Arunachal, May 31: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has asked the Centre to amend a service condition that requires an eligible candidate to be of a certain height to become an IPS officer.
He wrote to Union Minister for Personnel, Grievances, DoNER and Pension Jitendra Singh seeking the amendment after the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) dismissed a petition by an Arunachal Pradesh doctor whose hope of becoming an IPS officer fell short by 2.5 cm.
Ojing Dameng, from Milang village in the State’s Upper Siang district bordering China, was ranked 644th in the Civil Services Examination of 2017. Selected for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), he is posted in Kolkata.
Dameng was placed second in the provisional list of IPS officers in the Scheduled Tribes category. But a medical examination conducted by the Central Standing Medical Board (CSMB) found him unfit for the IPS because he is 162.5 cm tall, which is 2.5 cm less than the required minimum height of 165 cm for male candidates for the IPS.
He challenged the CSMB’s decision at the CAT in August 2018. He argued that candidates belonging to the ST category and races such as Gorkha, Assamese, Kumaoni, Naga, Garhwali, etc., are entitled to a relaxation of 15cm in the minimum height required for the IPS.
But the CAT dismissed his petition on May 27 pointing out that he did not belong to the communities eligible for height relaxation.
According to Khandu, the condition on height would deprive aspirants of Arunachal Pradesh.
“This service condition was framed in 1951 and apparently, not updated. Arunachal Pradesh came into existence as a Union Territory in 1972 and attained statehood in 1987. You will appreciate that when the Act was framed, the present-day Arunachal was under Assam administration and when the benefit was extended to ‘Assamese’ in the Act, the spirit would have been to include the tribes of Arunachal too,” he wrote to Singh.
The Chief Minister said the service condition needs to be amended in the interest of equity and justice to the deserving candidates from his State.
Dameng, who plans to challenge the CAT decision in a High Court, said it would be unfair for a certain category of candidates who clear the exams conducted by the UPSC and medical tests only to be stumped by the height clause.
“This needs to be done, at least for the future generations of people in Arunachal Pradesh and other places who are not tall enough,” he said.