New Delhi, July 26: The Annual General Meeting of the Sikkim State Civil Service Officers’ Association (SSCSOA) took place on Tuesday at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok. The programme was attended by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang as the chief guest who was accompanied by Education Minister Kunga Nima Lepcha.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister PS Tamang said that the dedication, professionalism, and tireless efforts of civil services officers form the backbone of the State administration. He extended gratitude to their commitment to public service and their relentless pursuit of excellence contributing significantly to the growth and development of the State and its citizens.

In his significant and progressive announcement, the Chief Minister said that amendments shall be made in the existing maternity (12 months) and paternity (1 month) leave policy of the State government, allowing working parents to use the 13-month leave as needed and thereby offering flexibility to tailor their leave schedule to better suit their family’s unique circumstances. The specific details of the proposed amendment shall soon be notified, he informed.

Highlighting various steps undertaken by the State government to meet the aspirations of the State civil officers, the Chief Minister said that a review of the State Civil Services cadre was carried out under the present government wherein the posts for Secretaries for the State Civil Services was increased from 12 posts to 16.

Similarly, the strength for Special Secretaries was increased from 27 to 35; from 41 to 65 for Additional Secretaries; from 53 to 75 for Joint Secretaries; from 77 to 100 for Deputy Secretaries; and from 150 to 200 for Under Secretaries. At present, the total strength of the Sikkim State Civil Services cadre lies at 491 from the previous strength of 360, he added.

The Chief Minister said that there has been a significant focus on streamlining the promotion process for civil services officers, leading to an increase in the number of promotions. He added that a total of 2,404 promotions have been approved under the present government at the Under Secretary level and above for the State Civil Services with 2,535 promotions approved in the State Police services.

Likewise, a total of 797 direct recruitments and 350 regular appointments on compassionate grounds have been made by the State government till date, he added.

The Chief Minister further congratulated the five State Civil Services officers, currently assuming the post of Secretaries, who are being inducted into IAS against the vacancies of the year 2023.

He also assured that the suggestions put forth by the association would be given serious consideration as the State government aims to work in close collaboration with the association to address the concerns raised and find effective solutions for the benefit of the people.

The Chief Minister emphasized that the State government is committed to transparency and accountability and reiterated its commitment to ensuring the welfare and growth of civil service officers, ultimately contributing to the effective functioning of the State administration and public services.

He further congratulated all the IAS and SCS inductees and expressed his best wishes for their future endeavors. He also conveyed gratitude to the retiring officers for their hard work, commitment, and professionalism, which have contributed to the smooth functioning and progress of the State administration and extended wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement.

On the occasion, the SSCSOA felicitated Annapurna Alley on being elected as the Secretary of Finance of the All India Federation of State Civil/Administrative Service Associations (AIFC/ASA) during the General Body Meeting of the AIFC/ASA on March 26, 2023. Alley is not only one of the first elected office bearers from the Northeast India but also the first lady executive of the Federation.

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