Bhubaneswar: Only six new Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers have been allotted to Odisha cadre this year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Monday.

The chief minister said this in a written reply to a question in the Assembly.

Patnaik said to run the administration the state government has promoted many senior Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) officers to the rank of IAS.

While 26 OAS officers were promoted to IAS rank in 2017, seven such state civil service officers were promoted to IAS grade in 2018, he added

Meanwhile, an official said Odisha's sanctioned strength of IAS officers is 237 but the state at present has 176 officers with 61 posts vacant.

Of the 176 IAS officers of Odisha cadre, 27 were on Central deputation, one on inter-state deputation and another IAS officer on study leave, the official added.