B N Talukdar to be new DGH

B N Talukdar, Director for Exploration in Oil India Ltd, will be the new Director General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).

New Delhi: B N Talukdar, Director for Exploration in Oil India Ltd, will be the new Director General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).

Talukdar will replace a bureaucrat at the Oil Ministry's techical advisory arm for exploration and production.

Sources privy to the development said Talukdar was selected by a search committee after interviewing seven shortlisted candidates last week.

Talukdar, 58, a petroleum engineering graduate from the prestigious Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, has been head of OIL's exploration, development, reservoir management and drilling activities since December 2007.

In all, 17 candidates had applied for the job of Director General of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). Of these, seven including Talukdar, ONGC Executive Director Anand Sahu and OIL Director (Human Resources and Business Development) Nripendra Kumar Bharali were shortlisted by a screening committee for interviews.

A search committee headed by Oil Secretary Vivek Rae interviewed and shortlisted the applicants last week. The panel also comprises Syamal Kumar Sarkar, Secretary to the Department of Personnel and Training; and Thirumalachari Ramasami, Secretary, Science & Technology. S V Rao, former Director Exploration of ONGC, is an expert member on the committee.

More than a year after Rajiv Nayan Choubey, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre was handpicked to head DGH, the Oil Ministry wanted the agency to be headed by technocrat and advertised the post.

The appointment of a bureaucrat as the head of the highly technical arm of the Oil Ministry had raised eyebrows then as it was not clear how the selection was made without the post being advertised. There was also no selection panel formed to choose among eligible candidates, it was pointed out.

The term of DG, DGH will be for five years or till the incumbent completes the age of superannuation of 60 years, whichever is earlier, they said.

Choubey, a post-graduate in Physics, was development commissioner (handlooms) in the Ministry of Textiles before becoming DG, DGH.

He was appointed head of DGH after the then DG, DGH, S K Srivastava moved to Oil India Ltd as the Chairman and Managing Director.

Srivastava, who was director (operations) at Oil India in 2009, was made the temporary head of DGH to replace the controversial V K Sibal, in October 2009. He was formally appointed DG, DGH in February, 2010. Prior to his temporary charge, he was deputy, DG, DGH under Sibal.