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Chief Election Commissioner of India and former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer OP Rawat among others during the celebration of national public relations day at NDIM campus on April 21.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Jobs at UIDAI: Is Nilekani preferring IAS to corporate guys?

NANDAN Nilekani, a corporate honcho now in government, is preferring to take bureaucrats, mainly IAS, on board for executing key managerial assignments in various offices of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which has begun the process of giving a unique identification number to each of 1 billion Indian citizens. Despite the government allowing UIDAI to recruit private sector, though on government salary and on contract basis, the UIDAI has preferred the route of recruiting bureaucrats at the rank of joint secretary and deputy secretary/director. The difficulty in getting right private sector people with government salary is believed to be one of the main handicaps of UIDAI of recruiting key managers from corporate world. To give a sense of government salary structure, a joint secretary with over 20 years of experiences gets a pay of Rs 37400-67000/-(Pay Band-4 in government language) with a grade pay of Rs 10000, and other parks like accommodation. People in power corridors, however, feel that UIDAI chairman Mr Nilekani wants a brigade of IAS officers to manage the show as they are well-equipped and most suitable to understand the complex government procedure to make this fl edging project a success. Though UIDAI is in pressing need of key people right away, the recruitment of government officers needs its own time, and once selected the said officer will have to be relieved by the concerned state. Poaching private sector managers and appointing them on contract basis could have been less time-consuming than recruiting bureaucrats. The UIDAI which will have its new office in LIC building in CP, New Delhi, is likely to have a back-hand set-up of technicians in Bangalore. Till now, seven government officers including Ram Sevak Sharma (Director General and Mission Director), Ms K Ganga, Deputy Director General and five deputy secretary or director level officers were recruited to the Authority. Three more officers is likely to be on board soon, and the process of recruitment for another 10 officers is underway, sources said.

4 comments:

  1. Not a bad idea! Had everyone been from private sector, it would have been difficult for Nilekani to make such a complex government project a success. IAS officers are the best in twisting rules to make things work in government set up. Best wishes Nilekani and your IAS brigade.

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  2. Can't "corporate social responsibility" be a reason big enough to nudge the pvt. sector to voluntarily offer some of its bright minds for this eminent national project?
    gabriel

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  3. With a brigade of Govt officials(Due apoligies) UIDAI shall go on and on for atleast a decade. History says this as usually no govt official will take any decision and always leave every decision on the next person. I personally feel only the Private/Corporate Executives can do justice to this vast project. Recruit just retired Corporate Executives and give them a free hand to form their own team at lower levels and give a time frame. Else like all committes formed, this shall also be another defunct project.

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  4. The project is doomed, with many incompetent IAS officers being picked up for this project

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