422 vied for 5 info commissioner posts

 Over 422 people applied for five posts of Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission last year.

The shortlist of 15 people submitted to the prime minister-led panel included Law Secretary B A Agarwal, who did not make the cut, according to information obtained under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has now made public the list of applicants and the shortlist prepared by a search committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth.

The shortlist of 15 had gone to a committee consisting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Law Minister Kapil Sibal and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

The panel had selected five candidates during a meeting on November 10. The five candidates were, IAS officer Yashvardhan Azad, former diplomat Sharat Sabharwal, former IAS officer Manjula Prasher, former IAS officer M A Khan Yusufi and Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, a professor.

Other than Agrawal, the shortlist included Tribal Affairs Secretary Vibha Puri, former petroleum secretary Girish Chandra Chaturvedi, DoPT Secretary P K Mishra and former IAS officer Sanjeev Kumar Tripathi, according to the reply provided in the RTI query raised by activist S C Agrawal, who himself was an applicant.

The minutes of the meeting chaired by the prime minister said the names suggested by the search committee headed by Seth were evaluated on the “basis of the width, diversity, relevance and length of experience of the applicant, with some preference for legal background and strategic exposure.

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