The Centre has opened up joint secretary positions in at least 10 ministries and departments to skilled professionals, including from the private sector. The government said the lateral entry of professionals will bring in fresh ideas and new approaches to governance and also augment manpower, The Economic Times reported.

The post of joint secretary is crucial to lead policy-making and implementation of various programmes and schemes of various departments. The post has traditionally been filled up by officials of the all-India services such as the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and the Indian Foreign Service. The career bureaucrats usually join the service after passing the Union Public Service Commission examinations.

The lateral entry exercise is being implemented for the first time, according to NDTV.

The government, in a newspaper advertisement, said it is looking for “outstanding individuals” willing to contribute to nation building. The recruitment will be made in 10 departments, including financial services, agriculture, economic affairs, revenue, commerce, civil aviation, and road transport and highway.

Applicants should be graduates from a recognised university or institute and at least 40 years old as on July 1, 2018. Those working at senior levels in private sector companies, international or multinational organisations, with a minimum of 15 years of experience, can also apply.

The selected applicants will be given three-year contracts in key ministries and hired on a pay scale of a joint secretary – from Rs 1.44 lakh to Rs 2.18 lakh per month.

The last date to send applications is July 30.