New Delhi: The gap between the required number of Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and Indian Police Services (IPS) and their current strength is increasing, even after a parliamentary committee has raised 'serious concerns' over the shortage. According to government data, the country needs 2,419 IAS and IPS officers.

In fact, the situation in the IPS is getting worse as the number of IPS officers in total has seen a dip compared to last year. However, the number of IAS officers have increased marginally.

According to the official data compiled by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, in 2017 there was a shortage of 908 IPS officers which has increased and reached to 970 till January 2018.

Till 2017, a total 3,894 IPS officers were working, as against the total sanctioned strength of 4,802. But this year, this gap has increased by 62; as against the sanctioned strength of 4,940, a total of 3,970 IPS officers are working.

Similarly, a shortage of IAS officers also increased by 21. Till 2017, a total number of 4,926 IAS officers were working, as against their total sanctioned strength of 6,396.

But in 2018, a total of 5,104 IAS officers are working, as against a total strength of 6,553.

According to the ministry, vacancies in service are caused due to factors such as retirement, resignation, death, removal from service, etc. All these factors are recurring in nature and are relative to the rate of recruitment. The occurrence of vacancies and its filling up is an ongoing process.

"The shortfall in various cadres of the IAS and IPS is a pan-India phenomenon. To address the problem, the government has increased the annual intake of IAS and IPS officers over the years, under the direct recruitment quota. In promotion quota, prompt actions have been taken for the holding of a selection committee meeting for the appointment by promotion/selection of state service officers in the IAS and IPS," the ministry said in Parliament.

Concerns have already been raised by a Parliamentary standing committee, who expressed serious concerns over the persistent shortage of officers. “The committee notes that almost all the key and strategic positions under the Union as well as the states are being manned by the IAS, and persistent shortage in the IAS officers ultimately affects the governance in the country. The committee expresses its serious concern over the persistent shortage of IAS officers and strongly recommends that all efforts be made to fill these vacancies,” the Parliamentary committee panel had said in its report submitted in the Parliament.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government claims that to address the problem, the government has increased the annual intake of IAS and IPS officers over the years under the direct recruitment quota.