The strange case of the AGMUT cadre

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) are the two most important wings of the India’s civil services. Here we look into the oddities in the state cadres which apply to these services. Everyone in the IAS or IPS is allotted to one of these cadres and does not move to another cadre under normal circumstances:

In Zone-1 we see AGMUT and in Zone IV we see Assam-Meghalaya.

The latter is simpler to understand, particularly as Meghalaya was part of Assam until the latter became a full-fledged state in 1972. In this cadre, one can be posted to any place in Assam or Meghalaya. (Since Assam is much larger than Meghalaya, one is likely to spend more time in the former than the latter).

In the AGMUT cadre, one can be posted anywhere in Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram or any of the Union Territories (UTs). At the time of writing in mid-2022, the UTs are:

There have been states were earlier UTs, UTs which were earlier states, and UTs which have been amalgamated. Some, like Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura are full-fledged states which have their full-fledged state cadres.

The UTs of Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have been merged in 2020.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir was split into the UTs of (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh in 2019.

Jammu and Kashmir had its state cadre, but no recruitment has been made to it since 2019. Presently the officers posted there are mainly from the old J & K state cadre, though AGMUT officers are now being posted there.

In case you are wondering, Arunachal, Goa and Mizoram were UTs for some years and the services were clubbed with the other UTs as they were probably not large enough to justify a separate state cadre.

Thus, officers posted in Delhi who annoy their bosses may find themselves abruptly transferred to Arunachal or Ladakh, which happened in mid-2022 when it was alleged that their dog-walking took up facilities meant for others.

There are precedents for this. During the Emergency of 1975-77, Navin Chawla was one of the officials who was closely associated with the beautification of Delhi and the accompanying excesses. The new government promptly sent him to Lakshwadeep, which was the most remote and unimportant place he could be sent to.

Another person whom I knew was generally not on good terms with politicians and seniors. He thus found himself being moved from Delhi to Puducheri to Goa, and was then “put away” as Chief Secretary of the Andamans and finally retired in a post in the Delhi government which had little work.