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Appointments panel rejects PSEB's choice for NMDC top job

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has rejected government headhunter PSEB's recommendation for appointment of Gopal Singh as Chairman and Managing Director of NMDC, according to official sources. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has also directed the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PSEB) to start afresh the selection process for the post.

PSEB had earlier recommended the name of Gopal Singh, who is the chairman and managing director of Central Coalfields, for NMDC's top post, which fell vacant after the retirement of Narendra Kothari on December 31. Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser to Steel Ministry Bharathi S Sihag has been given additional charge as CMD of the iron ore company with effect from January 1. 

The ACC has not assigned any reason for not accepting the PSEB and subsequent Steel Ministry's recommendation favouring Gopal Singh's name for the NMDC's top post, according to official sources.
The ACC has directed the Ministry to initiate the selection process for appointment of NMDC CMD afresh, they said. Gopal Singh refused to comment on the subject. There was no fresh notification seeking application for NMDC CMD post on the PSEB's website. The previous CMD of the country's largest iron ore miner Narendra Kothari retired on December 31, 2015. Those interviewed for the NMDC post included four directors of NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation), two directors of SAIL and one director each from RINL, CIL, HCL apart from the CMD of HSCL Moyukh Bhaduri, CCL CMD Gopal Singh, PGCIL executive director V Sekar and KIOCL CMD Malay Chatterjee.

Two senior officials from two different PSUs who were in the race for the post during initial stages withdrew their candidatures for "unexplained reasons". An official in the Steel Ministry on condition of anonymity alleged that three names were included in the original list of candidates selected for interview at a later stage. Sources also said that the post of Director (Personnel) at NMDC is also vacant for nearly one year and there has been no communique from the government.

"Though the PSEB has recommended Sandeep Tula's name for the post of Director (Personnel) last year, there has been no word on his appointment so far from the government," they added. Tula is currently with NMDC as executive director of personnel and administration. 
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