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Plenty of vacant positions... but is there a dearth of capable officers in Raj?

Jaipur: The new BJP government has to conduct appointments on one dozen important posts of which several are lying vacant and others are soon going to be vacated. Chief among these are Chairman, Information Commission; Members RERA, Member RPSC; Chairman, Secondary Education Board, CMD Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (RVUNL); MDs of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer Discomes; Chairman, Rajasthan Highway Authority etc.

After the retirement of DB Gupta in December 2023, the post of Chairman, Information Commission became vacant. The post will be filled through selection of candidates who apply once advertisement seeking application is released. Generally, a retired IAS or IPS is accorded this position for which the tenure spans three years or about sixty five years of age.

The previous government appointed Veenu Gupta to the post of Chairman RERA but the appointment of two posts of members will have to be done by the current government since one of the members - Shailendr Agrawal - retired in December 2023, while the other member - Salvinder Sahota - will retire on February 12. These positions are also selected posts whose tenure is of either five years or sixty-five years of age. The nodal department - UDH - has already issued advertisement and invited applications and the last date for filing the application is February 25, 2024.

Once the legal proceedings around Babu Lal Katara are completed, one more post of member of RPSC will become vacant and the new government will have to appoint a member after careful consideration. The previous government, in a haste, made two appointments which had resulted in a controversy. In fact, the then CM Ashok Gehlot had also accepted that the appointment of one member was conducted wrongfully.

The chair of Chairman, Secondary Education Board has been lying vacant for the past two years since the suspension of DP Jaroli and the Divisional Commissioner of Ajmer is holding the additional charge of this important post. But since there is no full time Chairman, hence the work has suffered too. As the paper leak has become a sensitive issue and hence a noncontroversial and capable officer should be appointed as Chairman here.

The manner in which CM Bhajan Lal Sharma expressed his displeasure over CMD of Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam - RK Sharma’s work culture during the first review meeting of Energy Sector, it was being believed that he would soon be shuffled out of the position. And on February 1, Sharma was removed from the position. At a time of energy crisis in Rajasthan, the government needs a capable individual to take up the challenge.

The tenure of MDs of all three Discoms - RN Kumawat, Pramod Tak and SS Nirvan - will completed on February 24. The previous government had handed the reins of these Discoms to favoured engineers and now there is no chance of their service extension and they are sure to be removed. The new government will have to sideline political recommendations so that able individuals can be appointed at these crucial positions.

The Committee formed under chairmanship of Chief Secretary had selected ACS Sandeep Verma for the position of Chairman, State Highway Authority around ten days back but the file is pending in CMO and only after approval can a formal order be issued. On the other hand, the work of the Authority is suffering in absence of a Chairman.

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