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Need for 'wider debate' before lateral entry: CM

Need for wider debate before lateral entry: CM

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said lateral entries might "dilute the sensitivity" attached to the functioning of the government and the issue needed a "wider debate" among the various stakeholders before it was implemented.

She stressed on "…discussion with different stakeholders, including representatives of the All India Services/Central Services," before its implementation as the officials of joint secretary level is usually involved in framing policies.

It may be mentioned that as per the notification of the Department of Personnel Training, individuals working at comparable levels in the private sector companies, consultancy organisations, international/multinational organisations, any state or Union Territory government or working at comparable levels in Public Sector Undertakings, autonomous bodies and universities can apply for three to five years' contract basis recruitment in 10 senior level posts in departments including Commerce and Civil Aviation Revenue and Economic Affairs.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Banerjee stated: "According to the recent media reports, the Government of India has invited applications for appointment to the post of Joint Secretary of 10 important ministries of Government of India through lateral entries. In my view, there is no objection if talented persons join the Central Government to improve its professional competence and efficiency. But I have few concerns about the issue involving various implications."

Stating the significance of the joint secretary level officials and the need to recruits officers through the UPSC, she stated in her tweet: "The officers from All India Services/Central Services presently hold positions of Joint Secretary and equivalent levels in the Government of India. These officers are inducted in government services through transparent recruitment processes by Constitutional bodies like the UPSC. The officers are expected to be politically neutral while discharging their duties. Any shift from such standard will not be good for the nation. Presently, the officers of All India/Central Services have been working in the government with sincerity and accountability and maintaining secrecy, where the paramount interest of the nation remains supreme."

Sharply reacting to the decision of lateral entry, Banerjee mentioned in her tweet: "In view of it, I feel that any deviation from the system, particularly by inducting professionals from non-governmental sector, notwithstanding their talent may dilute the sensitivity attached to the functioning of the government. Therefore, it is necessary to have wider debate and discussion with different stakeholders, including representatives of the All India Services/Central Services, before implementing the proposed induction of lateral entries into senior positions of the government. I thought of sharing this with all of you as it is a matter of concern."

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