Lateral entry: Centre working on rigorous selection model

Barely a week after its notification on officially allowing lateral entry into the administration, the Centre has started working towards putting a rigorous, testing mechanism for candidates seeking direct entry into senior bureaucracy.

The process is likely to include vetting of the applications by independent teams of sectoral, governance and HR experts from the private and public sector. In addition, representatives from the government will scrutinize the personality and potential of the candidates.

This system will slowly be made part of the institutionlised way of recruiting bureaucrats by the Union Public Services Commission, official sources told.

The interview panels will comprise secretaries and other senior government officials, said a top official. The system will “be far more rigorous than the present UPSC selection”, the official added.

According to those in the know of the matter, the model being put together is a “multi-dimensional, multi-level comprehensive screening procedure” that will test all aspects of domain, functional and leadership capabilities of the candidates. It will include aptitude, personality and psychological testing, apart from mapping the candidate’s domain knowledge, sectoral experience, functional skills and behavioural competencies with the nature and needs of the positions in the government that he or she is being considered for.

The government recently invited applications for appointments to 10 joint secretary-level posts from “outstanding individuals”, including from the private sector, with expertise in the areas of revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare, road transport and highways, shipping, environment, forests and climate change, new and renewable energy, civil aviation, and commerce.

According to top sources, despite criticism of the move from several fronts and even some in the IAS lobby warning against it, the Prime Minister and his team are determined to go ahead with it.

The process of identifying best names from the corporate world and vetting them, including obtaining approvals from investigative agencies, has already begun, a senior official said.

Source: ET

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