Treat 6 commodity boards at par with ICAR: Ramesh

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (UNI) Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh has demanded that the six organisations -- Tea Board, Coffee Board, Rubber Board, Spices Board, Marine Products Export Development Authority and Export Inspection Council of India be treated at par with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in pay scale.

''The research wing of the six boards should be given the same status as the ICAR in terms of salary, work environment and perks, so that we can attract fresh talent and retain our existing scientists,'' Mr Ramesh said.

The ICAR scientists are on the University Grants Commission (UGC) pay scales, which is considerably higher than the present salary of the employees in the six commodity boards.

Mr Ramesh said a scientist in these board draw a paltry Rs 5,000 as remuneration and it was impossible to attract fresh talent to the research wing. He added that the average age of scientist in these boards was high.

Drawing examples from a recruitment exercise into these boards, Mr Ramesh said in 15 years 40 scientist had been recruited and 30 had quit the research boards for better pay packages offered in other research institutes.

Expressing satisfaction over the Thursday's Cabinet decision of filling up 246 technical and scientific posts in the six commodity boards organisations, Mr Ramesh said the impact of the decision will be visible in the next 3-4 years.

''In the last 25 years these boards depended on subsidies and not on technology. If these boards were technology driven, the scenario would have been very different,'' Mr Ramesh said.

The cabinet decision has meant that the posts in technical and scientific posts will be filled up through the direct recruitment method in partial relaxation of the guidelines of the Annual Direct Recruitment Plan (ADRP).

The Cabinet also approved exempting all technical posts from the application of ADRP as recommended by the Committee of Secretaries.

By exempting these posts from ADRP, strategic functions rendered by the Commodity Boards under the Commerce Department, which include market development, research, and replantation and rejuvenation activities, can be sustained on a regular basis.

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