In the first instance of a retired person being appointed as the head of a Maharatna PSU, former BPCL chairman Arun Kumar Singh was on Wednesday appointed as the chairman and managing director of ONGC. Singh became eligible for the job after the oil ministry relaxed the age norms.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the appointment of Arun Kumar Singh, former CMD, BPCL, as the Chairman of ONGC for a term of three years. According to an official order, “his assumption of charge of the post”.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is India’s top oil and gas producer. A mechanical engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Patna, Singh was the director (marketing) of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) from October 2018 to September 2021, following which he was promoted as the company’s chairman and managing director.
Singh retires as BPCL chief in October 2022 after 13 months. A search-cum-selection committee constituted by the oil ministry focused on Singh after interviewing six candidates on 27 August.
Singh was already chosen to head the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) ahead of the August 27 interview. In his nearly 38 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry, he has led business units and organizations such as Retail, LPG, Pipeline and Supply Chain Optimization in BPCL.
As per information available on BPCL’s website, he has also held the position of President (Africa and Australia) at Bharat Petro Resources Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of BPCL, which is largely engaged in overseas oil and gas exploration. ONGC is without a regular CMD from April 2021 and the senior-most director on the board has been assigned additional charge. Since then, the firm has seen a record three interim chiefs.
Singh became eligible for the job after the oil ministry relaxed the age norms. Eligibility Criteria for Board level position in PSU provides an internal candidate (applicant from within the PSU) should not be more than 58 years of age on the date of vacancy. The maximum age for outstation candidates is 57 years as on the date of vacancy.
According to the ministry’s office memorandum sent to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the ministry changed it to say that the age of any candidate should not be more than 60 years on the date of vacancy. June 17th. The vacancy originated on March 31, 2021.
This is the first instance of a retired person being appointed as the chairman of a Maharatna company. According to the news agency, none of the existing directors or acting chairmen of ONGC, who became eligible for the job after the ministry relaxed the eligibility criteria, were considered suitable for the post. PTI,
(With inputs from PTI)
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