The government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is facing a serious human resource problem. The nigam is managed by the Indian Telecom Service (ITS) officers who were recruited by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and are employees of the central government. They are on deputation in the PSU.
The government wants them to get absorbed in the PSU and work as employees of BSNL. However, the ITS officers, who have joined the services through the prestigious Indian Engineering Service examination, do not want to join the PSU under the present terms and conditions which does not even secure full pension.
The present problem started on November 3 when the department of telecommunications (DoT), the administrative ministry of the PSU, issued an order directing BSNL to repatriate all Indian Telecom Service (ITS) officials back to the ministry.
On November 9, BSNL partly complied with the order and relieved 400 ITS officers out of 1,400. They were asked to report to Sr deputy director general (Telecom Engineering Centre). The DoT thought that by destablising ITS officers from their present posting throughout the country and asking them to report in New Delhi, the ITS officers will come under pressure and take absorption. However, only about 10-odd ITS officials have joined the PSU.
Now, senior officials of the rank of deputy secretary, joint secretary, and additional secretary fare sitting idle in Delhi. The BSNL, which is already short of staff at the mid-level management, is contemplating how to face this problem that will seriously effect its operations.
“DoT should identify posts including sanctioning of posts for justified works within its organs and in various central ministries and other bodies for accommodating ITS officers,” said Satish Sharma, vice president of Indian Telecom Service Association (ITSA).
“I feel that all the officers can be absorbed in DoT itself as there is a big requirement in the ministry. With a lot of new areas proposed under the new telecom policy there will be requirement of people,” said Sharma. “We will soon approach the government for allowing us to recruit officers. We will attract them by protecting their salary so that they can take voluntary retirement,” said a senior BSNL official.