New Delhi: While noting that the number of women candidates recommended by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for Director-level vacancies in public sector undertakings (PSUs) is abysmally low, a parliamentary panel has directed the PESB to carry out an in-depth study on the issue. The panel has said that the report should examine if the gender gap is due to the scarcity of competent women aspirants or the glass ceiling effect. The PESB is the apex body responsible for evolving a managerial policy for PSUs and announce Director-level vacancies and make appointments to these posts.
"The Committee recommends PESB to carry out an in-depth study and examine whether this gender gap is due to scarcity of competent women aspirants or glass ceiling effect. The Committee is of the considered opinion that there is a need to build an equitable workplace for women and PESB must make an endeavour in this regard," it said.
In a separate report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) pulled up the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and state-run NTPC Limited for their failure to appoint women to the Board of Directors as Independent Director. "The Committee while taking a serious note of the inordinate delay in filling the woman independent Director, recommended that DPE should seriously look into the issue of abnormal delay in appointment of women Director in NTPC, apprise the Committee of the specific reasons for taking unduly long period on this issue and identify the factors responsible with a view to take corrective measures to avoid reoccurrence of such inordinate delay in future."
It added, "The Ministry of Power should escalate the matter to the Cabinet Secretary level informing about the inordinate delay by the DPE in appointment of women Director in the Board of NTPC."
While arguing for ensuring equitable workplace for women, the report also revealed some jarring figures with respect to the appointment of women to Director-level posts in PSUs. It said that the percentage of women PSU Directors recommended by PESB was 2.4 percent in 2016, 7.69 percent in 2017, 3.8 percent in 2018, 2.75 percent in 2019 and 6.89 percent in 2020.
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