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Selection process for DTPC secretaries modified
March 18, 2010

Selection process for DTPC secretaries modified


18 March 2010

S. Anil Radhakrishnan, Thiruvananthapuram:

The government has modified the selection procedure for appointment of Secretaries of District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs) stating that the present system is ‘not found effective in getting suitable hands.'

The decision comes in the wake of a vacancy in the Thiruvananthapuram DTPC after the Secretary who was on deputation from the Secretariat returned to his parent department. Tourism sources said efforts to post an official from the Tourism Department on deputation as Secretary of the DTPC failed as he had crossed the prescribed age limit of 50 years.

The new order has replaced all the existing rules and guidelines issued by the government over the years for appointment of DTPC Secretaries. Official sources said the frequent dilution of norms for the selection of DTPC Secretaries had affected the functioning of the councils and that the new order was aimed at enabling backdoor entry of new hands.

Under the pretext of not getting suitable hands, the government has decided to fill the posts from qualified persons from State government/quasi government offices in the district concerned. The selection will be made by the District Collector and Director of Tourism through an interview. Any employee with graduation and two years service in the parent department in the cadre of LDC and above can now become the DTPC Secretary. Those having MBA or Degree/Diploma in Tourism will get preference. The age limit should be between 22 to 50 years.

Sources said Deputy Collectors were posted as Secretaries when the DTPCs were constituted and it had now been downgraded to the cadre of LDC. Even in the capital, the DTPC Secretary, who was on deputation, was an officer in the grade of Under Secretary. The posting of those in the LDC cadre will affect the functioning of the councils. The District Collector, who is also the chairman of the DTPC, is overburdened with work, often leaving the Secretary to shoulder the responsibilities. Moreover, the DTPC takes cares of several tourism projects in the district and it is necessary that a gazetted officer becomes the Secretary. Apart from the legislators, the elected representatives are in the council. All the facilities given to the Head of the Department are also granted to the DTPC Secretary.

The educational qualifications prescribed had also been diluted from Masters Degree in Tourism Management/Business Management or Masters Degree in any discipline with PG Diploma in Tourism Management/Business Management to graduation. The performance appraisal in financial management, toning up administration, project formulation, implementation, coordination of activities with the private sector and innovative contributions for extending the deputation had also been avoided.

Sources said the selection process for the DTPC Secretary in the capital had commenced and already six applications had been received. The dilution of norms for the post of the Secretary had already resulted in criticism among the tourism staff.