-Zangmu Dingla, NET Correspondent, Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and BJP MP Tapi Gao have urged the Centre to amend a service condition that requires an eligible candidate to be of a certain height to become an IPS officer.
CM Khandu, in a letter to the DoNER minister Jitendra Singh, has sought the amendment after the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) dismissed a petition by Ojing Dameng- an Arunachal Pradesh doctor whose hope of becoming an IPS officer fell short by 2.5 cm.
It may be mentioned here that Dameng was ranked 644th in the Civil Services Examination of 2017, but the height issue smashed his dream of becoming an IPS officer.
Dameng, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer currently posted in Kolkata, 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 2.5 cm shorter than the required minimum.
Dameng 162.5 cm tall and the required height to be an IPS officer is 165 cm for male candidates.
Dameng, however, challenged the CSMB’s decision at the CAT in August 2018.
In support of his argument, he said 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.
The CAT, however, dismissed his petition on May 27, 2021, and said that he did not belong to the communities eligible for height relaxation.
Arguing Dameng’s case, CM Khandu in his letter to Jitendra Singh said that the condition on height would deprive IPS 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,” Khandu wrote.
“You will appreciate that when the All India Services 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,” Khandu further wrote in the letter.
He further said that the service condition needs to be amended in the interest of equity and justice to the deserving candidates from Arunachal Pradesh.
This needs to be done, at least for the future generations of people in Arunachal Pradesh and others places who are not tall enough,” he said.
Meanwhile, MP Tapir Gao, in his letter to DoNER minister Jitendra Singh also said that under the AIS Act, Scheduled Tribes and races such as Gorkhas, Assamese, Kumaonis and people belonging to Nagaland are given height relaxation for the Indian Police Service and Group A, Group B Police Services and Group A post in Railway Protection Force.
He further argued that the UPSC aspirants from Arunachal Pradesh also need to be given height relaxation for selection in IPS.