ONGC to get a 3rd interim CMD; 6 out of 9 candidates appear in interview: Sources

Out of nine candidates shortlisted by the government panel for the ONGC CMD post, only six appeared, said sources aware of the matter

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ONGC to get a 3rd interim CMD; 6 out of 9 candidates appear in interview: Sources
  • ONGC’s current Director (HR) Alka Mittal, who holds additional charge of the CMD post and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) CMD SM Vaidya didn’t appear for the interview
  • ONGC might get another interim CMD as Mittal is set to superannuate by the end of this month, said a source

New Delhi: No final name is believed to have emerged out of the interviews that took place today at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the ONGC CMD post, said sources aware of the matter. The interviews took place on Saturday. According to sources, out of the nine candidates who were shortlisted for the interviews by a search committee, only six appeared before it.

ONGC CMD Alka Mittal, IOC’s SM Vaidya skipped interview

Two prominent candidates who did not appear before the search-cum-selection committee were ONGC’s current Director (HR) Alka Mittal, who holds additional charge of the Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD) post and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) CMD SM Vaidya, sources in the know of the matter said.

Those who appeared for the interview included Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s (BPCL) Arun Kumar Singh, Engineers India Ltd (EIL) head Vartika Shukla and two of the three private sector executives who were shortlisted by the panel. From within ONGC, Director (Offshore) Pankaj Kumar and Director (Exploration) RK Srivastava appeared for the interview.

ONGC likely to get an interim CMD

Sources also said that even if the panel picks a candidate for the ONGC CMD post, ONGC might get another interim CMD as Mittal is set to superannuate by the end of this month. “Whoever is selected by the search panel will have to undergo vigilance clearances and will need an approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The process usually takes 2-3 months. In the meanwhile, the next senior-most director at ONGC will get additional charge of the CMD post,” said one of the sources quoted above.

In terms of seniority, the next-in-line after Mittal is Srivastava. Sources also said that Srivastava has emerged as a strong contender for the CMD post.

Background

The Maharatna oil and gas major has been without a full-time CMD since April 1, 2021, when Shashi Shanker superannuated. In June 2021, the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) had interviewed candidates for the ONGC CMD position but had aborted its search after it didn’t find any suitable candidate. After Shanker’s superannuation, ONGC has had two interim CMDs — former Director (Finance) Subhash Kumar and Mittal.

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