Relaxing the existing rules, the government has made way for eminent people in the field of art, culture and literature to head premier government bodies involved in conservation and preservation of heritage in the country.
According to a new set of rules, eight institutions like the Archeological Survey of India, National Archives, National Gallery of Modern Arts etc would be headed by artistes, on contract basis, with remuneration much higher than government norm.
After a prolonged tussle between the Culture Ministry and the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on who should select these heads, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has recently approved the new rules.
“UPSC was earlier opposed to all these formulations and wanted its presence in the procedure”, a Ministry official said. Overriding the objections of UPSC, the PM has given
free hand to the Ministry in the appointments, which finally have to be approved by the PM.
According to the rules communicated to the Ministry by the Cabinet Secretariat, the selection would be done by a Search cum Selection Committee. It would be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and would comprise of principal secretary to the PM and secretaries of Department of Personal and Training and Culture, apart from three experts from related fields. The UPSC has been kept out of the loop.
The new procedure does not insist only on academic qualification and experience but will follow flexible eligibility criteria so that the best person in the domain can come forward to lead a specific institution.