By the Way

Lateral appointments

Bureaucrats in the government are a worried lot nowadays. Their concern is not due to the change of the government or hectic schedule within the ministries but the changing pattern of the governance within the ministries. As per sources, the government is in a mood to hire professionals on a lateral basis. This means that the government is likely to appoint professionals outside the bureaucratic domain for delivering best results. Sources have disclosed that the professionals/experts will be brought into the Petroleum, Communication, Environment and Infrastructure ministries from the corporate sector of the same nature. These professionals are likely to be appointed Joint Secretaries, Additional Secretaries and Secretaries. The professionals are required to be experts in their domain, have an outstanding performance track record and must be working with a reputed corporate house, NGOs, think-tanks or multinational companies. These professionals will be appointed for short durations: three to five years. The bureaucrats are naturally apprehensive. They do not have any issue as far as hiring the best talent is concerned, but what would their accountability be and who will check their antecedents? With the opening of the economy, there is already pressure within the government from different lobbies. So, when a Secretary or Joint Secretary is appointed as a lobbyist himself or herself, who will check their intentions, motives and the possibility of their serving bosses outside the ministry?

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