Published On: Thu, Jan 1st, 2015

DGH Talukdar gets six-month extension

New Delhi: In the first post-retirement extension to a technocrat in recent years, the government has extended B N Talukdar’s term as Director General of upstream regulatory board, DGH by six months.

Director General of Hydrocarbons B N Talukdar got a six-month extension in service.

Director General of Hydrocarbons B N Talukdar got a six-month extension in service.

Talukdar, who took over as the head of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) on February 6, 2014, was to superannuate yesterday after turning 60.

He, however, has been given a six-month extension till June 30, a top source said here.

Talukdar, who was Director for exploration in state-owned Oil India Ltd (OIL) before becoming DGH, was the first technocrat in two years to head the highly technical advisory arm of the Oil Ministry.

The source said it was felt that positions like DGH should have a minimum tenure of two years but Talukdar was at the helms for less than 11 months.

DGH, which traditionally was headed by a technocrat, for the first time in its history saw a bureaucrat being appointed as Director General when in June 2012 Rajiv Nayan Choubey, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was handpicked for the job.

The appointment of a bureaucrat as the head of the highly technical arm of the oil ministry had raised eyebrows then as it was not clear how the selection was made without the post being advertised. There was also no selection panel formed to choose among eligible candidates, it was said then.

Choubey, a post-graduate in Physics, was development commissioner (handlooms) in the Ministry of Textiles before becoming director general, DGH. He was appointed head of DGH after the then director general, DGH, S K Srivastava moved to OIL as the Chairman and Managing Director.

Srivastava, who was director (operations) at OIL in 2009, was made the temporary head of DGH to replace the controversial V K Sibal, in October 2009. He was formally appointed director general, DGH in February, 2010.

Prior to his temporary charge, Srivastava was deputy director general, DGH under Sibal.

Talukdar was selected by a government search panel in August 2013 and it took more than six months for his appointment to be confirmed.

A petroleum engineering graduate from the prestigious Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, he has been head of OIL’s exploration, development, reservoir management and drilling activities since December 2007.

PTI

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