The Parkash Singh Badal government on Monday decided to appoint Lieutenant General NPS Hira as chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), it is learnt.
Lt Gen Hira was appointed the deputy chief of army staff in March this year. Also, the Akali Dal-BJP government has reportedly decided to appoint Punjab School Education Board chairperson Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal as member of the PPSC.
These decisions were taken by the high-powered committee headed by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday. The other two members of the panel are Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal and the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Charanjit Singh Channi.
Sources say Channi skipped the meeting again citing election-related pre-engagements in Delhi and had conveyed to the government to postpone this meeting. Earlier, the committee had deferred its decision twice due to Channi’s inability to attend the meeting.
The panel finally decided to approve the appointments, recording the repeated failure of the CLP leader to attend the meeting. Channi, along with other Congress MLAs, has already resigned from the Vidhan Sabha.
Lt Gen Hira, a decorated officer who also served as chief of staff of Northern Command at Udhampur, will succeed Lt Gen TS Gill (retd), who was appointed as the PPSC chairman in 2015 and demitted office in September after a year-long stint.
Now, only one post of the non-official member of the PPSC is lying vacant and the government is likely to fill it very shortly.
The PPSC comprises a chairman and 10 members, who serve for a fixed term of six years or until they are 62.
Besides Lt Gen NPS Hira, Lt Gen KJ Singh, who retired in July and held last posting as the general officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Command, was among five decorated three-star generals who were vying for the PPSC chairman post.