Millennium Post

Centre to take search panel route to find new Oil India Ltd CMD

After three failed attempts, the Government has dumped its headhunter PESB and instead will use a search committee to find a chief for Oil India Ltd (OIL), the nation's second biggest state-owned oil and gas explorer. With previous attempts by the Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) failing to find any suitable candidate from within, the Oil Ministry now wants private sector candidates in the age group of 45 to 57 years to also apply for the job of Chairman and Managing Director of Oil India.

"Candidate should possess at least 20 years of post- qualification experience in any organisation of repute, out of which at least 3 years should be at Board level in oil and gas company," the advertisement for the post said. "Search-cum-Selection Committee may also make nominations of eligible and qualified candidates for the post. The Committee may also recommend relaxation in the eligibility, age and qualifications/experience criteria in respect of outstanding candidates," it added.

OIL will be the second large public sector unit to have its head selected through a search committee. Earlier this month, Gurdeep Singh, Managing Director of Gujarat State Electricity Corp, was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of NTPC, the nation's largest power producer. PESB in September last year had found one of the 10 candidates including OIL's Director (Finance) Rupshikha Saikia Borah unsuitable for the top job.

Previously, PESB in its first round of interview in November 2014 found Borah and five others unsuitable to replace S K Srivastava, who retired on June 30, 2015. It, however, selected Borah when it conducted a second round of interviews in February 2015. This led to Prime Minister's Office (PMO) asking what had changed between November 2014 and February 2015 that Borah became suitable from unsuitable. Following this, the selections were scrapped and fresh applications called. Borah, a chartered accountant and an alumnus of the Delhi School of Economics, is the wife of N M Borah who was the CMD of OIL till May 2012.

Srivastava took over as the head of OIL from N M Borah. Sources said that for the last round in September 2015, 12 candidates had applied, with none of them having an oil and gas exploration background. After Srivastava retired on June 30, 2015 the Oil Ministry named senior bureaucrat U P Singh as acting CMD. Singh, who is Additional Secy (Exploration) in the oil and gas ministry, will continue to hold the responsibility till further orders, the sources said.
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