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Foreign Ministry abolished 600 posts despite shortage

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 18 (UNI) The Parliament Standing Committee on External Affairs Ministry today expressed surprise over the abolition of more than 600 posts in the Ministry in the last five years despite an ''acute shortage of manpower.'' Unless posts are created immediately by simplifying the procedure, there will be a ''mismatch between the requirements of the modern age and manpower,'' the committee said in its 11th report, tabled in the Lok Sabha.

''The committee are surprised to note that more than 600 posts have been abolished over the last five years, while the Ministry is facing acute shortage of manpower.

''The Ministry is continuously expressing their inability to further stretch their limited manpower resources to open new missions/posts abroad and the urgent need to establish India's presence felt in various locations has remained constrained by personnel and budgetary restrictions,'' the 31-member committee, headed by Dr Laxminarayan Pandey, said.

The members of the committee include Mr Omar Abdullah, Mr George Fernandes and Mr Suresh Prabhu (all from the Lok Sabha) and Dr Karan Singh and Mr Arjun Kumar Sengupta (both from the Rajya Sabha).

The committee said the Ministry was left with no option in cases of additional workload.

Acknowledging that the creation of posts was a tortuous process, the committee said the procedure would have to be streamlined to prevent work getting suffered.

''Therefore, the committee recommend that the Ministry should make allout efforts to obtain sanction for required posts and fill them immediately, to cope with the problem as early as possible.'' Pointing out that the activities of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) had registered an ''impressive increase,'' the committee said the amount allocated for the institute ''is really less.'' The committee said it was convinced with the submission of the Ministry for enhanced budgetary allocation for the institute.

At the same time, FSI should organise programmes and courses also for lower level officers for all cadres in the Ministry.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the pace of implementation of the 23 ongoing and pending projects related to embassies and missions abroad, it recommended that the Ministry should reintegrate their efforts by reviewing and proper monitoring of the projects with ''new energy.'' UNI SN VD HS1653

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