At least ten deputy general managers from the five state-owned general insurance companies have taken this step and another five DGMs have put in thie resignation papers.
The MOF recently changed its seven- year promotion policies for DGMs aspiring to become general manager that includes written tests like precis-writing, group discussions and transfers to any of the five insurance companies to GM .State Bank of India had earlier similar pormotional guidelines but recently discarded after finding the policy ineffective.
For state owned general insurance sector, general manager is the highest post and is equivalent to the post of executive director of a government bank.
Earlier each of these companies -New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance, United India, National Insurance, and General Insurance Corporation- was conducting its promotional exercise for this post within the company. Effectively officers of company would be considered for promotion in the same company provided there is a vacancy.
But for last two promotional exercise for 13 vacant slots of general managers, the ministry has switched over to a common tests system for all eligible candidates from the 2003 and 2004 batch, totalling around 70 eligible candidates.
For the first time all these candidates were flown to Hyderabad to appear tests conducted by Administrative Staff College of India (Asci).
For each of these candidates the parent company has to shell out around Rs 40,000 to Asci for undertaking such tests.
After the tests these candidates were again flown to Delhi to appear interview by a panel consisting of chairmen of five companies and joint secretary, (banking & finance), ministry of finance.
Such a new system of promotional exercise has given the seniority and experience of the candidates completely go by and much junior candidates have superceded their senior colleagues to become general managers. Demoralised over the move a number of deputy general managers are planning to put in their papers at a time when state owned general insurance companies need the services of experienced and knowledgeable officers to beat private sector competition.