New Delhi: The Modi government is all set to expand recruitment under its lateral entry scheme by inducting 40 domain experts into its administration at the director and deputy secretary level.
Sources in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the government is working on chalking out a plan to recruit individuals for the post of director/deputy secretary under the Central Staffing Scheme — the procedure for selection and appointment of officers of and above the rank of under secretary.
“The plan is not new at all… It is in keeping with the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) and NITI Aayog in 2017, which said that around 40 individuals can be recruited by the government through lateral entry to fill up vacancies in the government,” said an official in the DoPT who didn’t wish to be identified.
Earlier this year, the government recruited nine domain experts to be appointed as joint secretaries for a 5-year contract. They are yet to be given their appointment letters.
“Nine people have already been recruited… It was felt that 40 more can be recruited at the DS/director level,” said the official.
“The speculation that the DoPT is going to hire hundreds of lateral entrants is absolutely false.”
While the modalities of the recruitment are still being chalked out, it is unlikely that there will be a reservation quota because these are individual contracts, the official said.
Of the nine laterally recruited domain experts by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) this year, none belonged to the SC/ST communities.
CoS, Niti Aayog recommendations
In 2017, the CoS had recommended inducting 40 individuals into the government at the level of joint secretary, director and deputy secretary in order to fill the huge shortage of officers in the middle management level.
Subsequently, the Prime Minister’s Office was asked to prepare an outline of modalities.
“The DoPT is only following up on the earlier recommendation now,” said another DoPT official on condition of anonymity.
At the time the government wanted a committee headed by the cabinet secretary. However, the government subsequently decided that an autonomous agency like the UPSC should recruit the joint secretaries in its first batch of lateral entry.
The same year, even the Niti Aayog recommended inducting private talent into decision-making.
“Today, rising complexity of the economy has meant that policy-making is a specialised activity,” Niti Aayog’s three-year action plan had said.
“Therefore, it is essential that specialists be inducted into the system through lateral entry. Such entry will also have the beneficial side effect of bringing competition to the established career bureaucracy,” it said.
“Specialists could be brought on three to five year contracts… Such a system will bring top talent and energy into the government and will lend new dynamism to the ministries.”
As reported first by ThePrint, Niti Aayog itself is all set to recruit 54 domain experts out of the total of 516 positions in the government think-tank.