The government Thursday appointed Bhanu Pratap Sharma, former secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), as the new chairman of the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) along with three other members.
The Board, earlier chaired by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, has been reconstituted after its original two-year term expired last month. Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said that with the fresh appointments at the BBB, the government has renewed its commitment of not interfere in the senior-level recruitment at the public sector banks.
Vedika Bhandarkar, a former head of investment banking at Credit Suisse India operations, P Pradeep Kumar, a former managing director at State Bank of India, and Pradip P Shah, founder managing director at ratings agency CRISIL were appointed as the new members, Kumar said.
Department of Financial Services Secretary, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises are ex-officio members of the BBB.
“Government renews (its) commitment to not interfere in senior level appointments in PSBs (public sector banks. Appoints new BBB with professionals with diverse expertise to select top management in PSBs. BBB Recommendations made so far include HR reforms agenda to be taken forward,” the secretary said on Twitter while announcing the names.
Kumar said the mandate of Banks Board Bureau continues to be the same which is to suggest on recruitment at senior level. The government has from the beginning kept an arms’ length on the senior level appointments to ensure that people with adequate abilities are selected as senior leaders of the banks, he said.
“All the recommendations made by earlier BBB are also to be taken further. They have made certain recommendations of training, HR. All the recommendations relating to appointments have already been affected,” he said.
The Bureau has been set up by the government to improve governance at the banks and assist the government in selecting top managerial talent in the PSBs. In the past, the government has at times overlooked the suggestions of the Bureau in key appointments and there was speculation recently that the government may scrap the BBB.
The BBB is in the process of appointing a knowledge partner that will help it design, implement and institutionalise a flagship leadership development strategy. It is also planning to appoint an advisory firm to “assess the leadership competencies and potential capabilities of personages appearing in the process for appointment as wholetime directors in PSBs”.
The knowledge partner is being hired to institutionalise a leadership development strategy for preparing future leaders that will be shortlisted from within PSB talent pool. Each year, the strategy programme will conduct skill improvement for around 75 participants in the senior management including general managers and deputy general managers.
The Banks Board Bureau, set up for a period of two years, started functioning in April 2016. In November 2016, the government had expanded the BBB’s role to include helping banks in terms of developing business strategies and capital raising plan, and leadership succession plan for critical positions, among others. The previous members of the BBB were Anil K Khandelwal, former CMD at Bank of Baroda, HN Sinor, former joint MD at ICICI Bank, and Rupa Kudwa, former MD & CEO at CRISIL.