November 30, 2010

Recruitment scam cloud over top intelligence agency

November 30, 2010 7:22:21 PM

Sidharth Mishra | New Delhi

One of the top intelligence agencies in the nation is passing through turmoil following the surfacing of a huge recruitment scam there.

According to well-placed sources, appointment of as many as 72 officers of the leading technical intelligence organisation — National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) — from the level of Under Secretary to the Joint Secretary has been found to be irregular and not in harmony with Government rules. This fact was revealed in an internal inquiry conducted on the directive of the Prime Minister’s Office.

There are also 48 cases of wrongful contractual employment in NTRO, since the selected candidates were neither eligible nor suitable for the posts. The appointments were made without giving ‘adequate publicity’, like sending a circular to Government departments. Sources said the inquiry panel is in a fix as mass termination/ repatriation of the officers looks untenable as it could bring the organisation crashing down.

The NTRO, set up following the Kargil War, functions under the National Security Adviser (NSA) in the Prime Minister's Office and is engaged in the development and deployment of systems for national security. After the setting up of RAW in 1968, the NTRO’s opening in 2004 — following the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) — has been the Government’s biggest initiative in the field of intelligence gathering.

The inquiry, conducted by NTRO’s acting chairman PV Kumar, was initiated following a sustained campaign by a senior and decorated scientist, who left the organisation in a huff following the recruitments made by the last chairman, KVSS Prasad Rao, who cared two figs for the set norms.

The inquiry found several cases of officers appointed on a post for which they had neither applied nor had their case been recommended by their parent organisation, sources said.

What was proposed to be modelled on National Security Agency (NSA) of the US, this supposed super-technical spy organisation has hit roadblocks after roadblocks, with a large number of officers returning to their parent organisation about two years back following “suffocating service conditions” and now the unearthing of the recruitment scam.

According to sources, in one of the most glaring cases of omission and commission, Commander (retired) Manoj Modi, who was already on the strength of DRDO as ad hoc Scientist-F after having joined DRDO on December 11, 2008, simply walked off from the extremely sensitive DRDO establishment and joined NTRO as Scientist-E without resigning from DRDO. He was promoted by selection as Scientist-F within a few months of his joining the

NTRO in violation of all rules and regulations. Fingers have been pointed at Modi being a facilitator for the erstwhile chairman in many cases.

In another case of blatant favouritism, one Ruchi Chandra Srivastava applied for the post of Scientist-D. Her application was forwarded by her parent body — Prasar Bharati — for Scientist-D but she was selected by NTRO as Scientist-E in violation of all rules and regulations. The original documents regarding her selection and her original application has been “misplaced in NTRO” to hide these facts. Such selections for a higher post without even applying for it clearly shows there’s more than that meets the eye.

Even at the time of their absorption in NTRO, despite strong and repeated opposition from Establishment Division, they were absorbed at senior positions, causing irreparable damage to the career prospects of other deserving candidates.

Similarly, one HS Dhillon, who came from Prasar Bharati, had applied for the post of Scientist-C but was selected and subsequently absorbed as Scientist-E in violation of all rules despite strong opposition from Establishment Division.

“As of now, cosmetic actions like termination of Group D employees working on casual basis has been initiated. One or two cases of officers may also be processed for termination, but it’s unlikely that the axe would fall on so many officers as they are all well connected in the Government,” the sources added.


Recruitment Revolution said...

There's just so much corruption in the world, it's unbelievable. This probably isn't the first recruitment scam involving a country's government, some people in power just can't be trusted. The problems with wrongfully recruiting someone is that we end up with a poorer service when the government should be providing the best possible service available.

Anonymous said...

what if its the fault of the officers who recruited innocents will be terminated for no fault of theirs? After working for two three years what if they get termination letter? they did not ask them to recruit. It was the organiastion fault, so why will those innocents lose their jobs. Moreover only the lower grade youngsters becomes the pray while the older enjoys

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