• Top bureaucrats in fray for chairman post in Oil India

    Senior IAS officers Anil Kumar Jain and Ravi Kapoor are among the 10 candidates in fray for the top job at Oil India Ltd, the nation’s second biggest state-owned oil and gas explorer.

    The ten candidates short-listed from nearly 60 applicants have been called for interview by a three member Search-cum- Selection Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha on April 25, sources privy to the information said.

    Of the short-listed, four are bureaucrats. While Jain is a 1986 Batch IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre who is currently Adviser with NITI Aayog, Kapoor is 1986 batch IAS officer from Assam Meghalya cadre who is currently Joint Secretary in Department of Commerce.

    Both of them have previously served in the Oil Ministry.

    1988-batch Assam Meghalya cadre IAS officer Jishnu Barua, currently Joint Secretary in Department of Personnel & Training has also been called for interview, sources said.

    From within Oil India, Director (Operations) P K Sharma has been called for interview.

    OIL Director (Finance) Rupshikha Saikia Borah, who was previously selected for the top job by government headhunter PESB but rejected by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), was not considered even though she had applied again.

    Others in fray include P K Rao, Director (Operations), ONGC Videsh Ltd and Ashutosh Karnatak, Director (Project), GAIL India Ltd.

    From the private sector, Sunil K Bharti, who previously worked with Cairn India has been called for interview.

    The government had taken the search committee route after it failed to get a suitable candidate in previous three attempts by the Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB).

    PESB in its first round of interview in November 2014 found Borah and five others unsuitable to replace S K Srivastava, who retired on June 30, 2015.

    It, however, selected Borah when it conducted a second round of interviews in February 2015. This led to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) asking what had changed between November 2014 and February 2015 that Borah became suitable from unsuitable.

    Following this, the selections were scrapped and fresh applications called. None of the 12 candidates including Borah were found suitable in the third round of interviews done by PESB in September.

    After Srivastava retired on June 30, 2015 the Oil Ministry named senior bureaucrat U P Singh as the acting Chairman and Managing Director of OIL.

    Singh, who is Additional Secretary (Exploration) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, will continue to hold the responsibility till further orders, the sources said.

    OIL will be the second large public sector unit to have its head selected through a search committee. In February, Gurdeep Singh, Managing Director of Gujarat State Electricity Corp, was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of NTPCBSE 1.68 %, the nation’s largest power producer. 

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