Sunday, 7 August, 2022
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‘Irregularities’ in lateral entry of 3 joint secretaries — hiring row hits UPSC & DoPT

CAT has asked UPSC to respond to petition alleging irregularities in the appointment of three professionals as joint secretaries through lateral entry.

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New Delhi: A year after their appointment, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has asked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to respond to a petition, alleging irregularities in the recruitment of three of the nine professionals hired by the government as joint secretaries through lateral entry. 

The CAT notice issued in August came in response to a petition filed by an Indian Forest Service officer, Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who had highlighted concerns raised by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) regarding the recruitment process followed by the UPSC. 

According to DoPT documents accessed by ThePrint, while the UPSC picked nine professionals from the private and government sectors through lateral entry last year, three of them did not meet the eligibility criteria.

The advertisement issued by the government inviting applications for the positions of joint secretary in the central government in 2018 stated that those working in public sector undertakings (PSUs), autonomous bodies, statutory organisations, universities, etc. should be working at “comparable levels” as joint secretaries.

In his petition to the CAT, Chaturvedi had asked the tribunal “to restrain the Respondents (the Centre and UPSC) from filling up of posts of Joint Secretary equivalent to Joint Secretary rank and also posts above in rank of Joint Secretary, in Central Government, through contract system, in future”.

ThePrint reached DoPT spokesperson via text messages, email and phone calls, asking if the concerns raised by the department were forwarded to the UPSC, but there was no response. ThePrint waited for a week before publishing this report. 


Also read: How to work like IAS officer — lessons taught to 8 lateral entrants recruited by Modi govt


The ‘irregularities’

According to the DoPT’s observations, which were raised by its Establishment Office in 2019, two of the officers picked were holding the posts at central public sector undertakings with a pay scale of Rs 37,400-67,000, which are not equivalent to the joint secretary level. 

The pay scale of another professional, who was holding the post of a general manager in a state PSU, is not known, the DoPT had said. 

This means that while, according to the government advertisement, those recruited from PSUs should have been working at the same level as joint secretaries, the UPSC picked two candidates, who were working at the director level — a rank lower than that of a joint secretary — and also picked a person whose pay scale was not known.

According to a source familiar with the development, the DoPT’s Establishment Office made these observations as part of its assessment of the candidates picked by the UPSC. 

The DoPT documents showed that it had sought answers for the irregularities from its Recruitment Rules (RR) Division. 

UPSC responsible for selection

In its response, the RR Division told the DoPT that it was the UPSC that was responsible for the selection process.

“With the approval of the competent authority, the entire responsibility of undertaking the selection process and declaration of successful candidates was entrusted to UPSC,” it said.

“Therefore, this Division was not required to undertake further verification of the selection process carried out by UPSC or with regard to eligibility of the candidates recommended by the UPSC,” it added. 

The RR Division also said one of the modalities adopted by the UPSC to recruit professionals was that their salary should be Rs 20 lakh per annum at least during any of the last two years, and that was verified by the UPSC. 


Also read: Modi govt ready for second round of lateral entry recruitment for 40 posts


 

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32 COMMENTS

  1. A careful analysis of list of JS empaneled officers will show that vast majority of those empaneled are the officers who have very short tenures in the filed and have copiously compromised with the mandate deliveries to avoid conflicts. The names of officers (many times retired) who are associated with the 360 deg evaluation are usually open secrets and the procedure is therefore easily cracked. This works against the officers considered “outsiders” by the regional lobbies who promote the insiders with positive feedbacks and undermine the “outsiders” with biased negative feedbacks.[Ref: 30 October 2018 report of Outlook on Sri M.Nageshwar Rao, IPS on skullduggery practiced in certain cadres].The opaque system ensures that those involved remain shielded and can settle scores with impunity. Moreover the reasonableness of the resources and time spent on blanket assessment of JS empanelment is highly questionable as very few of those empaneled leave their parent cadre/organization to join as JS under CSS.
    System Improvement suggested:
    1. To Rationalize the financial burden involved in the process of empanelment ,the process of scrutiny should be undertaken only for those officers who have applied for the JS posts under CSS and are otherwise found eligible through basic scrutiny. This single step will make the process faster as well as efficient and economic.
    2. Officer once scrutinized and found fit through due process will not be permitted to refuse the posting .Refusal to be posted shall debar the selected officer from JS posting for a period of Five years. Filtering at initial stage itself will imply that only serious candidates apply and infructuous expenditure of resources in blanket scrutiny of officers is avoided.
    3. In certain states regional parochialism plays a major role as was reported in the above referred OUTLOOK report. Hence care should be taken during 360 deg to prevent malafide/biased reporting.
    Hopefully the things will change for better as improvement begins when we public resources are not treated free.

