In a historic first, the Modi-led government has opened doors of bureaucracy to skilled workers from private sectors. The government on Sunday in an official release announced the lateral recruitment to senior positions in the Government of India.
In its release, the Department of Personnel and Training said that the Government is looking for ten outstanding individuals with expertise of more than 15 years in fields like Revenue, Finance, Transport, Civil Aviation and Commerce. The applicant has to be 40 years of age as on July 1, 2018, and that he or she must be a graduate from a recognised university or institute. While candidates from state governments and Central or state public sector undertakings will be appointed on deputation, the candidates from private sector will be appointed on contract basis, the notification said.
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. In addition, they shall be eligible for all allowances and facilities.
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 move is massive as it’s the first time that the government has opened its doors for a senior management position to non-civil servants.
The recruitment will be done on contract basis for three to five years. The posts are also open to officials of any state or union territory government who are already working at equivalent level, and individuals working at comparable levels in public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, universities and research institutes.
Joint Secretaries are at a crucial level of senior management in the government and lead policy making as well as implementation of various programmes and schemes of the department assigned to them. They report to the Secretary or the Additional Secretary in the respective ministries.
The joint secretary post is usually filled through the competitive exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
However, the move has come under severe criticism from the opposition, with Congress leader PL Punia calling it a ploy to induct people with RSS leanings who would then 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 the government,” Punia said.
Bihar Leader of Opposition and RJD member Tejashwi Yadav said the government had made a joke out of the Constitution and slammed the moved as a violation of the statute. “”How can this Manuvadi government sideline the UPSC and appoint whoever they like to important posts like joint secretaries without conducting exams? 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,” Tejashwi tweeted.
Seconding Punia, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the move was an attempt to include ‘sanghis’ in the administrative ranks. “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,” Yechury 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. pic.twitter.com/J26fl5BFYO— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) June 10, 2018
Countering the charges, Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said the decision to introduce lateral entry to 10 joint secretary posts was an endeavour on part of the government to give every Indian a chance to grow. “It’s an endeavour to get the best from whichever source available. It’s motivated with focus on allowing every Indian citizen a fair chance to ensure their growth depending on their potential,” ANI quoted Singh as saying.
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.
Niti’s experience with lateral entry has been extremely good.They bring in a vast number of fresh & vibrant ideas.This move in Govt was long overdue & I welcome it.Will catalyse UPSC entrants to specialise. Govt must also allow deputation of its officers to private sector as well— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) June 10, 2018
Earlier, on April last year, Kant had said that the NITI Aayog is throwing open its doors to private sector experts to join the government think tank at all levels, including at secretary rank.
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