Pvt sector experts to land up top govt jobs
In a move that could end the monopoly of civil servants to key government posts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cleared an ambitious plan to induct private sector experts at the rank of joint secretary and additional secretary in the government. Aloke Tikku reports.Updated: Jul 01, 2013 00:59 IST
In a move that could end the monopoly of civil servants to key government posts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cleared an ambitious plan to induct private sector experts at the rank of joint secretary and additional secretary in the government.
There are nearly 480 joint secretary and 108 additional secretary rank posts in the central government. Not all of them, however, would be immediately open for outsiders.
The plan - that has been under discussion within the government for years - would initially cover positions that require "technical and specialized knowledge" and are not earmarked for any particular cadre of government officers.
The department of personnel & training (DoPT) has asked central ministries and departments to identify such positions.
Once this process in complete, the government will finalise the recruitment process for each category of posts along with the Union Public Service Commission.
Civil servants too would be able to make a pitch for these posts in competition with private sector experts including academics. Each post would have a term of three to five years.
But if government officials want the market-drive consolidated salary, they will first have to quit their job. There is a cap of R 2 lakh on the monthly salary but there can be exceptions and each such case will also need the approval of the finance ministry.
"The objective is to ensure availability of the best talent for these higher level posts in government and to bring in a higher sense of participation among citizens who would have an opportunity to contribute in the higher echelons of the government provided they possess the right qualifications and experience for the job," a concept note circulated by Mukta Goel, director at DoPT said.
Officials said PM Manmohan Singh had been keen on the idea for years but the proposal always ended up in the deep freezer.
It is still not clear how far the suggestion will go because it is dependent on the civil servants "identifying" posts suitable for such lateral induction.
But one official suggested this was done to make the civil service a part of the reform process rather than ram it down their throat.
On his part, Singh did manage to induct Nandan Nilekani as the head of the unique identity project and Raghu Raman to construct a national intelligence grid.
Senior babus upset by PM move
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given the key job to attract investment in the infrastructure sector to his principal secretary Pulak Chatterji. The move is seen as a rebuff to the senior babus of the Planning Commission, which have been tasked to monitor progress in the infrastructure sector and comes with policies to attract investment. With Chatterji now in-charge for seven key infrastructure projects worth R 1,15,000 crore in the Public Private Partnership mode, the PM hopes he would be able to bring about positive changes.
Human trauma in U’khand shocks official
The flash floods in Uttarakhand have opened the eyes of several government officials to unprecedented human trauma. One of them is former Home Secretary V K Duggal, 68, who had to shift his base from Delhi to Dehradun to coordinate the relief and rescue measures. Although he is a member of the National Disaster Management Authority, the job at hand at Dehradun was much tougher. "One doesn't even get time to breathe here," Duggal said.
An IPS officer’s wild tyrst with the lens
He has been trained to hold the AK-47 but Somesh Goyal is as comfortable wielding the camera in the wild. The 1984 batch IPS officer recently held a photo exhibition of 50 rare photographs of the three endangered species, Tigers, Elephants and Rhinoceros that he had taken over the last two decades. When he isn't policing the borders (he oversees operations at the Sashastra Seema Bal) or capturing tigers in his camera, Goyal picks up the pen to write about travel or the wild. He already has eight books to his credit but it looks like there will be more.
Govt looks to compile best RTI practices
The government is looking for articles to be put together a compilation of best practices adopted by various department towards enhancing transparency under the Right to Information Act. Each published piece - there will be 20 - will earn the author a reward of R25,000. Just to put the money in context, R25,000 is also the penalty that babus have to pay if they withhold information without a reasonable cause.