  2. Most of the bureaucrats who get empaneled as Joint secretaries are those who have seldom worked in field, have copiously compromised with the mandate delivery to avoid smallest of conflicts, obviously at the cost of the country .The 360 deg review is a random review that is already cracked since members conducting the same is generally an open secret and regional lobbies manipulate the process to give positive feedbacks of their own officers and negative feedbacks of non state officers considered as outsiders. [Reference Report on of Mr M.Nageshwar Rao,IPS-1986 batch published in Outlook Web Bureau Report of 30 October 2018].In Odisha this may be true for many other central departments.
    Moreover, the inherent weakness of the process is that very few of those empaneled ever interested to “Serve” through CSS in case they have to leave “Plum positions”.
    System Improvements Suggested:
    1.Scrutinize only those officers who have actually applied for working as a Joint Secretary through CSS.
    2. It goes against the common prudence to have a blanket exercise involving huge public resources on generating empanelment orders which are mostly infructuous as very small percentage of those empaneled seek JS position in CSS.
    3.In few states as referred in report of Sri M Nageshwar Rao, the Insider vs Out sider discrimination is very strong and care should be taken to discount this in telephonic feed backs.
    4.An officer once empaneled after due process of scrutiny will be debarred from the posting as JS under CSS for a period of Five years .
    5.Officers already empaneled under current system may be asked to submit willingness for joining as JS.The willing officers should then be posted as JS. The unwilling offices should be removed from the panel.

  3. The purpose behind the lateral entry is to increase the efficiency in the system through Administrative reforms, than,why not the system of fast track promotions from amongst the IAS lateral entry from IRS and allied all India services is introduced strictly based on performance and integrity?
    Better , if talented people in the lower cadres are encouraged instead of this kind of induction.

  4. These babus cannot see someone smarter than them recruited by the government, they just want someone corrupt and incompetent like them taking these places and run country the way it has run in the past 70 years.
    We should follow the US bureaucratic system and hire only professionals.

  5. This Chaturvedi bureaucrat has lot of time to file such frivolous petitions.

    The entrenched lobbies want to scuttle reforms in babudom.

  6. After SC, Prashant Bhushan like of UPSC, Sanjiv Chaturvedi, we need such figures working continuously for the benefit of people. This government is the most corrupt and fascist India has ever seen. We are in need of a revolution anytime soon.

    • My dear commentator you are hundred percent correct. The present government should follow the US system for fairness in services .
      Let people also respond if they’re posted for direct service even in district level.

  7. In 2014, even the Principal Secretary to PM was irregularly appointed , by passing an Ordinance. So, what’s new ?

  8. Looks like as usual,rules are meant to be broken, holds good every where and many politicians break the careers of many to befit their money making goals… Nothing new “the experience” for a committed civil servant, noticing many worthless people occupying positions as high as Principal Secretary of Education, who misuse their position to facilitate foreign consulates to “exploit women” by using all their power to chop off the marks to facilitate women to “be available for trafficking” to their choice of destination for facilitating marriage frauds when women are worth points and circulate them, stamp divorce on her face as many times as possible for their “dirty money earning” as much as free passage of fellows who cannot get points by themselves, as well as their money laundering, siphoning and misuse of women…. as well as isolating and making a bad propaganda of “the targets”, to favor greedy politicians and businesses by virtue of power and greed, where ever ” their target” goes taking help of shameless people around more than happy to do so, out of greed!!

