New Delhi: A high-level appointment at state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has raised eyebrows over the last-minute inclusion of a candidate and his selection by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).
On January 8, two days before the interview for selection of the most-deserving candidate, the PESB partially modified its earlier communication to the authorities concerned and added the name of 1987 batch Indian Railways Accounts Service (IRAS) officer K. Vinayak Rao in the list of shortlisted candidates.
On January 10, the Board recommended the name of Rao for the key post. There were 11 candidates including Rao with six senior executives from the AAI.
“In partial modification to PESB’s communication of even number dated December 27, 2019 on the subject mentioned above, this is to state that Mr K Vinayak Rao, Finance Member, DDA (Indian Railway Accounts Service) has been included in the list of shortlisted candidates against the pool of Central Government category,” the PESB letter dated January 8 said.
Rao is currently Member, Finance at DDA which comes under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The AAI comes under the administrative control of Civil Aviation Ministry.
Hardeep Singh Puri is the Minister for both Housing and Civil Aviation.
Many AAI senior executives have been questioning the process of selection in private discussion but declined to talk about it openly fearing disciplinary action.
“How can someone be entertained after the cut-off date for submitting application? In case the name had to be extended, why the date for submission of application was not extended for all the candidates?” asked a senior executive.
“The laid-down terms have been bypassed in this case,” he added.
The post of Member, Finance, at AAI had fallen vacant after resignation by S. Suresh in May, 2019. Following this, an advertisement was issued to fill the vacancy with November 28, 2019 as the last date for submitting the application.