In yet another landmark step to strengthen the food safety and nutrition ecosystem in the country, the government has formally notified the very first set of Recruitment Regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in an official gazette dated 11 October 2018. This follows closely on the heels of another important milestone a few weeks ago, when almost 500 new posts were created to strengthen the functioning of the Authority. These two measures, coupled with the recent approval extending the benefit of government housing to regular employees of FSSAI should resolve the issue of shortage of staff in the Authority, which was thus far managing its affairs through deputations and contractual staff.
The manpower sanctioned for FSSAI was raised from 356 to 824 in August 2018, and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (Recruitment and Appointment) Regulations, 2018 would now pave the way for recruitment of personnel on regular basis to the Authority. A large majority of the newly created posts are for technical functions, particularly at the cutting edge of Technical Officers (255 posts) and Assistant Director Technical (60 posts), where the staff shortage is particularly acute. In addition, 74 new posts of Central Food Safety Officers have been created. With this, FSSAI would now be able to handle food safety inspections and enforcement for Central licensees directly instead of entirely depending the States. In order to ensure that the country has a modern and robust food control system, the Government has created posts for new functional areas like social and behavioral change communication, training and capacity building and new technologies. Moreover, FSSAI has been able to persuade State Governments to strengthen and augment the Food Safety mechanism and several State Governments have increased recruitment of food safety Personnel in recent months.
The Recruitment Regulations of FSSAI are unique in many ways. The most significant feature of RRs is the element of Direct Recruitment up to the level of Director as a lateral entry, so as to imbibe new thoughts and experienced personnel in the organization. Keeping in view the cutting edge requirement in the technical areas of the organization, the number of support staff has been kept at bare minimum at 14% of the total sanctioned strength. The concept of consolidated remuneration, based on the years of experience for posts in IT and Specialized Cadre has been introduced to attract the best talent pool of candidates available in the market. A provision to hire services of Consultants from the open market where special skills and competencies, not covered in the Recruitment Regulations are not available has also been incorporated. The levels of posts have been defined to ensure proper promotional avenues.
The Recruitment Regulations of FSSAI have also been crafted to meet evolving requirements in newly emerging areas including special teams for social and behavioural change communication to promote awareness and build capacities on safe and wholesome food, Information Technology team to handle all online systems apart from core functions of Food safety and support system. With this, FSSAI would be able to attract a diverse talent pool with special skillsets required for a wide spectrum of activities that the Food Authority has taken up in recent years.
To fuel its future growth, FSSAI is looking to recruit well-qualified, energetic and dedicated candidates who are ready to serve the country. A career in FSSAI means not only a steady job with adequate financial benefits, unparalleled career potential and personal growth, but also an opportunity to contribute to ensuring safe and wholesome food for 130 crore citizens of the country. Candidates would be selected through a rigorous and transparent process, and an advertisement would be circulated inviting applications shortly. Candidates selected in FSSAI will draw basic salary along with Dearness Allowance, Transport Allowance, House Rent Allowance, etc. as per 7th CPC. Along with basic pay and other allowances, reimbursement of expenses for newspaper, telephone charges etc. as per eligibility shall be applicable. Medical facilities for self and dependents under CGHS/ CSMA shall also be applicable. Selected candidates will be governed by ’the defined contribution New Pension Scheme (NPS)’, in addition to the benefit of Gratuity.
CEO, FSSAI has thanked the Government for extending its support in augmenting the manpower of FSSAI and notifying the Recruitment Regulations. Simultaneously, he has also invited aspirants with drive, initiative and requisite qualifications to become a part of FSSAI.