The government has selected nine professionals, largely from the private sector, as joint secretaries in various departments, signalling a major shift in the entry of professionals in shaping policies.
This is perhaps the first time that a large of group of experts with domain knowledge will enter the government through the lateral-entry process.
So far, the joint secretary-level officers are largely drawn from the pool of people who clear the civil services examination conducted by the UPSC.
To ensure the same standards, the entire process of the selection of these experts was conducted by the UPSC.
They will join their respective departments on a “contract basis”.
Earlier, some experts had joined the government through the lateral-entry route in ministries such as finance, power and sanitation.
The list of professionals included those like Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Bimal Jalan, Vijay Kelkar (former petroleum and finance secretary), R V Shahi (former power secretary), apart from Parameswaran Iyer, who is currently sanitation secretary, and Rajesh Kotecha, who heads the Ayush ministry.