  9. Lateral entry need not be so stringent and pay oriented. Maybe, they are much more smarter than the rest in that particular field.
    There should be more flexible entry, which even ruling party politicians could make to assist them, with their expertise.
    In anycase rules are meant to be broken, holds good every where and many politicians break the careers of many to befit their money making goals… Nothing new “the experience” for a committed civil servant, noticing many worthless people occupying positions as high as Principal Secretary of Education, who misuse their position to facilitate foreign consulates to “exploit women” by using all their power to chop off the marks to facilitate women to “be available for trafficking” to their choice of destination for facilitating marriage frauds when women are worth points and circulate them, stamp divorce on her face as many times as possible for their “dirty money earning” as much as free passage of fellows who cannot get points by themselves, as well as their money laundering, siphoning and misuse of women…. as well as isolating and making a bad propaganda of “the targets”, to favor greedy politicians and businesses by virtue of power and greed, where ever ” their target” goes taking help of shameless people around more than happy to do so, out of greed!!

  10. This is the IAS lobby at work. They are feeling threatened and want to put as many obstacles in the way of this excellent idea as possible. Wonder what has been promised to this Forest Officer to put up a petition on a matter that does not affect him! A similar scheme in New Zealand has worked very well. The Govt must continue and induct more people laterally at different levels too.

  11. This lateral entry recruitment process on a mass scale basis as planned will soon boomarang and end up in a massive scam.
    The scheme has already shown the signs and symtoms of nepotism and favouritism to accommodate only friends and favourites.
    The lessons learnt of the recruitments for RAW ,during its formative years must not be lost. The selection and recruitment process was totally arbitrary albeit reckless .All the posts were filled up sons , brothers friend’s sons of senior police, defence officers and those of bureaucrats, politicians kith and kin s as well.
    Well existing recruitment rules were given a go by. The results, the very idea of having a powerful external intelligence wing was filled with not only incompetent non performing personnel, but also some of them turned out to be desserters and traitors.
    Instead of this, the government must formulate a proper recruitment policy and process . The selection process followed by the UPSC at present should be recalibrated. Above everything, the option of writing the Exams in mother tongue must be abolished forthwith. Regional and parochial attitude of the language examiners are the only causes for recruitment of sub standard and very mediocre candidates in higher services.. Let there be the only level playing field for all categories of candidates with English as the sole medium of writing the competitive exams.

  12. Lateral entry to Joint Secretary cadre is only meant for irregularities, otherwise, in recruitment through UPSC also, technocrats experienced in States can definitely be selected, if the Government wants to appoint them.

  13. Most unfortunate process at first.
    Those who fight neck to neck in the competitive exams were sent to back benches by the lateral entry process.

    There’s always a chance of favouritism in the lateral entry process though it seems the entire process is transparent.

    It is time to rethink and stop the lateral entry scheme.

  14. Mistakes, if any, can be checked but why the petitioner wants to restrain UPSC from further selections for lateral entry ? No prize for guessing

  15. Lateral entry should be encouraged it’s t the need​ of this time. Maybe some lobby would try to hamper the process on the name of discripency in selection. W e can make selection process robust and transparent but we should not stop lateral entry system.

  16. Lateral entry is introduced only to counter the high handedness of IAS.But the criteria to be followed should not consider the Income but the experience and credibility one has attained in the area in which she/he is selected. INDIA should come out of its politico,bureaucratic and money influence

  17. The relics of Raj now come to obstruct the initiative of govt as most of them don’t want improving Governance

    • With due respect Mr. Das I want to ask you one question..What is the status of an IAS officer? He has to take orders from political bosses for each file he clears in the concerned ministry. Even the minister don’t know the abcds of subject. Past 45 years I am seeing this practice.

      How can you say that relics of Raj obstructing the government initiative? We all know how sincere is our government thinking 😂😂😂

  18. The petitioner is a highly upright officer in govt hence there is no iota of falsity but the notification very cunningly hided things from the applicant as no where it mentions about₹20lakhs p.a as a basic criteria as iwas one whose second round assessment after it was informed.I would request Sri Chaturvedi to help in putting high irregularities in giving one after another extension to few chosen IAS,IFS one even eighths term after one retired,why?Are there no capable officer? Let DoPT be put under responsibility to ensure fairness of al India service rules.Thanks

  19. Nothing surprising – when the very objective of lateral entry was to create positions for certain desired people.

  20. Who cares. What a frivolous petition. Expect a lot more because the beauraucracy obviously doesn’t want lateral entry.

    • And It should end; The hard work and responsibilities they have to perform for the whole district on all odds and even. Why shouldn’t there be hegemony.

      • are brother, there are fellows who were not able to clear UPSC. They just want entry in this system by some shortcut

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