Your PSCs will now be handled by a policeman

Vol 20, PW 12 (09 Mar 17) People & Policy

Sanjay Kumar Jain has more experience chasing criminals in Delhi and protecting human rights than dealing with E&P operators.

But he is now handling more than 200 NELP and pre-NELP contracts at the oil ministry after taking charge as a director in the exploration department on February 4, 2017, filling a vacuum left by Nalin Srivastava who moved to a UN-sponsored mission in Sudan in December 2016. Jain, an Indian Police Service officer, has been parachuted in to help overworked IAS officer Diwakar Nath Misra, also a director, but who is growing increasingly detached from his work as he awaits promotion to joint secretary in July or August this year.

So far Jain, formerly a deputy commissioner of police for Delhi, has been more 'good cop' than 'bad cop' at the ministry where he is expected to remain until December 31, 2019. "I've met Jain a few times for briefings," says a ministry source.

"He seems nice enough." Another source adds Jain is "reasonable, smart and a quick learner." Misra however is said to be "taking it easy" and looking after "routine" matters. "Misra spends most of his time responding to queries from parliament," we hear.

"He is also in charge of exploration policy. But why expect him to make much effort when he knows he is only here a few more months?"