staff. That is, they have accepted their status as EDP in entirety. In 6th CPC report, as mentioned earlier, there is no reference of Data Processing personnel of MoS&PI (of DPD and any other offices) in the entire chapter 7.41. meant for MoS&PI. Their issue has been dealt in chapter 3.8, that is, under Common Category. 7th CPC has specifically suggested the DoP&T to revisit its instructions and draw up a structure which is in tune with the current technology; their pay, replacement pay levels etc. Accordingly, the DoP&T is looking into this aspect and has already invited information from all the Ministries/Departments under the Government of India in this matter vide their OM No.Misc-14017/14/2016-Estt. (RR) dated 17th October 2017 and OM No. AB.-14017/14/2016-Estt. (RR)(Pt.) 20th February 2018. Also according to the view of the 7th CPC a separate unified service should be created under one umbrella by bringing together all the EDP staff spread over different Ministries/Departments (including the incumbents from DPD, IS Wing and DSDD of MoSPI) under the control of PMO, Government of India.
III. Different other Recommendations:
There have been several recommendations by different commissions, committees and authorities; we may discuss a relevant one of them —
The report of the expert committee headed by Dr. J. Roy which reviewed the functioning of NSSO dealt the issue of the career prospect of the employees succinctly, it was mentioned there – “— We understand that the Government is seriously considering setting up a Subordinate Statistical Service (SSS), as a feeder for the ISS. This is expected to open up avenues of promotion. We recommend that all field staff and subordinate technical staff in DPD and SDRD – other than those involved solely in routine data entry or computer operations – should be brought under the SSS appropriately. — ”.
It may be noted that in the above quoted recommendation the Expert Committee secluded the personnel dealing with computer operations from FOD field officials, considering the latter to be included into the SSS. Moreover, it may also be unequivocally stated that all technical staff of DPD, SDRD and such other offices under MOSPI, involved in data processing, are involved in computer operations also. Further, they have been recognized by the department as EDP staff through the proffered designation and referring them as such. Additionally, data processing personnel have accepted themselves as EDP staff along with the revised pay scale as per the specific recommendations meant for the EDP personnel, which confirms their status as EDP from their perspective also.
IV. Govt. Orders Regarding EDP personnel:
Various government orders have been issued from late 1980s onwards, which may be referred to substantiate that data processing staff of DPD, SDRD and similar other offices under MoS&PI have been bestowed with the benefits from the recommendations of Dr. Sheshagiri Committee Report. Some of the relevant orders are mentioned below —
- Dr. Sheshagiri Committee Report came out in the late 1980s.
- Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure order dated 11th September 1989, was issued following the report which instructed the various departments under Govt. of India upon rationalization of EDP posts. An order following this was issued on 1st January 1990.
- Ministry of Planning, Department of Statistics order dated 2nd July 1990, following the orders as mentioned in 2. above, was issued with the aim of rationalization of various EDP posts. It may be seen in the said order that all of the posts included there were given up gradation of pay scales.
Being dissatisfied with the various aspects of the order, EDP persons of MoS&PI (erstwhile Ministry of Planning/ Ministry of Planning & Programme Implementation) protested through various channels, several litigations were made, in fact till date a few cases are still going on demanding proper implementation of Dr. Sheshagiri Committee Report and following orders by Ministry of Finance.
- From early 1990s to the present, several other orders have been issued by the ministry clarifying various issues of EDP staff. To mention a few – orders dated 4th August 2000, 09.09.2008 and others.
- DoP&T order dated 10th December 2014 has directed all ministries and departments regarding model recruitment rules of EDP staff.
- DoP&T has issued orders following the 7th CPC recommendations, e.g., orders dated 17th October 2016.
- MoS&PI also has taken up the matter as evident from the orders dated 06.12.2017 and 15.02.2018.
V. Court Cases & Verdicts:
Data processing personnel of MoS&PI have tried to establish their claim as EDP staff and better their prospects through several court cases in the past. Cases were filed both by individuals and associations in this regard. Special reference may be drawn to The Hon’ble Supreme Court verdict on Chandraprakash Madhavrao Dadwa & …vs Union of India & Others case, where above mentioned MoS&PI order dated 02.07.1990 and other such orders were set aside and even better scales & designations were directed to be implemented. Mention may also be made to the verdict of The Hon’ble Delhi High Court on M L Zutshi case, where the plea of data processing staff to be included in Grade IV of ISS cadre was turned down. Lastly, the case referred above in the “Introduction” section, i.e., Arvind Cairae & others vs Union of India & others case, is particularly relevant, where despite the speaking order of inclusion of EDP staff in SSS, the final verdict rejected such claim.
In the previous sections it has been observed substantially that Data Processing Personnel of DPD, SDRD and other such offices under MoS&PI have been considered as EDP staff under Govt. of India all along by various pay commissions, other committees & commissions, Govt. Orders, court verdicts and the staff themselves. Being recognised as EDP staff they belong to a distinct category in itself. On the other hand, SSS consists of purely statistical functionaries who have been recognised as another distinct category. Various court verdicts & Govt. orders and submissions maintain such distinction between these two categories. Moreover, EDP staff of MoS&PI have received enhanced pay & status as per their specific recommendations including recent proposal of formation of EDP cadre service comprising of all EDP staff across central govt. service as per recommendation of VII CPC. So, inclusion of EDP staff into SSS is on one hand antithetical and on the other hand it contravenes the principal of equality as ensured by article 14 & 16 of Indian Constitution.
Team SSOA appeals every SSS officer to join hands with us in fighting against all efforts to include EDP into SSS Cadre.
SSOA Zindabad !