Government servants: personnel issues

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Lateral entry

2019: 9 professionals selected as joint secys

9 professionals selected as joint secys in biggest lateral induction into govt service, April 13, 2019: The Times of India

Will Join Their Departments On Contract Basis

The government selected nine professionals, largely from the private sector, as joint secretaries in various departments, signalling a major shift in the entry of professionals in shaping policies.

This is perhaps the first time that a large of group of experts with domain knowledge will enter the government through the lateral-entry process. So far, the joint secretary-level officers are largely drawn from the pool of people who clear the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). To ensure the same standards, the entire process of the selection of these experts was conducted by the UPSC.

Earlier, some experts had joined the government through the lateral-entry route in ministries such as finance, power and sanitation. The list of professionals included those like Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Bimal Jalan, Vijay Kelkar (former petroleum and finance secretary), R V Shahi (former power secretary), apart from Parameswaran Iyer, who is currently sanitation secretary, and Rajesh Kotecha, who heads the Ayush ministry The UPSC on Friday released the list of experts who will join departments such as agriculture, civil aviation, finance, transport and shipping. They will join their respective departments on a “contract basis”.

According to sources, Amber Dubey, working as a partner with consultancy firm KPMG as head of aerospace and defence, has been recommended for appointment in the civil aviation ministry. Dubey is an alumnus of IIT Bombay and IIM Ahmedabad and has over 26 years of experience.

Officials said Kakoli Ghosh, who is working with a multilateral farm sector-focused agency, has been selected to join the agriculture ministry; Sujit Kumar Bajpayee, who is working with state-run NHPC, has been recommended for appointment as joint secretary in the environment ministry. Dinesh Dayanand Jagdale, who is the CEO of Panama Renewable Energy Group, will join the new and renewable energy ministry.

Saurabh Mishra will be a joint secretary in the financial services department while Rajeev Saksena will join the economic affairs department. Arun Goel has been selected for the commerce ministry while Suman Prasad Singh will join the road transport ministry. Bhushan Kumar has been selected for the shipping ministry.

“This is a huge change. Perhaps for the first time, so many private sector specialists are being inducted. The entire process has been done through UPSC which is good,” said a senior gover nment official.

He said the selected candidates would be governed by central government administrative rules and will enjoy the pay and perks of a joint secretary. Government thinktank Niti Aayog has experimented with the concept and has hired several private sector experts through the lateral-entry process which had triggered a controversy but the thinktank had backed the move. In its report Strategy for India @75, Niti Aayog had recommended encouraging lateral entry at the highest levels of the government to usher in much-needed expertise.


No pension for govt employees who resign: SC

December 7, 2019: The Times of India

Making a distinction between voluntary retirement and resignation, the Supreme Court has said that government employees will not be entitled to pension if they resign from service as it forfeits their past service.

Referring to the Central Civil Services Pension Rules, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hrishikesh Roy said that in case of resignation, the entire past service would be forfeited, and consequently, an employee would not qualify for pensionary benefits. The pension rules apply to government servants, including civilian government servants in the defence services, appointed before December 31, 2003.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by BSES Yamuna Power Ltd challenging an order of the Delhi HC directing it to provide pension to an employee who resigned after 20 years of service. The HC had said the employee was entitled to get voluntary retirement after completing 20 years of service and he was, therefore, entitled to pensionary benefits after resigning from the job.

The SC, however, said: “The decision to resign results in the legal consequences that flow from a resignation under the applicable provisions. These consequences are distinct from the consequences flowing from voluntary retirement,” the bench said. TNN


How government salaries are determined

The Times of India, Nov 23 2015

Equity important basis in fixing pay of govt staff

What is a pay commission?

From time to time, the Centre appoints pay commissions for examining various aspects of the compensation package of central government employees and recommend appropriate pay revisions. So far, seven central pay commissions have been appointed. The first was constituted in 1946, followed by commissions appointed in 1957, 1970, 1983, 1994, 2006 and 2014. These commissions are the successors of Royal commissions set up during the British raj. The gap between two pay commissions has been about a dozen years, but the last pay commission was appointed within a space of eight years.

What factors are examined in fixing salaries of government employees?

The seventh pay commission report states that the salaries of government employees should be enough to motivate them to work as well as retain them in government service as the recruitment and training process of new employees is an expensive affair. Another important basis, is equity or equal pay for equal work.

How is the minimum salary fixed?

The estimation of minimum pay in government is the first step towards building a new pay structure. It is fixed by considering the recommendations of the 15th Labour Conference held in 1957. The need-based wages are fixed to cover all the needs of a worker's family.One key measure is food requirements as specified by the recommendations of Dr Wallace Akroyd's formula providing a minimum of 2,700 calories and a specified quanitity of protein, fat and so on. The normative family is taken to consist of a spouse and two children below the age of 14. With the husband assigned one unit, wife 0.8 units and the two children 0.6 units each, the minimum wage needs to be enough to provide for three consumption units. It also keeps in mind the 1991 judgment of the Supreme Court asking for providing for education, medical expenses, recreation, festivals and ceremonies. Based on these criteria, the minimum wage fixed by the seventh pay commission is Rs 18,000.

How are higher level salaries fixed?

The pay matrix has two dimensions hor izontal and vertical.

There are 18 horizon tal levels for starting points in various government jobs and then there are verti cal ranges of pay progression for each of these levels.An employee joins at a particular level and progresses within the level as per the vertical range. The movement is usually on an annual basis, based on annual increments till the time of their next promotion. Different compensations are fixed for all these stages. In the first pay commission, there was a huge difference between the highest and the lowest paid government employees. For instance in 1948, the salary of the highest paid government official was Rs 2,000 which was 37 times higher than the Rs 55 paid to the lowest earning employee. The ratio was progressively reduced to reach 10.2 times by the fifth pay commission. In the seventh pay commission stands at 13.9.

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