BJP MP seeks height relaxation for UPSC aspirants from Arunachal Pradesh

NEW DELHI, 2 Jun: BJP MP Tapir Gao has appealed to the government to give height relaxation to civil services aspirants from Arunachal Pradesh, saying such relief is given to candidates of other northeastern states under the All India Services (AIS) Act, 1951.

An MP from Arunachal Pradesh, Gao also cited the example of an Indian Revenue Service officer, Ojing Dameng, who could not join the Indian Police Service as he was 2.5 centimetres short of the minimum requirement.

In a letter to Union Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh, Gao said 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.

The required height for such specified communities is 160 centimetres for men, instead of 165 centimeters, and for women 145 centimetres, instead of 150, he said.

The BJP MP said UPSC aspirants from Arunachal Pradesh also need to be given the height relaxation for selection in IPS and serve the nation as the state was also under the composite state of Assam when the AIS Act, 1951 was brought into force, and as the same has been given to other tribes of the Northeastern region and other tribal states of India.

Referring to the case of Dameng, an Arunachalee tribal who ranked 644 in UPSC CSE 2017 and was in the provisional list of IPS in ST category, Gao said the candidate was not allotted to the IPS as the Central Medical Standing Board (CMSB) declared him unfit on the ground that his height is 162.5 centimetres, 2.5 cms short of minimum height for the IPS.

Even though Dameng filed a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), New Delhi, challenging the decision, the CAT dismissed his submission “on the plain reading or the relaxation provision of the AIS Act, 1951”.

The MP said the present day Arunachal Pradesh, which came into existence only in 1972 as a Union Territory, was part of Assam and any of its citizens would be considered Assamese.

Hence, Assamese in the provision would include tribals of Arunachal Pradesh as well, citing the fact that the AIS Act was framed way back in 1951.

Also going by the intent of the legislation, one can make out that the law is extending relaxation to such races whose average height is distinctly lower wherein Arunuchalee tribals rightfully fit, for that matter the northeast tribals, he said.

Further, state police service officers recruited at a minimum height of 160 centimetres are later inducted into same IPS, he said.

“Therefore, in view of the above and considering the fact that thousands of civil service aspirants from Arunachal Pradesh are competing every year in UPSC exam and not to deprive them of their opportunities to serve the country, I request your good self to kindly look into the matter as above and issue necessary directions and corrective measures in the interest of people of Arunachal Pradesh,” Gao said in his letter to the minister.

Singh is also the Union Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). (PTI)