SN Rajeswari, General Manager, New India Assurance (NIA), has been selected by the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) as the Chairman and MD of the Delhi-based Oriental Insurance Company (OIC) after an online video interview process in the wake of the lockdown.
With this move, there are clear indications that the Centre is not in a hurry to implement the 2-year old proposal to merge three PSU general insurers, OIC, National Insurance Company (NIC) and United India Insurance, analysts said. The BBB had conducted virtual interviews of five senior general managers of the public sector general insurance industry — with two years of residual services till May 2022 — to select a CMD for OIC on Tuesday. AV Girija Kumar, CMD, OIC, is retiring this month end on reaching 60.
For the first time, the interviews for selecting a CMD were done through video conferencing, with the nation under lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19.
Currently, B P Sharma heads a seven-member panel to select CMDs of PSU insurance companies and banks. In a unique practice, BBB has preferred, for the second time, to announce the result of the interview on the same day.
Earlier, results of interviews for selecting CMDs of GIC Re and Agriculture Insurance Company were announced the same day.
The Finance Ministry will now start the process of appointing Rajeswari as the CMD of OIC. After Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s nod, the official papers would be sent to Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office for their approvals. “Going by the earlier experience, the whole process may take around two months to notify the name of Rajeswari,’’ said sources at the Ministry.
Other general managers who appeared for the interview were Dinesh Waghela (OIC), Sobha Reddy (NIC), Deepak Godbole (GIC Re) and Madhulika Bhaskar (GIC Re). Rajeswari, a chartered accountant, is currently the second senior most GM of the public sector general insurance industry and will retire in May 2022.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has indicated that it would start the official exercises to appoint directors of PSU general insurance companies. It had completely stopped appointing directors in the four PSU general insurers for almost two years and as a result majority posts of directors — out of eight — are currently lying vacant in those four PSU companies.
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