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As Government introduces ‘Lateral Entry’ at the JS Level, here is what the ARC recommended


The Government of India has announced lateral entry to the position of Joint Secretary (JS) in ten (10) departments. The 2nd ARC had recommended that a Central Civil Services authority be setup and lateral entry be extended to certain positions at the level of Additional Secretary & above.               


The Government of India announced lateral entry in ten (10) departments. The selected ones will join the government at the Joint Secretary (JS) level. It has to be remembered that the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) has in the past recommended lateral entry to senior positions, at the level of Additional Secretary (AS) & above.

Ten (10) at the level of JS will be inducted
The government in its advertisement says that this proposal of lateral entry is aimed at bringing in fresh ideas and new approaches to governance and also to augment manpower. It has invited applications from candidates who have expertise in specific areas of Revenue, Financial Services, Economic Affairs, Agriculture, Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Environment & Forests, New & Renewable Energy, Civil Aviation and Commerce. Following are the broad eligibility criteria.

AgeMinimum of 40 years as on July 1, 2018
QualificationGraduate from a recognized University/Institute. Higher qualification would be an added advantage
Eligibility• Officers of any State/UT government who are already working at equivalent level or are eligible for appointment to equivalent level in their cadre, with relevant experience.
• Individuals working at comparable levels in Public, Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Autonomous Bodies, Statutory Organizations, Universities, Recognized Research Institutes with a minimum of 15 years experience.
• Individuals working at comparable levels in Private Sector Companies, Consultancy Organizations, International/Multinational Organizations with a minimum of 15 years experience.
Duration of ContractThe period of contract shall be for 3 years from the date of commencement extendable up to 5 years depending upon performance
CompensationPay scale as applicable to Joint Secretary: Rs.144200-218200 per month (Level 14 of Pay Matrix).
Conditions of ServiceAll appointees shall be deemed to be Public Servants for the purpose of the CCS (Conduct) Rules and such other Statutes as notified by the Government

The government has asked interested candidates to apply online by 30 th July 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be called for a personal interaction with the selection committee. No other details like the selection criteria, process etc. have been disclosed by the government.

What did the 2nd ARC recommend?
The 2nd ARC in its 10th report titled ‘Refurbishing of Personnel Administration’ had made relevant recommendations regarding lateral entry to senior government positions. This report was submitted in the year 2008.

Among other things, the report noted the following with specific reference to lateral entry.

  • The 1st ARC recommended lateral entry to technical posts at senior levels.
  • Most Associations of the central government employees did not support the idea of lateral entry at senior levels from the private sector.
  • Retired civil servants told the 2nd ARC that lateral entry should be allowed only after 25 years of service and that there should be open competition for the same. Lateral entry should be only for selected posts.
  • Senior officials of the government told the 2nd ARC that lateral entry should be minimal as it may dissuade candidates from choosing civil services as a career. They also felt that Civil Servants should not be allowed to join the private sector.
  • The general view expressed by civil servants is that only a few key posts should be thrown open for recruitment from the open market with civil servants also being eligible to compete.

In its report, the ARC recommended the creation of a Central Civil Services Authority, a five-member body. This authority would earmark positions, for which outside talent could be considered in consultation with the government. These positions should be for Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) & above (additional secretary or above levels). These positions, the ARC recommended would be open to eligible persons from the open market as well as to those currently serving in the government.Government introduces Lateral Entry_2

The NITI Aayog, in its 3-year action agenda had also recommended lateral entry in areas requiring specialised knowledge.

Lateral entry is required, but with a transparent selection process
There is broad agreement that lateral entry is required for specialized positions, especially in the light of technological advances & complex governance issues that the governments have to deal with. At the same time, the government must ensure a highly transparent selection process so that only the deserving ones get through.


About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.

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