Ten shortlisted for ONGC chairman

Vol 24, PW 13 (20 May 21) News in Brief

More than a month after he retired, the PESB has finally released a shortlist of candidates to replace Shashi Shanker as ONGC chairman.

Late on Tuesday (May 18) evening, the PESB said ten candidates would appear for interviews beginning 9.30am on June 4 (2021). Six are from ONGC: (Ms) Pomila Jaspal, director finance at ONGC refinery Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL); Om Prakash Singh, director technology and field services; executive directors Sandeep Gupta, Pankaj Kumar and Omkar Nath Giani; and Anand Gupta, additional director at the DGH.

Two surprise industry candidates with little or no oil and gas experience are on the list: Ajay Agrawal, director finance at the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India incorporated in January 2006 as a finance ministry subsidiary responsible for the production of the nation's currency; and Manoj Kumar Dubey, director of finance at Container Corporation of India, a wholly-owned Indian railways subsidiary incorporated in March 1988. Two IAS bureaucrats also feature in the list, both principal secretaries in the Assam state government: Niraj Verma and Avinash Joshi.

Either by coincidence or design, (Ms) Pomila Jaspal's name featured first on the list of ten candidates, leading to wild speculation - almost certainly unfounded - that the PESB is poised to appoint a woman to replace Shanker, who retired on March 31 (2021).