Sudhir Vasudeva new CMD of ONGC

Sudhir Vasudeva new CMD of ONGC

New Delhi: After months of wait, the government on Monday appointed Sudhir Vasudeva as the chairman and managing director of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

Vasudeva, 57, is currently director (offshore) in ONGC.

The orders for appointment of Vasudeva, who was selected by government headhunters Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) in interviews on 19 October last year, were issued by the oil ministry late this evening, a top government official said.

Born on 26 February, 1954, Vasudeva will head the nation’s highest profit making firm till his retirement on 31 January, 2014.

This follows Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approving of the appointment after Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) gave final clearance on all complaints received against Vasudeva.

A chemical engineer (gold medalist) and a management graduate, Vasudeva joined ONGC as an executive trainee in 1976. After topping in his batch he steadily worked his way up, with majority of his assignments in offshore oil-fields. He took over as director (offshore) of ONGC on 1 February, 2009.

ONGC has been headless since January end when R S Sharma retired on attaining superannuation at the age of 60 years.

PESB had on 19 October last year selected Vasudeva, head of offshore oil and gas fields of ONGC, to replace Sharma on 31 January.

However, his appointment was delayed due to complaints, some of them on forged letterhead of members of parliament (MPs), were made against Vasudeva.

Vasudeva, 57, was selected by PESB after interviewing eight candidates. R K Tyagi, chairman and managing director, Pawan Hans Ltd was named the number two choice by PESB to head ONGC.

Sources said the oil ministry had forwarded appointment of Vasudeva to the appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC) after receiving necessary CVC clearances. However, some complaints reached Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which asked CVC to examine them. The CVC sent its final go-ahead on Friday.

Rabi Narayan Bastia, the person behind the discovery of India’s biggest gas field, was among the eight candidates who were interviewed by PESB on 19 October last year for the post of ONGC chairman.

Bastia, who quit ONGC in 1996 to join Reliance Industries, is credited with discovering the gigantic Dhirubhai-1 gas field at the Krishna Godavari basin deep-sea block D6 in 2002.

It was ranked as the biggest gas find in the world over the last decade.