The Public Service Commission (PSC) is likely to be divested of its mandate to recruit staff for the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) once the latter's evolution as an autonomous corporate entity is completed.

The transformation process, initiated by the government, is in top gear and once the new corporate body comes into being, it will automatically gain the authority for staff selection and recruitment. The company will have the authority to decide the selection process as well.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Sunday that the fate of 4,290 posts remaining vacant continues to be uncertain. These include the posts of 922 meter readers, 508 civil sub-engineers, 354 assistant engineers, 191 drivers, 120 linemen, 305 overseers, 33 senior superintendents, 317 senior assistants, 60 fair copy assistants, 1,039 electrical workers, and 304 cashiers. Most of the posts remaining vacant are quite crucial for discharging the routine functions of the board and its offices, but it remains to be seen whether the company will take the initiative to fill the vacancies or do away with them as part of the reformation process. As per the existing procedure, the KSEB will report the vacancies to the PSC and it will advise candidates after conducting a qualifying test and an interview.

According to a notification issued by the Electricity Department with regard to the process of converting the KSEB into an autonomous company, the new entity will have complete operational autonomy, including personnel recruitment and selection, awarding performance-linked promotions to employees, compensation, and incentives for achieving progressive levels of efficiency. This is in addition to the powers for making decisions on the investments to be made by the company in various sectors. Since the new company will not be seeking any financial support from the government, its authority on taking decisions on various issues, including staff recruitment, is likely to be absolute.

PSC sources said that live rank lists for filling all the vacant posts are ready, but the KSEB will have to report the vacancies for initiating the recruitment procedures. The government will have to issue a special notification that irrespective of the nature of the new organisation, the recruitment of staff should be vested with the PSC itself. Since the PSC is following a transparent system, there is an increasing demand from various government and autonomous bodies to bring them under its ambit. In this context, a notification specifying that the existing system should continue will avert any confusion, sources said.

Keywords: KSEB