Wide range of hopefuls, with processing yet to begin, even as both whole-time charges become vacant in 2 months.
The Union ministry of finance has got around 50 applications for the two vacancies of whole-time members at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
While quite a few government officials have applied, so have three Sebi employees. The initial screening, however, is yet to begin, even as less than two months remain before the two members, M S Sahoo and K M Abraham, retire. Both are to do so in July, within a week. While Sahoo’s three-year tenure will end on July 13, Abraham will retire on July 21.
Early this year, the MoF had invited applications for the vacancies and had also once extended the deadline, to allow more to do so. “The list has a large number of applicants from the private sector, too, but traditionally the member’s chair has been occupied by people from the banking arena and the services (government officials),” said a person familiar with the selection process. An applicant needs to have a total experience of at least 25 years to be eligible.
Among the applicants, the name of Central Bank of India chairman and managing director S Sridhar is doing the rounds. In the past, career bankers such as T C Nair, V K Chopra, Madhukar, A K Batra and T M Nagarajan have all served Sebi as whole-time members. Academician J R Verma and G Anantharaman from the income tax department were other whole-time members.
Among the current whole time members, Sahoo is a former IAS officer (he resigned before taking up the charge) bureaucrat. Abraham is still in service, being from the 1982 batch of the IAS’ Kerala cadre. The third member, Prashant Saran, is from the Reserve Bank of India.
Among the government officials who have shown an interest (all the names mentioned here are based on sources), the names of Shashank Saxena and Rajiv Nabar have been heard in bureaucratic circles. Saxena is currently director (banking operations & pensions) at the MoF and has worked with the current Sebi chairman, U K Sinha, when the latter was part of the ministry's capital markets division. Nabar is income tax commissioner at Surat and earlier served as commissioner of the Mumbai division. He has also worked with Sebi, as a division chief between 1992 and 1997.
The list of external candidates is also said to feature K L Dhingra, current chairman and managing director of ITI Ltd, a public sector undertaking. He was earlier with Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and Indian Rare Earths Ltd.
Among Sebi insiders, two current executive directors, Usha Narayanan and P K Nagpal, are also believed to have evinced an interest in the job. Chief general manager Anil Kumar Sharma is also said to have applied. Narayanan, who reports to Abraham, currently handles the corporation finance division that looks after listing and corporate restructuring. Nagpal, among other divisions, handles the market intermediaries regulation and supervision department. Sharma is in charge of public information.