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Monday, September 28, 2020

TCIL chief selection process: Overlooked, claim four Telecom Dept officials; DoPT seeks comments

The selection for the CMD of TCIL has been marred by controversies and brought the internal rift among the post hopefuls out in the open.

Written by Aashish Aryan | New Delhi | Updated: August 27, 2020 10:41:29 am
telecomSeveral officers of the DoT and the Indian Telecom Services (ITS) have alleged that they have been unfairly left out of the selection process despite fulfilling all criteria. (File)

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) went ahead with its plan for selection and interview of candidates for chairman and managing director (CMD) of Telecommunications Consultant of India Limited (TCIL), even as four its own officials had approached the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) with representations that they had been ignored in the selection process, documents reviewed by The Indian Express showed.

These four officials have now moved the Central Adminstrative Tribunal (CAT) challenging the selection process. None of these officials were called for the interviews held at Public Enterprises Bhawan on August 18, where Sanjeev Kumar, a technical director with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, had been selected as the next CMD of TCIL. A detailed questionnaire sent to the DoT seeking its reply on the allegations did not elicit any response.

In an office memorandum dated August 11, the DoPT had written to the DoT Secretary and Secretary of Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) to apprise it of a representation from the four DoT officials who had alleged that despite fulfilling the eligibility criteria for selection as the CMD of TCIL, they had not been shortlisted for interviews. In the memo, the DoPT had said the DoT should furnish its comments as to why these people had not been shortlisted.

The selection for the CMD of TCIL has been marred by controversies and brought the internal rift among the post hopefuls out in the open. Several officers of the DoT and the Indian Telecom Services (ITS) have alleged that they have been unfairly left out of the selection process despite fulfilling all criteria. The Indian Telecom Service Association, a representative group of ITS officers, had on August 6 also written to the Chairman of PESB and the DoT Secretary, expressing their displeasure at the exclusion of eight ITS officers from the selection process without their candidature even being considered.

Apart from the ITS officers, many other executives working in different capacities with the DoT had approached the DoPT claiming they had been unfairly left out of the search and selection process despite fulfilling all criteria.

In its advertisement for the post of TCIL CMD, the DoT had said that only those central government or All India Services officers who currently held a post equal to additional secretary with the central government or had equivalent scale of pay, could apply.

However, when the officers who although did not hold a post equal to additional secretary, but had an equivalent scale of pay applied for the post, they were not called for the interviews. These officers have now approached the Jabalpur Bench of CAT with a plea to look into the irregularities.

An earlier application challenging the selection procedure for the post of TCIL CMD is already pending with the CAT. Even the final selection of Sanjeev Kumar will be subject to the outcome of the CAT’s decision.

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