The government has started the search for over two dozen board members for various public sector enterprises such as State Trading Corp, Nalco, Power Finance, NTPC and PGCIL, including at least eight persons for the top posts like Chairperson or CMD.
The Public Enterprises Selection Board, which advises and helps government in selection of board members at public sector firms, has started the recruitment process for at least 27 board positions of various PSEs, a number of which have already fallen vacant.
The positions for which PESB is seeking applications now include Hindustan Aeronautics Chairman and Chairman and MD for companies like Hindustan Shipyard, Brahmaputra Valley Fertiliser Corp, Electronics Corp of India (ECIL), Bharat Electronics, Security Printing and Minting Corp of India, MSTC and State Trading Corp.
Besides, the board has also initiated the process for filling at least 19 other board positions of Director level at companies like Nalco, Power Finance Corp, NTPC, Goa Shipyard, Powergrid Corp of India, Rashtria Ispat Nigam and Cotton Corp of India.
Among the Chairman or CMD level vacancies, for which applications are being sought, the positions of HAL Chairman and CMDs at HSL, ECIL, MSTC, STC and BEL would fall vacant between April-June next year.
However, the position of CMD at Brahmaputra Valley Fertiliser Corp fell vacant in April this year, while that of Security Printing and Minting Corp of India CMD has been vacant since November 2007.
In addition to the 27 board positions for which PESB has started inviting applications, close to 150 additional board seats are expected to fall vacant by the end of the next year, including close to 50 for top positions like Chairperson, CMD and Managing Director.
There are at least 99 companies where tenure of one or more board members would conclude by next year.
PESB is a high-powered body constituted by the government with the 'objective of evolving a sound managerial policy for the Central Public Sector Enterprises and, in particular, to advise government on appointments to their top management posts.'
Unless markedly better candidates are available from outside, internal candidates, employed in the PSE, are preferred for appointment to Board level posts.
However, if internal candidates are not available, preference is given to candidates working in other PSEs,either in the same area of business or in other areas.
Some key PSU board vacancies in 2008 would be for the position of Chairperson at Airports Authority of India and CMD at OIL India, Power Finance, Power Grid , Bharat Coking Coal and Central Coalfields.
Besides, the tenure would also end for Managing Directors of Ferro Scrap Nigam, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals and Central Warehousing Corp.
In 2009, the tenure would end for Chairman of HAL, and CMDs for MTNL, Engineers India Ltd Bharat Electronics, Electronics Corp of India, Hindustan Copper and Hindustan Shipyard. The MDs for Chennai Petroleum Corp, Container Corp of India and ONGC Videsh would also see the tenure of their MDs concluding next year.
The government's policy is to appoint through 'a fair and objective selection procedure outstanding professional managers to Level-I and Level-II posts and posts at any other level, as may be decided by the Government from time to time.'
Mobility of managerial personnel among PSEs within the same sector or group, failing which mobility within the public sector as a whole is also encouraged, subject to certain limitations, PESB says.
In special cases, recruitment is made from the organised services under the Central Government. Under special circumstances, appointments are made other than through PESB with the prior and specific approval of the government.
PESB is part of Department of Personnel and Training in Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension.