New Delhi: Government may invite fresh applications for top job at Oil India Ltd after its headhunters Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) did not find any of the six applicants, including the firm’s director (finance) R.S. Borah, suitable.

PESB last week interviewed six candidates including Borah, to select a new chairman and managing director of the nation’s second biggest state explorer.

After the interview, PESB in a notice said, “The board decided to see more candidates."

Besides Borah, PESB said it interviewed S.K. Acharya, director (HR), Neyveli Lignite Corp Ltd; N.K. Jain, director (personnel), Air India Ltd; Rajiv Chopra, director marketing, State Trading Corp. (STC); S.P.S. Bakshi, chairman and managing director, Engineering Projects India Ltd and V.K. Gaur, CMD National Seeds Corp Ltd.

With PESB not finding anyone suitable candidate, the government can seek fresh applications. PESB was interviewing candidates to select a successor of incumbent S.K. Srivastava, who retires on 30 June 2015.

OIL has five full-time board members, including the chairman and managing director. Besides Borah, 55, none of the other three were qualified to appear for the interview.

According to PESB rules, an internal candidate must have at least two years of service left on the date of falling of vacancy, to be eligible for being considered for a board level position. For external candidates, the requirement is of three years.

Mahapatra retires on March 2017 but did not have two years of service left on the date of vacancy on 31 May 2015.

The other two director (operations) S. Rath and director (HR) N.K. Bharali too were not eligible as they did not have minimum two years of service left. While Bharali superannuates on 31 January 2015, Rath is to retire four months later.

Official sources said after the PESB recommendation, the government can invite fresh applications under the current rule or go in for a repeat of Coal India Ltd (CIL) type of recruitment.

Keen to turnaround fortunes at world’s largest coal producer, the government in September invited professionals from the private sector along with those from PSUs to apply for the job of chairman and managing director of Coal India.

It called upon private sector executives from both listed and unlisted companies with a turnover of 5,000 crore to apply for the position.

While not many private sector executives applied, PESB on 18 November selected senior Indian Administrative Service officer S. Bhattacharya for the job.

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