The government plans to rope in professionals for top positions at Air India through a global search process, as part of efforts to revive the national carrier, according to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu.
With the proposed strategic stake sale of the Air India failing to take off in May this year, the government has been working on various initiatives, including hiving off a significant chunk of over Rs 55,000 crore debt into a special purpose vehicle, to turn-around the ailing airline.
Against this backdrop, the government is now actively considering the proposal to professionalise Air India management. Talking about steps for reviving the national airline, Prabhu said there are plans for complete professionalisation. “I have already ordered a global search for professionalisation of Air India completely. All top positions in Air India should be filled by some sort of a global search. That proposal is now under active consideration of the government,” the minister told PTI in an interview.
A source in the know said the government plans to set up a search committee that would look for aviation professionals from across the world who can be brought to Air India.
Currently, the national carrier — which is staying afloat on taxpayers’ money — has nine members on the board, including two officials from the civil aviation ministry. The chairman and managing director is senior IAS officer Pradeep Singh Kharola while two well-known businessmen — ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar and Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla — are independent directors on the board. Ravinder Kumar Tyagi, Syed Zafar Islam, Daggubati Purandeswari are the other independent directors. Air India Director (Finance) Vinod Hejmadi, as well as Civil Aviation Ministry’s Additional Secretary Gargi Kaul and Joint Secretary Satyendra Kumar Mishra, are also part of the board.
30/12/18 PTI/Indian Express