ALL INDIA ASSOCIATION OF STATISTICAL OFFICERS (SSS)
“There is more power in unity than division”
Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.
AIASO UNITY ZINDABAD…
The All India Association of Statistical Officers (AIASO) is the torchbearer of the rights and fights of Subordinate Statistical Service (SSS) in the Government of India. This Association started its journey during the pre-SSS days in NSSO (FOD) by the name All India Association of Investigators (AIAI). This Association has a long history of fighting for the betterment of Investigators (now Junior Statistical Officers [JSO]).
The situation of Investigators in NSSO (FOD) during those days was appalling. NSSO (FOD) had a three tier system and Investigators were at the lowest rung. There was heavy stagnation with little or no chance of promotion. In fact incumbents use to retire without attaining the level of Superintendent (present Senior Statistical Officers [SSO]). The 5th Central Pay Commission (CPC) was apprised of the situation by the then AIAI. The Association left no stone unturned and vigorously pursue the matter before 5th CPC. In turn 5th CPC recommended the creation of the SSS by bringing all statistical function posts in the Government of India under one ambit. However, Government was reluctant in taking any steps in formation of the service and this Association had to go to the Hon’ble CAT seeking redressal. The Hon’ble court in its order directed the Government to form a service in keeping with the recommendations of the 5th CPC.
Finally after much struggle and persistence (including court case) by this Association the Subordinate Statistical Service was notified in February 2002 but in a four grade structure. This structure was in total disregard to the recommendations of the 5th CPC and was a blow to the career prospects of all incumbents of SSS. In this structure there was no scope for progression even through ACP scheme. This Association (then All India Association Statistical Investigators [AIASI]) again approached the Hon’ble court and sought redressal. Relief was received from the Hon’ble CAT and ACP was restored in functional grades.
In the 6th CPC, AIASO (then AIASI) again represented that SSS should be in two grades. Representations to the Government for a two tier structure in SSS also bore fruit and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the Cadre Controlling Authority (CCA), also agreed to this demand. Finally the SSS had a two tier structure after the implementation of the 6th CPC.
The cadre review of SSS was another achievement of AIASO. Prior to the cadre review the ratio of posts in SSS was 60:40 in favour of JSOs. There was some stagnation in promotion from JSO to SSO and that needed to be addressed. AIASO represented to the CCA for a cadre review of SSS and sought a review of the number of posts in SSO and JSO so as to address the adverse promotional situation in the cadre. After repeated representations and consistent follow-up by AIASO both in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation as well as Ministry of Finance, 193 posts of JSO was upgraded to SSO so that the ratio of JSO to SSO is now 55:45.
Thanks to the cadre review the promotional bottleneck at the level of JSO to SSO has been removed but there are challenges galore. The key issue now in SSS is the upgradation of pay of JSO and SSO. It was AIASO who first raised the issue in February 2010 and wrote to CCA and Ministry of Finance to upgrade the pay of JSOs and SSOs. The issue was also taken up with the Hon’ble Ministers of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the Chairman, National Statistical Commission and they in turn took up the matter with the then Prime Minister. Our efforts persisted with others but there was no progress. Then AIASO filed a case at the Hon’ble CAT, Mumbai seeking direction for upgradation of pay of JSOs and SSOs.
Apart from the above, AIASO is also fighting against the inclusion of the Junior Investigators of Labour Bureau in a higher pay grade with higher seniority. It was this Association that pointed out the adverse effect of this inclusion on the incumbents of SSS. AIASO was a party in the case filed by the incumbents of Labour Bureau in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and has successfully defended the rights of JSOs and SSOs of SSS by stopping the entry of Junior Investigators of Labour Bureau with higher seniority.
AIASO has also filed a case in Hon’ble CAT, Kolkata for parity in pay of erstwhile Investigators of NSSO (FOD) with the Junior Investigators of Labour Bureau. This case has far reaching consequences as it can potentially redraw the structure of SSS altogether.
The AIASO has a long history of furthering the cause of SSS and will continue to do so. We take pride in what we have done but we do not rest on our past laurels. We continue our endeavors for the betterment of SSS and the statistical community as a whole. Our achievements are not only testimony to the hard work and struggles that our seniors have gone through but also a constant source of inspiration to all who are fighting for the betterment of SSS.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep!
And miles to go before I sleep!”