Power Point: UPSC engineers up in arms over new posting policy

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Published: June 14, 2020 4:30 AM

In a letter written to power secretary Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, the Central Water and Power Engineering Services Association (CWPESA) has pointed that these engineers are recruited through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and existing laws do not allow such gazetted officers to be posted in CPSUs.

The association alleged that while nominating to new postings, the CEA officers are not even being asked about their areas of interest and the criteria of nomination is also unknown.

Central government’s power engineers have sought revocation of the new policy of the Union power ministry, which mandates engineers of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to spend nine years in central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) and state-run power distribution companies (discoms) to “upgrade their technical skills through field exposure”. In a letter written to power secretary Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, the Central Water and Power Engineering Services Association (CWPESA) has pointed that these engineers are recruited through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and existing laws do not allow such gazetted officers to be posted in CPSUs.

CWPESA’s letter, reviewed by FE, stated that engineers in CEA are tasked with specialised duties related to the formulation of technical standards for power infrastructure, load forecasting and planning capacity building trajectories, and posting them arbitrarily “erodes the sanctity of selection through UPSC”.

The association alleged that while nominating to new postings, the CEA officers are not even being asked about their areas of interest and the criteria of nomination is also unknown, “which robs away the rights of the officers concerned.”

The officers have complained that the policy guidelines are vague on whether the postings are ‘encadrement’ or ‘deputation’. The Union power ministry, through an office memorandum issued in February, said UPSC power engineers will be posted in CPSUs and discoms in the domains of power generation, transmission and distribution each for three years, with a gap of three years between successive terms while drawing salary from the CEA.

The first list of nominated officers under the policy is believed to be in the advanced stage of preparation and posting orders are expected to come soon. “The said policy may invite litigations on multiple grounds, which not only affects the functioning of the government but also results in wastage of resources of organisation as well as individuals,” the letter added.

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