Apart from marketing and management jobs, a chance to spy for India may well be on offer during your university’s campus recruitment drive.
An ambitious plan has been proposed to let intelligence agencies go headhunting to university campuses. Deputy national security advisor Nechal Sandhu — who spent decades in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) — was the first to propose the idea last year.
It was quickly vetted by a special team of experts set up by PM Manmohan Singh and, earlier this year, the home ministry too.
As of now, the country’s two intelligence agencies — the IB and Research & Analysis Wing — select spies quite the same way the government recruits paper-pushing babus.
Sources told HT that the proposal stresses on recruiting people with an aptitude for this “very different kind of work”. And to ensure the government didn’t get stuck with dead wood, it also liberalises rules to enable parting ways with recruits who don’t fit in.
But the law and personnel ministries have opposed the plan, arguing that campus recruitment from some universities would be unfair to youngsters in those left out. They also have reservations about how the agencies would be able to implement the 40.5% quota for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
In a note, the department of personnel said such a plan would “violate the fundamental right to equality of the Constitution”.
Officers in the two agencies, however, are in favour of the proposal. “It may be time to look at recruitment from a perspective other than that of providing jobs,” an intelligence officer said. “When you have just 18,500 IB personnel for national security, it is important each one is recruited on the basis of merit alone.”