Ministers, Whims And A Computer

Updated: Jul 30 2004, 03:39am hrs
There was a time when cabinet ministers would meekly accept the department of personnel (DoPT) list of three empanelled candidates for the slots of secretary, additional secretary, joint secretary and below.

Most would absorb the number one candidate on offer. More courageous ones would choose the number two, but not before offering an elaborate written justification. Now, assertive ministers, particularly those belonging to coalition parties, began the practice of rejecting panels.

With time, this became more of a rule than an exception: Ministers continued to reject the panels on offer until an officer with the right affiliations had been offered.

Now all this is set to change. The DoPT is busy creating a computer programme that will throw up names of candidates as per requirements of the job. Once a minister has rejected two panels, the computer will select one of them and accepting the decision will be mandatory.