|Red carpet to private bigwigs?|
a sizeable number of private persons in higher bureaucracy? Explaining the proposal, DoPT joint secretary Mamta Kundra took the reference of the 10th report of Administrative Reforms Commission titled, “Refurbishing of Personnel Administration – Scaling New Heights” which emphasized that 10% of posts at joint secretary level in Government of India should be open to lateral entry from state government services or private sector or academics etc., according to the minutes of the July 22 meeting, held in Room No 119 in North Block. In fact, the government is now waiting for the formal comments from cadre controlling authorities before taking a final call on the subject.
Whereas DoPT is the cadre controlling authority for IAS officers, it’s the ministry of external affairs which controls Indian Foreign Service. Home ministry is the cadre controlling authority for IPS officers, and the ministry of finance controls the IRS cadre. And the list goes on.
In the last five years, the number of consultants in government departments has gone up manifold. But they are being recruited at junior level, thereby not allowing them to take key decisions. In Planning Commission itself, there were about 80 to 100 such consultants, some of whom received competitive salary.
But if the government’s new policy on lateral entry finds favour from cadre controlling authorities and also from the PMO, the corridors of power may witness a huge brigade of former corporate sector executives and academics. When there has been a huge emphasis on inculcating corporate sector culture in the government after prime minister Narendra Modi took charge, it can be safely assumed that this proposal of lateral entry at JS level may find PMO's nod.
Among those attended the July 22 meeting included joint secretary in department of expenditure Sudha Krishnan, Joint DGFT Akash Taneja, CBEC joint secretary Arun Goyal, power ministry deputy secretary Ashok Kumar, joint secretary of science and technology ministry Inderjit Singh and Railway Board ED Rashmi Choudhary, to name a few.