Opening the doors of bureaucracy for private sector professionals, the government on Sunday invited applications for 10 Joint Secretary level posts through lateral entry as opposed to the UPSC examinations.
The government said the proposal of lateral entry was aimed at bringing in "fresh ideas and new approaches" to governance and also to augment manpower.
"Government of India has decided to invite talented and motivated Indian nationals willing to contribute towards nation building to join the government at the level of Joint Secretary," said a notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.
Joint Secretaries are at a crucial level of senior management in the government and lead policy making as well as implementation of various programmes and schemes of the department assigned to them. They report to the Secretary or the Additional Secretary in the respective ministries.
The joint secretary post is usually filled through the competitive exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
The government notification said that candidates having expertise in specific areas of revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, road transport and highways, shipping, environment and forests, new and renewable energy, civil aviation and commerce can apply for the posts.
While candidates from state governments and Central or state public sector undertakings will be appointed on deputation, the candidates from private sector will be appointed on contract basis, the notification said.
The NITI Aayog welcomed the move to initiate lateral entry in the bureaucracy with its CEO Amitabh Kant saying it was long overdue.
"NITI's experience with lateral entry has been extremely good. They (candidates) bring in a vast number of fresh and vibrant ideas.
"This move in government was long overdue and I welcome it. (It) Will catalyze UPSC entrants to specialise. Government must also allow deputation of its officers to private sector as well," Kant said in a tweet.