Centre defends 'political appointees' in PSUs, may release their credentials
After drawing flak from Opposition parties over political appointments in some public sector undertakings, the government has strongly defended these nominations. According to sources in the government, the Centre would soon release the qualifications of all such people who have been appointed as directors in PSUs, which are controlled by the government.
"A person who is associated with a political party doesn't mean that he/she is not having the requisite qualifications for a particular post. The government has been consistent in maintaining balance between domain expertise and age. Majority of the appointments made in the last 3 years have been under 55 years," a source said. People have been selected based on their geographical proximity to the work location.
The source further added, "Appointments to the positions of 'part time' non-official directors of PSUs have been made by the government following the guidelines laid down in the statues of Companies Act 2013. Ever since this government took over, multiple positions have been filled over the last three years in various PSUs strictly following the recruitment rules."
"It's the previous governments who have been criticised for favouritism, especially for Delhi driven appointments to these non-official director positions. The present government has made efforts to professionalise the Boards of PSUs with the objective to bring external expertise without compromising integrity and merit; to ensure fitment of competence into the roles expected and to maintain geographical diversity of individuals in a board," the source said.
There are multiple examples that highlight the effort of the Centre in strengthening Board capacity with talent from different domains and specialisations to meet competence needs of different PSUs.
Some of them include Sumit Bose, who has been appointed to ONGC, has qualifications from London School of Economics and is former Finance Secretary having experiences in handling complex government panels, while K Sujattha Rao, former Health Secretary and Harvard alumnus, has been appointed to BSNL's board.
Other appointments made by this government include Abhay Karandikar (PhD from IIT Kanpur), Prof Dheeraj Sharma (PhD from Louisiana Tech University), Fali H Major (former Air Chief Marshall), TT Dorjee (former Chief Secretary, Sikkim), Asha Swarup (former Chief Secretary, Himacgal Pradesh), etc.