In the first step towards ending the monopoly of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) over the Central Vigilance Commissioner’s (CVC) post, the government on Monday changed the ground rules to provide a level playing field for individuals and officers alike to apply for the key post to the anti-corruption watchdog as well.
Every candidate — irrespective of their previous job or service — will have to submit a 300-word write-up justifying their claim to the posts, should less than 62 years and must have headed a company or a government department.
The change comes a day before the Supreme Court is slated to resume hearing a case against the restrictive selection procedure for the CVC and vigilance commissioners. At its last hearing in end-September, the court had indicated its displeasure at provisions that discouraged private individuals from applying.
The fresh rules are expected to enable the government restart the selection process after the court’s approval. The CVC’s post has been vacant after Pradeep Kumar completed his term last month.
The convention so far had been to appoint an IAS officer as the CVC. Of the two posts of vigilance commissioners, one went to an IPS officer and the other to a public sector banker.
The government had last revised its guidelines after the SC struck down the appointment of PJ Thomas as CVC in 2011. The court had then questioned why the government only considered candidates from amongst civil service.