Irony of power (sector): Same eligibility criterion for CMD & Dir posts


A not-so-ingenious Law of Dilution has been devised to fill top vacancies in CPSEs. At a time when the selection process of CMD for country’s largest power generation utility (NTPC) has arrived in final stage power corridors of CPSEs are astill abuzz with gopssips over the realaxation of eligibibility crietteris for GoI officials.

And it has become something like this: show me your service, I will show you the rule. That’s what has been done to ensure maximum participation of IAS officers in top level job interviews in CPSEs. If this involves changing and diluting the eligibility criteria, so be it.

A glaring example of this is the blatant distortion in the eligibility criteria for NTPC CMD post. To be filled soon, the criterion of being Additional Secretary to apply for the job was diluted to accommodate Joint Secretaries as well.  Of course, this helped a number of Joint Secretary rank officers apply for the coveted job. But at the same time it broke the well-established rule and exposed the system to jibes and jokes.

Look at the rule: the DPE guidelines stipulate that in a Schedule-A company (CPSE), additional secretary rank officers would be eligible for CMD level posts, whereas for director rank posts, Jt Secretary rank officials would be eligible.

Bending the guidelines to enable jt secretaries apply for the post of NTPC CMD, as a senior officer put it, is nothing but the “irony of power (sector)”. And this irony became patent when the advertisement was put out for filling the anticipated vacancy of the Director HR of NTPC, as the incumbent U P Pani is scheduled to superannuate on October 31 this year. One of the eligibility criteria mentioned in the ad is that applicant should be holding the rank of joint secretary at the time of applying for the job.

Can you have the same eligibility criterion for applying for the job of CMD as well as director?