Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Modi govt opens doors of bureaucracy to private sector experts

New Delhi: The Modi government has opened up senior-level bureaucratic posts in several departments to people, even from the private sector, who are “talented and motivated”, and willing to contribute towards nation building.

”This move in government was long overdue and I welcome it. (It) Will catalyze UPSC entrants to specialise,” NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said in a tweet.

According to an advertisement published in leading newspapers, the government is looking for 10 “outstanding individuals”, even from the private sector, with expertise in the areas of revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare, road transport and highway, shipping, environment, forests and climate change, new and renewable energy, civil aviation and commerce.

A circular issued by the Department of Personnel and Training also said, “The Government of India invites talented and motivated Indian nationals willing to contribute towards nation building to join the government at the level of joint secretary.”

The initiative is being called lateral recruitment to senior positions in the government.

The period of contract will be for three years from the date of commencement of service, extendable up to five years depending upon performance.

Joint Secretaries are at a crucial level of senior management in the government of India and lead policy-making as well as the implementation of various programmes and schemes of the department assigned to them.

They report to the secretary/additional secretary in the ministry or department and are normally appointed from all India services like the IAS, IPS, IFS and other allied services.

The criteria for applicants include minimum age of 40 years as on July 1, 2018, graduate from a recognised university or institute. Higher qualifications would be an added advantage.

Those who are eligible to apply are officers of any state or Union Territories government who are already working at an equivalent level or are eligible for appointment to an equivalent level in their cadre, with relevant experience.

It also includes individuals working at comparable levels in public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, statutory organisations, universities, recognised research institutes with a minimum of 15 years of experience.

Those working at comparable levels in private sector companies, consultancy organisations, international or multinational organisations with a minimum of 15 years experience can also apply.

Selected applicants shall be placed at the beginning of the pay scale as applicable to a joint secretary, which is Rs 1,44,200-Rs 2,18,200 per month (Level 14 of Pay Matrix). In addition, they shall be eligible for all allowances and facilities as applicable to the equivalent level in the Government of India.

However, the government reserves its right to place deserving appointees at an appropriate level within the scale of pay.

All appointees shall be deemed to be public servants for the purpose of the CCS (Conduct) Rules and such other statutes as notified by the government from time to time.

The employment contract can be terminated by either side with a minimum notice period of three months.

The shortlisted candidates will be called for a personal interaction with the selection committee. The last date for receipt of applications is July 30.

The Opposition leaders severely criticised the step and alleged that the government is doing so to get people close to BJP and RSS at top positions to influence government decisions.

“This is being done so that people who are with RSS or BJP come on this position and will then directly influence the decisions taken by government,” Congress’ PL Punia was reported as saying by NDTV.

“How can this ‘Manuvadi government’ sideline the UPSC and appoint whoever they like to important posts like joint secretaries without conducting exams,” asked Tejashwi Yadav in a tweet.

“This is a violation of the constitution and reservation. Tomorrow they will appoint a PM and cabinet without conducting elections. They have made a joke out of the constitutions,” the RJD leader tweeted.

“Why are time-tested UPSC and SSC being sought to be undermined? To fill IAS ranks with Sanghis and undermine reservation too, in the BJP’s last few months in office,” CPI(M) secretary-general Sitaram Yechury tweeted.

However, the NITI Aayog welcomed the move to initiate lateral entry in the bureaucracy with its CEO Amitabh Kant saying it was long overdue.

“NITI’s experience with lateral entry has been extremely good. They (candidates) bring in a vast number of fresh and vibrant ideas.”This move in government was long overdue and I welcome it. (It) Will catalyze UPSC entrants to specialise. Government must also allow deputation of its officers to private sector as well,” Kant said in a tweet.

Notification for lateral recruitment of 10 Joint Secretaries

Inputs with PTI

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