Applicants for the 10 joint secretaries posts at the Centre will have to go through interviews to be conducted by the
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This is being done to avoid any charges of favouritism while inducting professionals and experts from outside in the government jobs, who primarily deal with making policies.
Sources said the issue came up for discussion at a recently held meeting chaired by cabinet secretary P K Sinha. More than 3,000 people have applied for the jobs with a majority of them eyeing the posts in the finance ministry where posts of three joint secretaries will be filled by inducting experts and professionals. The government had invited application for the joint secretaries posts across eight ministries including the finance ministry.
The panel has put the onus of selection on UPSC because the organisation doesn’t have any guiding recruitment rules. There is also an absence of assessment criteria for screening candidates.
The ministries will initially identify the sector for which they wish to induct an expert through lateral entry and next set up panels for shortlisting candidates which will then be sent to the UPSC for a round of interviews.
Joint secretaries constitute a crucial level of senior management in the bureaucracy, taking the lead policymaking as well as implementation of various programmes and schemes of the department they are assigned to.
Critics of the new scheme had raised doubts whether the government will bring people of their choice for these key posts.