Bureaucrats prefer retired govt officers to youth for top posts

New Delhi: Documents reveal that when it came to curbing corruption and empowerment of citizens by filling key posts at the Central Information Commission, bureaucrats chose to introduce an arbitrary provision to keep the youth out.

Chief Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma
Chief Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma
They instead opted to empower retired government officers.

This occurred in the much-delayed and recently-concluded selection for the post of one Chief Information Commissioner and three Information Commissioners (ICs).

An application under the Right to Information Act of 2005 (RTI), filed by retired naval officer, Commodore Lokesh Batra, has unearthed nearly 250 pages of the official correspondence for the same.

For selection to posts like CIC and ICs, the RTI Act 2005 seeks “persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance”.

Based on this, applications were invited.

In all 203 applications were received for the post of CIC and 553 for the three posts of ICs.

Documents reveal that of the entire lot, over 400 applications were made by people from categories like Law, Management, Science and Technology, Journalism, Social Service and others.

However, at a meeting of the ‘Search Committee’ on January 16, 2015, “…the committee had decided to further consider the detailed applications of persons with experience of 30 years and above”.

Having done this, in a subsequent ‘Search Committee’ meeting on April 25, 2015, three retired government servants were shortlisted for one CIC post and nine were shortlisted for three IC posts.

No other applications from any sector specified in the Act were found eligible for shortlisting.

It was based on this shortlisting that on June 1, PM Modi, Finance Minister Jaitley and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge made the final selection of Vijai Sharma as the CIC and Sudhir Bhargava as Information Commissioner.

Inputs with Mail Today