National Advisory Council (NAC) Recruitment Drive in Full Flow

The Secretariat of the National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has accelerated efforts to appoint officials and staff ahead of its next meeting in early July.

The urgency is such that applicants for 10- odd posts of desk officers, personal secretaries, personal assistants and stenographers have been offered a walk- in interview of sorts by the department of personnel and training (DoPT). But they have to line- up for the job by Friday.

After former rural development secretary Rita Sharma was appointed NAC secretary, an Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS officer is slated to the join the council as a joint secretary. The government has approved a staff of 35 people for the secretariat and sanctioned Rs 35 lakh towards initial expenses.

The council’s first meeting was held on June 10 without the secretariat being fully operational. Sources said considering that the posts are being offered on internal deputation, a large number of officials were willing to move to the NAC. “ They will have assured tenure of at least four years with a well- known organisation. But since the appointments will be vetted by the Prime Minister’s Office, everyone is expecting a cautious short- list,” sources said.

As part of the due diligence process, the cadre units providing officials for deputation to NAC have been asked to forward their bio- data with annual performance appraisal reports of the past five years to the DoPT. At its very first meeting, the reconstituted NAC had convinced the Manmohan Singh government to arm it with the mandate to review the ongoing flagship programmes. It was significant because some members, who returned to the NAC after much persuasion, were unhappy with the implementation and tinkering of two schemes it had piloted during Singh’s first term — the Right to Information (RTI) Act and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

The NAC will focus on 14 points, including the food security Bill, communal violence Bill, Right to Education, SC- ST development, minority welfare, land rights, land reforms, agricultural revitalisation, disadvantaged children, health security, social safety net, urban poverty and development of the North- East.

“ The secretariat will facilitate wider consultations involving the NAC members, experts from outside, expert institutions and ministries on the issues taken up for consideration,” a PMO statement had said describing the council’s mandate.

Its members are: M. S. Swaminathan, Ram Dayal Munda, Narendra Jadhav, Pramod Tandon, Jean Dreze, Aruna Roy, Madhav Gadgil, N. C. Saxena, Shiva Kumar, Deep Joshi, Anu Agha, Farah Naqvi, Harsh Mander and Mirai Chatterjee.


Leave a Comment