PRIVATE Secretaries (PS) and Personal Assistants (PAs read stenographers) have become redundant in the age of computers and artificial intelligence. There has been no new recruitment in the last few decades, and the available experienced PS/PAs are retiring. The Government of India does not intend to give permanent jobs to the inexperienced, so how will these vacancies be filled? The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) evolved a new formula by issuing a circular on February 21 to recruit retired PS/PAs who have worked in central services on temporary basis initially for a period of six months to work as stenographers. “The monthly remuneration will be paid on the basis of last pay drawn minus pension,” said the circular. No other allowances will be paid. “The engagement of such retired personnel will be purely of temporary basis which can be extended every month depending on the basis of vacancies in respective grades”, the circular added. While applying, the retired personnel need to furnish the last pay certificate, bank details among others. The scarcity of staff is everywhere in the Government of India. It’s surprising to note that most of the multi tasking staff (MTS), drivers and cars available to joint secretaries and above in the Government of India is also on contractual and ad hoc basis. The paradox is that in a country where approximately 20 crore people are unemployed; the government is running on ad hoc employees.