The sheer pleasure of heading a PSU

New Delhi: A strange phenomenon is confronting the nation today. Of late, In most PSU appointments, there is observed a mad rush of candidates to apply for board-level positions. At the same time, it is found that the incumbents currently enconsed are most unwilling to let go of their chairs. The occurrences have become so common that a pattern has emerged. This has prompted NewsIP to investigate and is being shared here.
Readers will be shocked at how the top positions in PSUs and even Govt. Agencies are being bagged by persons who once having tasted blood just do not want to let go of the chair. Most will recall that NewsIP has always maintained that corruption starts with the appointment process to various positions in PSUs. Of late the entire process has been mastered to perfection. The modus operandi is as follows: Most Chairmen/ Heads of PSUs to start with ensure that no one in the feeder channel gets promoted to the grade one below that of the Board Level positions viz. EDs. Then PESB conveniently reject the ‘under graded’ candidates viz.GMs as being unsuitable, especially for the position of Chairman.

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A search committee is then constituted to find a suitable candidate whose name gets recommended. A problem which arises in this procedure of convenience is that many times the Candidate occupying the chair becomes overage, normally PSUs executives retire at age 60. Having served till 60 and still wanting to serve for more time they pursue extensions which is often granted. After this extended period is over or even before that the next action is that of lobbing with all concerned to ensure that the age of 60 is somehow extended. Mind you this is a full-fledged position, not that of an emeritus or something like that.
To cite some recent examples Mr Prabhakar Singh DG in CPWD was given extension beyond 60 years, Mr. Arun Singh was made Chairman of ONGC despite he being of 60 years of age. There must be other examples as well. But contrast this also to the fact that Oil& Gas giants like Mr Subhir Raha and Mr Sarthak Behuria were denied extensions as Chairman ONGC and Chairman IOCL respectively while Mr. Ranjan Mahapatra was not given an extension as Dir (HR) IOCL. What has now come to light, during investigations & interactions with some sources is that not one but many persons are reportedly trying hard for appointment as Chairman IOCL despite having crossed 60 years of age.Readers will recall that NewsIP had reported that the current Chairman IOCL had been given an extension for one year only despite a proposal for two years extension.

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This time round the proposal for considering 61 years of age as appropriate for Chairman IOCL as per available news has been negated; in all probability by PMO.This leads to the logical question, what could be the reason? After all, most are aware, that the current incumbent has very strong backing. There may be a string of allegations but nothing has been proven. Another information circulating is that there are other contenders who are of 61 years of age, maybe even part of the search committee itself, who also are keen to be considered for the position of Chairman, IOCL. Is it possible that these very persons are behind this rejection by PMO? Although many who are familiar with Oil & Gas believe that the stature of current incumbent and his strong backing will ensure that he will only get this appointment, regardless of the methodlogy used to get him the position.

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