Today, the Centre informed the Lok Sabha that it has decided to appoint 40 private sector specialists at the posts of Deputy Secretary and Director, considered as crucial decision-making levels in the bureaucratic hierarchy.

These posts are usually occupied by government servants who get selected through various Group A services like the IAS and from the promotee officers of the Central Secretariat Service among others. Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, in a written reply stated that NITI Aayog during its three-year action agenda has suggested for induction of personnel in the middle and senior management level in the government with the twin objectives. The objectives are, bringing in fresh talent as well as augment the availability of manpower.

“Based on this, it has been decided, in principle, to appoint outside experts to 40 positions at Deputy Secretary/Director level. However, no final decision has been taken in the matter,” he said. The minister was asked if the government was considering lateral exits of IAS officers in central government services, he replied, “there is no such proposal before the government”.

In another reply, Mr. Singh said that keeping in mind the specialized knowledge and expertise of the candidates, the government has, from time to time, appointment some prominent persons for specific assignments in government. Last month, the sources reported that a total of 40 specialists from the private sector were likely to be appointed in the government at the level of Deputy Secretary and Director.

IAS, IPS and other service government officers occupy the posts of Joint Secretaries. In June last year, the Personnel Ministry had invited applications for the Joint Secretary-rank posts through “lateral entry” mode.

The lateral entry mode is a unique step by the Modi government which aims to bring in fresh talent in bureaucracy by appointing specialists from the private sector in government organizations. A total of 6,077 applications were received in response to the government’s advertisement.

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