In a massive recruitment drive ahead of the enactment of the Food Security Law, the Food Corporation of India is in the process of appointing more than 11,000 new staff, including hundreds in managerial positions.
The state-run food watchdog advertised 3,755 vacancies in 2011, from which nearly 1,700 officials have already joined. This first batch of recruitment is still in progress, while another 6,545 vacancies have also advertised
In addition, the FCI is in currently recruiting for 460 managerial vacancies, and soon 30 top-level positions will also be advertised.
The new appointments are in preparation for the Food Security Law, under which the FCI is compelled to meet increased requirements for storage and movement of food grains through its Public Distribution System.
“This is a massive recruitment drive we’ve undertaken,” said the public sector giant’s personnel head, Devinder Kumar Bhalla. “We haven’t recruited at such a big scale for a very long time.”
Bhalla said the FCI’s stock and production levels have been growing to a level of around 800m tonnes of food grains every year.
“The forthcoming Food Security Law will require massive food grain management in the country,” he said.
The FCI is also in the process of modernizing its grain storage facilities ahead of the Food Security law.
Last month, the FCI, in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation, organised a stakeholders’ meeting in New Delhi as a pre-bidding event for building state-of-the-art storage silos with a capacity of 2m tonnes in 42 locations spread across 10 states.
“This is one of the most significant projects in the food sector and a step towards modernisation of food grain storage logistics,” said the FCI’s food and public distribution secretary, Sudhir Kumar, at the event.
“The most critical infrastructure in this context is storage, and the new paradigm of food security will require substantial augmentation of the country’s grain storage capacity.”
According to the FCI’s chairman, C Vishwanath, private sector response towards storage creation under a public-private partnership has been “overwhelming”. The corporation is hoping to invite final bids for the silos within “a month or two”
The annual requirement of food grains for distribution under PDS once the Food Security Law is enacted will be an estimated 62m tonnes.