PowerGrid hires being reviewed post-complaint

PowerGrid hires being reviewed post-complaint
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First Published: Thu, Aug 21 2008. 12 05 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Aug 21 2008. 12 05 PM IST
New Delhi: The power ministry is reviewing all hires made in the past five years by the state-run Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd, or PGCIL, after it received a complaint from a candidate belonging to the so-called other backward classes (OBC) who was rejected for an entry-level post at India’s largest transmission company
A review meeting on Wednesday was attended by, among others, Union power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and PGCIL’s new chairman and managing director S.K. Chaturvedi. Chaturvedi made a presentation which included, according to an official who did not want to be named, “an analysis sheet of written test versus interview mark percentage for all recruitments over the last five years”.
“The meeting remained inconclusive. There was a complaint by an individual who was not successful in getting into the final list even after qualifying the written exams for two years. We are trying to fix any anomalies in the system and clean the selection process,” said Union power secretary Anil Razdan, who also attended the meeting.
The review of recruitments comes in the wake of the exit of PGCIL chairman and managing director R.P. Singh, who left in May. Razdan denied that the review was linked to this. “There was a file in movement, which threw up a larger issue. It has nothing to do with the departure of R.P. Singh.”
Singh declined to comment.
“We have been following recruitment practices and rules which are prevalent in all major navratnas and mini-ratnas. These schemes are time-tested and don’t leave any scope for manipulation,” said Chaturvedi.
Singh, who resigned in March, continued to attend office till May end. Chaturvedi assumed charge on 1 August.
“It is a small issue and has to do with a complaint regarding recruitment by an OBC aspirant for the diploma trainee position with PGCIL,” said a senior PGCIL executive, who didn’t want to be named.
Mint could not ascertain the name of the complainant.
State-run firms have some positions reserved for people from underprivileged sections of the populace such as those belonging to backward classes or scheduled tribes and scheduled castes (so named because they are listed in a schedule of the Constitution).
A senior government official, who did not wish to be named, said the whole review looked like a “witch hunt” that “is not in good taste and will not be good for PGCIL’s image”.
PGCIL has around 8,000 employees, of which around 55% are engineers. It hires around 150 engineering graduates and diploma holders every year. It owns and operates 61,875km of transmission lines, and has announced plans to invest Rs55,000 crore in five years to 2012.
Arvind Mahajan, executive director of advisory services at audit and consulting firm KPMG Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd, said state-run firms not only need to be fair “but also project an image of fairness”. “We need to see what is the output of this particular exercise.”
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First Published: Thu, Aug 21 2008. 12 05 PM IST