The ghost of UPA-2 is back. And it’s haunting officials; especially those who are aspiring for some postings in Washington DC, IHC London and Manila (ADB). The inordinate delay in critical foreign posting has triggered serious concern in official circles and has fuelled speculations of unfair play.
As reported earlier by Indianmandarins many crucially important posts have been lying vacant for a year. Post of Minister Economic, IHC London (JS rank) was advertised on June 29, 2015; post of Minister Economic in Washington DC (JS rank) was advertised in June 2015; post of Adviser to ED World Bank (Vice Anuradha Thakur; DS/Dir rank post) was advertised in Sept 2014 whereas the post of Adviser to ED, ADB Manila (JS rank) was advertised in June 2014 vice Sameer Kumar Sinha (IAS:94:AM).
However, on the pretext of sensitivity, decisions on filling these posts have been inordinately delayed. Since a bad precedent was set last time during the UPA-2 regime, officials are suspicious that the same precedent may repeat again and people with connections may be preferred for posting for these jobs over deserving ones.
In 2011, an officer was abruptly appointed as Senior Adviser to ED World Bank. Skipping the due procedure, the CSB panel (Civil Service Board) was scrapped and the appointment to the post was cleared by ACC in October 2011. The due procedures were ignored.
Similarly, in June-July 2012, one of the above-cited posts in WDC, a panel was created in 2012, but Finance Ministry asked the authorities for a fresh panel to pick its favourite up.
In May 2014, someone was selected for the post of Sr Adviser to ED, IMF. But his appointment was set aside and someone else was appointed in his place.
Some examples of yesteryears have made PMO officials watchful to make sure that the appointments to the top foreign posts are made fairly.