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Four in race for CMD's post at Coal India

PESB invited applications from candidates for the top job. The last date to apply was May 18

Avishek Rakshit  |  Kolkata 

Four in race for CMD's post at Coal India

The bosses of four subsidiaries of Coal India are in the race to bag the top job in the mother company, as Sutirtha Bhattacharya, chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Coal India, heads towards retirement in August this year.

According to sources, R R Mishra, CMD of Western Coalfields; A K Jha, CMD of Mahanadi Coalfields; Gopal Singh, CMD of Central Coalfields and Shekhar Saran, chairman of the Central Mine Planning & Design Institute, have applied for the new position. The source said there could be external candidates (non-Coal India) as well.

The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), on March 9, invited applications from candidates for the top job. The last date to apply was May 18. A company source said that the candidates from the mother company and its subsidiaries need to have at least two years of residual service, while it is three years for the external candidates. For both the categories, the minimum age limit is 45 years. According to a PESB notice, the appointment shall be for a period of five years from the date of joining or up to the date of superannuation or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Among the internal candidates, all are non-IAS personnel and belong to the technical field except Mishra, who is from human resources. “Although PESB has been preferring candidates from the technical arena, an exception was made in case of Partha S Bhattacharya, who was from finance background”, a company official said.

Another company source said that over the years, preference had been given to the candidates from the technical field but recently the government has been preferring IAS cadres. 

The current CMD Sutirtha Bhattacharya is a 1985-batch IAS officer from Telangana. Before his joining in January 2015, additional coal secretary AK Dubey, an IAS officer, held the portfolio. Also, S Narsing Rao, who quit the company’s top post in 2014, was also a 1986-batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh.

Sources said that in the last selection process, there was a tough competition between Bhattacharya, and then Coal India’s technical director N Kumar, an internal candidate.