In its bid to attract talent from private sectors, the Centre on Sunday invited applications for 10 Joint Secretary-level posts in several departments through lateral entry. The initiative opens up lateral recruitment to senior positions in the government.
According to the advertisement published in leading newspapers, the government is looking for 10 “outstanding individuals”, even from the private sector, with expertise in the areas of revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare, road transport and highway, shipping, environment, forests and climate change, new and renewable energy, civil aviation and commerce.
A circular issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said, “The Government of India invites talented and motivated Indian nationals willing to contribute towards nation building to join the government at the level of Joint Secretary.”
“It is part of an endeavour to get the best from whichever sources available,” said Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led India on the path of development on a rapid pace. A number of decisions have taken place in the governance front during the past four years, whether it is giving away the age-old British legacy of getting certificates attested by the gazetted officers or abolishment of interviews for lower posts…All this is motivated with the focus on aligning every citizen of India who is given a fair chance to ensure his or her growth depending on potential, capability and diligence,” he added.
As per the criteria fixed by the government, the applicant must be of 40 years of age as on July 1 and a graduate from a recognised university.
The selected individuals will be given three-year contracts, extendable to five years based on performance.
The post of Joint Secretary is usually filled through public exams conducted by UPSC. Joint secretaries report to the secretary/additional secretary in a ministry or department and are normally appointed from all India services such as the IAS, IPS, IFS and other allied services.
The move comes days after a proposal to make changes in the allocation of services to officers of the all India services after completion of the 15-week foundation course.
The move has also faced flak from Opposition parties.
“This is totally wrong. They will try to recruit people people associated with the RSS, the BJP and their affiliate organisations besides the employees working for top industrialists who are close to the government…They will try and influence government policies and these people will not be neutral or fair. This step is not in national interest,” Congress spokesperson PL Punia said.
The move was also slammed by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.
“Why are time-tested UPSC and SSC being sought to be undermined?” he tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies)