Events of the last few days only confirm that civil servants, even senior ones, can be shown the door at any time. K Narasimha, a senior IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, was recently told to pack his bags, citing non-performance. This came just a day after the government decided to sack two senior IPS officers-Rajkumar Dewangan of the Chhattisgarh cadre and Mayanksheel Chauhan of AGMUT cadre-after a departmental review. The NDA government had issued a notification in 2016, saying that it will assess the “performance of officers who have completed 30 years of services” in a departmental review. “Non-performing officers will be given compulsory retirement,” the government had said. Soon, the Centre had begun to take strict action against “defaulting and non-performing revenue officials”. The news broke about the premature retirement of as many as 33 revenue officers, including seven from the coveted Indian Revenue Service, and also the dismissal of 72 others, including six from Group A service. It’s possibly for the first time that marching orders were given to such a large number of officers, that too in one go. What’s quite significant is that commissioner-ranked Income Tax officers also figured in the list of 33 who are “retired prematurely”. Earlier in January 2016, 11 Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Excise) officers were sent packing, as they were absent from office without authorisation for more than five years. Sources disclosed that the government is in the mood to take more stringent action against erring officers. It is learnt that North Block has prepared a list of 110 civil servants, who may get the marching orders any time. Meanwhile, the discussion point among the senior civil servants is that while sacking due to non-performance can be justified, where is the reward for those who perform extraordinarily.