New Delhi: The Board of Directors of state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has taken the decision to abolish the post of Director (R&D), two separate sources aware of the development told PSU Watch. The decision has been taken at a recent board meeting of the company and has been forwarded to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said sources. After receiving approval from the Petroleum Ministry and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the post will be abolished and the department is likely to be headed by an Executive Director-level officer, said sources.
On being asked about this development, an official spokesperson for Indian Oil refused to offer any comment, saying it is speculative in nature.
The position of Director (R&D) at Indian Oil is currently held by Dr SSV Ramakumar. He was appointed to the IOC board for an initial five-year term beginning February 1, 2017. Then in January 2022, his tenure was extended until July 2023.
According to one of the sources quoted above, the top management is of the opinion that after Dr Ramakumar completes his tenure, a new Director (R&D) will not be recruited.
The news has stoked concerns among employees about the future of the R&D department at Indian Oil if it does not have a director at the helm. "The R&D department is as crucial to the company as any other department, like pipelines, marketing or refineries. Without a director-level post, research and development will suffer. Indian Oil is currently in the process of undertaking research on emerging areas like green hydrogen, nano-technology, etc, which are crucial from a national perspective as well," said one of the sources from the department who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity.
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