“A distinguished serving or former chief executive of a public sector or private sector or joint sector enterprise” can apply for the post. Currently, former steel secretary and 1974 batch retired IAS of UP cadre Atul Chaturvedi is the PESB’s chairman whereas his batch-mate from the same cadre KM Acharya and former BEL chairman Ashwani Kumar Datt are two of its Members.
Though the government allows private sector CEOs to apply for some key sarkari positions, the reality is very few do apply, and the man who ultimately gets selected turns out to be an ex-government official. After PJ Thomas’ appointment as Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) was stricken down, the Supreme Court last year allowed “eminent private sector person” to apply for the post of CVC. It’s another matter that none of the private individuals applied for the post could make into the coveted position. Similarly, the government this year for the first time allowed private sector CEOs to apply for the post of chairman, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). It is widely believed that a section in the Planning Commission lobbied hard for a private sector CEO grabbing NHAI’s top job. But ultimately, a former bureaucrat and ex-DIPP secretary RP Singh finally made into the position.
PESB’s Member gets a fixed term of three years or 65 years of age whichever earlier. The minimum age to apply for the post is 55 years.