In a first, the Centre on Sunday opened to the private sector the option to apply for joint secretary-level positions in the Government of India. These vacancies are usually filled by qualified individuals after they clear the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination.
“The Government of India invites talented and motivated Indian nationals willing to contribute towards nation-building to join the government at the level of joint secretary,” the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in a notice as well as in newspaper advertisements.
Joint secretaries play a crucial role in senior managements in government departments. They lead policy-making decisions as well as the implementation of schemes of the department assigned to them. Joint secretaries report to the secretary or additional secretary of the respective ministries.
Bureaucratic positions have traditionally been filled by officers from all-India services, such as officers from the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Railway Service, Indian Police Service and Income Tax Service. “The proposal of lateral entry is aimed at bringing in fresh ideas and new approaches to governance and also to augment manpower,” the DoPT said in its notification.
Given the shortage of officers at the joint secretary level, lateral recruitment is a welcome change.