By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 27 Aug: Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) is all set to appoint a new Director Exploration. A final decision is likely to be taken after considering the selection of one of the six candidates who are in race for the post on 9 September. It may be recalled that Rajesh Srivastava, the current Director Exploration is likely to take over as new interim CMD (Chairperson) following superannuation of the current CMD Alka Mittal.
Mittal, is due to superannuate at the end of this month. As had been the case in respect of Alka Mittal and her predecessor, no regular appointment has been announced for the post of CMD by the Government and in absence of a regular appointment, the present Director Rajesh Srivastava is likely to be appointed as new interim CMD unless the government decides to extend the term of the present CMD Alka Mittal. However, as the government has already started the process of appointing a new Director Exploration, speculation within the ONGC is that Srivastava, who is the senior-most Director on the ONGC Board after Mittal was being considered to be appointed as an interim CMD. Srivastava is himself due to retire at the end of December this year. In case of his appointment as new CMD, it will be for a short period of some months unless an extension is granted to him. This appointment will create vacancy on the crucial post of Director Exploration and therefore the process is already underway to appoint new Director Exploration.
There are six senior ONGC officers in the race for this post. In all, the Government has called six for the interview for consideration to be selected as new Director Exploration. The interview will be held on 9 September between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm at CGO Complex New Delhi. The candidates have permission to participate online too if they so prefer.
Those in consideration and having been called for the interview are Sanjeev Tokhi, presently Director Exploration in ONGC Videsh Ltd, Om Prakash Sinha, presently ED in ONGC, Vikas Jagadish Pandey, ED ONGC, Sushma Rawat, ED ONGC, Deep Chandra Pant, ED ONGC and Priya Ranjan Mishra, Group General Manager ONGC.
The interviews are being organised and conducted by Ministry of Petroleum which is the administrative department for ONGC in the government. As per the practice, Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) recommends a name for a board-level position at least three months prior to arising of the vacancy. However, in the case of ONGC, this has not been happening.
As far as the post of CMD is concerned, following the finalisation of terms of reference, a search and selection committee was formed in February. The Panel is believed to have shortlisted 9 candidates and includes most existing directors and this includes includes Mittal and Srivastava along with the other directors on the ONGC board Om Prakash Singh, Pankar Kumar and Anurag Sharma. It is somewhat surprising that a new Director Exploration is being selected without announcing the appointment of new CMD.