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DoT seeks fresh candidates as CVC turns down clearance for TCIL’s interim chief

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has started a fresh process to appoint a full-time chairman of the state-run Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), according to a notification.

The development comes after the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has turned down DoT’s plea seeking clearance report to extend the tenure of TCIL’s acting chairman.

“The post of Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), TCIL will be filled up on deputation or immediate absorption basis through the search-cum-selection method by DoT,” the department in a notification said.

The selection for the chief of Centre’s engineering and consultancy firm has already been delayed, following which Director — Projects, Rajiv Gupta has been named as an interim Chairman after the retirement of A Seshagiri Rao in September 2019.

Gupta has already got two extensions since then, and following a pending vigilance inquiry against him, the department has no longer any plan to further drag his interim charge as TCIL chairman which is also against the prevailing norms, the official sources said.

Earlier in January, the DoT has sought clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for the extension of entrustment of an additional charge of the post of CMD until the date of his superannuation.

However, Gupta is retiring on July 31, 2021.

“The Commission has therefore advised that vigilance clearance in respect of Shri Rajiv Gupta can not be considered at this stage,” the CVC informed the DoT in March this year.

The government has constituted a search-cum-selection committee (SCSC) under Rajiv Kumar, Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) to appoint the candidate for the top role at the state-owned company.

In April 2019, the selection board had undertaken a similar interview process to handpick a candidate for the position of CMD but couldn’t find any and suggested the DoT choose a further course of action.

The post holds significance since the Finance Ministry had plans to issue an Initial Public Offer (IPO) to sell up to 25 percent stake in TCIL, which is also currently expanding pan-African e-Network backed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The last date to apply for the post is June 19, 2020, according to the notification.

—Telecom Techie

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