'Accept transfers or lose promotions!' ONGC

Vol 27, PW 10 (16 May 24) People & Policy

Some feel that ONGC's new transfer policy is more consistent than the 2023 policy.

However, others are concerned because the company also leaves little room for officers to object to their new transfer positions. In early May 2024, many officers are said to have withdrawn requests to have the company review their transfer orders because of a harsh directive issued on April 30 (2024) by GM corporate policy Vaskar Kumar Barai.

He wrote that the fourth special meeting of the Management Committee of Directors (MCoD) on April 27 and April 30 (2024) amended the new transfers policy, which he had earlier released on April 10 (2024), streamlining transfers and clamping down on officers spending long periods at one location. Barai detailed severe outcomes for individual officers whose transfers are cancelled at their request.

For transfers not linked with promotions, the employee will lose out on the opportunity to be considered for promotions at the following two annual Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meetings. For transfers linked with promotions, the concerned employee will lose out on the opportunity to be considered for promotions at the following three annual DPC meetings, and their current promotion will also be cancelled.

Unsurprisingly, this led to panic. "A rush of officers withdrew transfer review requests between April 30 and May 2 (2024)," says a source.

On the same day as Barai's order, CGM and head HR planner Sanjeev Aggarwal issued another order entitled: "Transfer Review Request Withdrawal Option - 2024." Aggarwal wrote that "if any executive wishes to withdraw his or her request for review, he or she may do so by sending an email no later than 5pm on May 2 (2024).

He also cut and pasted in the following text: "l would like to withdraw my transfer review request for AT-2024." An officer comments that "no one wants to mess up their promotion chances, and that's the tough choice the order offers."