‘No caste-based quota in lateral entry plan’: Jitendra Singh
Caste-based quotas haven’t been followed in recruitment of lateral entrants to senior government jobs because these are single-cadre appointments to which the principle of reservation does not apply, Union minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Under the reservation policy, 49.5% of all government jobs are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and other backward classes (OBC) candidates.
In what was billed as a significant step in the direction of civil services reforms, the Centre on April 13 announced the likely appointment of nine private sector recruits into the government at the joint secretary level. As a rule, the post of joint secretary is filled by Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Revenue Service officers recruited through the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, which recommended the nine lateral entry appointments.
Responding to a question in the Upper House, Jitendra Singh said a single post in each ministry had been filled through lateral entry and the advertisement inviting applicationsfromcandidateshad the mentioned which post in which ministry was being filled.
“…For example, if you have one vacancy in a certain ministry, you make an appointment, then the principle of reservation does not apply there. It has already been scrutinised through all means. In the present government, the lateral entry appointments prominently have been just about six or seven at the higher level whereas earlier [during the United Progressive Alliance rule] it was more than 20 -- I did not go through the entire list of the earlier appointments -- and they have followed in good faith a criterion.”
Last week, a few members of Parliament raised concerns that the policy of reservation was not being followed for lateral entry recruitment. The minister said the scrutiny and parameters for recruitment being followed were very strict, so there was no compromise on the candidates’ merit. The minister said nine private sector specialists recommended by the Union Public Service Commission are yet to be appointed as joint secretaries in central government departments.