Published On: Tue, Dec 28th, 2021

West Bengal Governor seeks details of recruitment process of consultants

Kolkata: Opening up a new front Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has sought details from Chief Secretary HK Diwedi about the mechanism, modalities and the precise selection process to be followed for recruitment of senior consultants/consultants published by the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms.

The mechanism provided in the said notifications is opaque and in disregard to judicial pronouncements

Dhankhar was referring to a notification dated November 26, where the state government decided to recruit 50 consultants/senior consultants in different departments on contractual basis.

According to the notification, “(The) candidates will be, if necessary, short-listed for Personality Test only on the basis of the information provided by the candidates in their applications. Documents submitted in support of the claim made will be examined only if the candidate is prima facie eligible to be shortlisted on the basis of information regarding qualifications and experience claimed in the application”.

In his letter Diwedi, Dhankhar said: “Serious issues have been raised from several quarters regarding this matter in respect of the lack of transparency, accountability and modalities of the selection process of these consultants. Already recruitment in some categories is under judicial scanner”.

“The mechanism provided in the said notifications is opaque and in disregard to judicial pronouncements. There is widespread apprehension that by such a mechanism, administration is sought to be packed by “patronage appointees”. There are some alarmingly disturbing inputs that need not be indicated for the moment”.

The Governor referred to a particular portion of the notification that said: “It may also be noted that in case the number of candidates is high, the State Government may, for the purpose of interview, short list the candidates on the basis of qualification, areas of specialisation and experience of the candidate including nature of duties discharged, kind of exposure, awards won and such other criteria as may deem fit in the context of the requirement of the particular assignments. Decision of the authority will be final and binding in this regard.”

Referring to this portion the Governor wrote, “The mechanism spelt out leaves all to be desired from the perspective of transparency and fairness. The declared selection mechanism is ex facie subjective, sketchy and arbitrary and does not appear to be fair, equitable on account of absence of specific details relating to this in the public domain. This tailor-made mechanism has all the trappings of extending favouritism and patronage”.

“In such premises, Chief Secretary be called upon to impart full details about the mechanism, modalities and the precise selection process to be followed for this recruitment at the earliest and not later than a week of receipt of this communication,” the Governor said.

 

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