In a step to rope in professional experts from the private sector, the Centre has asked all ministries to carry out an exercise for identifying posts that require people with specialised or technical knowledge.
Keeping in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to the electorate, the government may also amend the recruitment rules in government services for accommodating such experts on contractual basis with salaries matching that in the private sector, official sources said.
According to the sources, the aim of such a move is to ensure entry of best talents into higher government posts and to bring in a higher sense of participation among the citizens who would have an opportunity to contribute in the higher echelons of the government provided they possess the right qualifications and experience required for a job.
This option is also available for government employees, and, in case, a government employee opts for an appointment on salary equivalent to that of private sector, he or she will have to resign or seek premature retirement before applying for the post.
“Candidates selected from outside the government will invariably be appointed on contract for a fixed tenure and their remuneration will be for a fixed term that could, however, be renegotiated once the term expires at the option of the employing agency,” according to a concept note prepared by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
The BJP had in its 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto said it was committed to bring administrative reforms by opening up the government posts to draw expertise from the industry, academia and society.
This recommendation was also made by the Sixth Pay Commission which submitted its report in 2008. It had suggested that some of the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG), equivalent to Additional Secretary, and Senior Administrative Grade (SAG), equivalent to a Joint Secretary, posts in government requiring technical or specialised knowledge be identified and filled by suitable officers within and outside the government.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which is under the charge of the Prime Minister, is awaiting comments from the ministries and departments in this regard, the sources said, after which necessary rules will be amended in this regard.
The Pay Commission recommendations envisaged that selection to such posts be done through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the government employees applying for the posts, at the time of applying, be given the option to continue in the normal pay and allowances or receiving market driven salary, on selection.
The Pay Commission’s recommendations have been examined in consultation with the Department of Expenditure and the UPSC. The UPSC, which selects IAS, IPS, IFS and other senior officials for the government, can make selection for all posts so identified, according to the note.
However, selection methodology shall be worked out as and when the complete proposal specifying details of posts, duties attached to posts, qualification and experience required, etc. are made available to them, it said.
The tenure may be kept fixed to three to five years to execute contracts on the basis of the nature and requirement of the post with no claims for subsequent permanent employment. There should be a provision for annual review.
The scheme, the Central Pay Commission felt, will facilitate infusion of younger persons that have excelled in their field and break the relations between seniority and selection to such posts with high emphasis on performance.