Govt to digitally screen candidates before offering jobs

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Next time you apply for appointments (aka jobs) to key institutions and organisations in India, your digital footprint, including how you behave on social media, will play a major role in your selection.

Now, the government is working on a new screening system, involving seven steps, for all appointments in govt institutions. The screening will begin with candidate’s digital footprint and culminates with a final nod from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in successful cases.

The President will also be part of this comprehensive process to be put in place for appointments to govt institutions, a govt official was quoted as saying in an ET report.

In the first step of the screening, comments related to candidates will be counted in. Next step would involve checking the candidate’s social media profile and accounts, where candidate’s comments and views would be assessed. A strong comment by friends and associates of a candidate on social media can lead to the candidate’s elimination.

In the third step, an assessment of a candidate’s integrity along with how the candidate is perceived will be performed. The fourth step would comprise a 360-degree approach, similar to what is employed before empanelling IAS officers at secretary level in key ministries.

Candidate’s colleagues including junior and senior would also be asked to know the candidate better.

Further, in the fifth step of screening, an Intelligence Bureau (IB) clearance of a candidate background would be sought. The PMO role will begin from this stage onwards, the report added.

Then in the sixth step, past association, professional, personal and ideological affiliations of the candidate would be assessed. In the final stage will involve Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervention and clearance from PMO.

The President will also be doing three steps due diligence in case of selected appointment, like the appointment of vice-chancellors of central universities or some cultural institutes.

At present many institutes including IGNOU, UGC, Tripura University and Visva-Bharati are without a vice-chancellor for more than a year.

However, some Industry veterans expressing their reservations said that the move would further delay the appointment for more than a year. They also raise questions regarding scrutiny of candidates social media profiles, where candidates will be judged by his comments, and past associations.

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