The central government has made Intelligence Bureau’s clearance mandatory for appointment of a private person as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to a minister.

In a directive, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked ministries to send a proposal including approval from the concerned minister, willingness of the person to be appointed as OSD and educational qualification certificates (attested by an officer not below the level of Under Secretary) to it.

Besides, it has been made mandatory to send to the DoPT the bio-data or earlier service details of the candidate duly attested by the minister concerned, post creation details with the approval of DoPT and the Ministry of Finance, IB report and police report on verification of character and antecedents for processing requests for appointment of private person as OSD, it said.

An Intelligence Bureau (IB) clearance is not needed in case a government official being appointed as OSD to a minister, according to the directive.

As per procedure, the final appointment of OSD will be made after the approval of Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).

In a related development, the new government has asked all its ministers not to appoint officials who had served in key positions in the erstwhile UPA government as former ministers’ personal staff.

This comes after a recent controversy over appointment of private secretaries to three Union ministers, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Home Minister Singh had proposed the name of IPS officer Alok Singh, who had served in the same capacity to UPA’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, as his private secretary.

However, the appointment of Alok Singh, a 1995-batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, was not cleared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, official sources said.

The appointment of private secretaries of Ministers of States for Home Kiren Rijiju and External Affairs V.K. Singh — Abhinav Kumar and Rajesh — were also not cleared, the sources said.

Mr. Abhinav Kumar was private secretary to former Minister of State Shashi Tharoor and Mr. Rajesh was PS to former Cabinet Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch.

Recently, Brahm Dutt, who retired as Joint Secretary in the Lok Sabha Secretariat, has been appointed as private secretary to Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Planning, Statistics and Programme Implementation. Singh is also Minister of State for Defence.

It is for the first time that a private person, Brahm Dutt, was appointed as PS to a minister in the new government.

The DoPT has also asked all ministries to take prior approval of ACC before appointing PS and OSD to a minister.

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