Sanjeev Sahai’s selection nixed; govt re-advertises PNGRB chairman post
Nixing the selection of former power secretary Sanjeev Nandan Sahai, the government has sought fresh applications for the post of chairman of oil regulator PNGRB, which has been lying vacant for almost a year now. “Nominations/Applications are hereby invited for consideration of the Search Committee for selection to one post of Chairperson, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board,” the Oil Ministry said in re-advertisement for the job. A Search Committee headed by V K Saraswat, Member (S&T), Niti Aayog, had picked up Sahai — a 1986 batch IAS officer who retired as Secretary in the Ministry of Power on January 31 this year — in June. His selection was, however, not confirmed by the government, and the post has now been re-advertised. “Bio-data of those who fulfil the qualifications and not more than 62 years of age as on December 1, 2021, be sent in,” the advertisement said. Sahai hadn’t applied for the job, and his name did not figure in the list of candidates that the panel sent out invites for interviews in May. His name was added just a couple of days before the interview. “The Search Committee reserves the right to consider persons other than those nominated or who have applied,” the latest advertisement for the post of PNGRB said. The committee — which also comprises secretaries to the ministries of oil and commerce, secretary legal affairs and economic affairs secretary — had in June interviewed 8-9 candidates, including the ones who had applied and those panel members thought were suitable and invited. The name of the candidates selected was sent to the Appointments Committee ofthe Cabinet (ACC) for decision. Sources said the selected names were returned without approval, following which the post was re-advertised. While previously only those who have retired as chairman of public sector firms or senior bureaucrats were considered for the PNGRB top job, directors of PSUs were included in the selection universe by the Search Committee at its meeting on January 15. Other candidates interviewed on June 2 included retired bureaucrat Avinash Kumar Srivastava, former NSE -5.02 % chairman Shashi Shanker and former ONGC director Sanjay Kumar Moitra. Representational image AP ONGC The post of Chairman, PNGRB, has been lying vacant since December 4, 2020, when Dinesh K Sarraf completed his threeyear term. The Board, which comprises four members besides the chairman, is almost defunct with just one serving member. Former GAIL directors Gajendra Singh and A K Tiwari are presently the two members of the PNGRB board.