Rajiv Kumar takes charge as chief election commissioner
New Delhi: The 24th chief election commissioner (CEC) of India Sushil Chandra relinquished charge, after completing his tenure, to Rajiv Kumar at the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday.
ECI’s Twitter handle shared images of the handing over ceremony. Rajiv Kumar, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, has worked in various ministries at the Centre and State levels in Bihar and Jharkhand, said a government press release. It added that the 62-year-old officer “has extensive work experiences across the social sector, environment and forests, human resources, finance and banking sector.”
Kumar will oversee the 2024 national polls and the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) during his tenure. His tenure will also coincide with the implementation of electoral reforms including multiple dates of registration of voters and the voluntary linking of Aadhaar numbers with voter cards.
Kumar has a master’s degree in public policy and served as the finance secretary from September 2017 to February 2020. According to the Election Commission of India website, he supervised the financial services sector and was instrumental in introducing banking reforms. “As a starting point to curb circulation of black money in layered fashion...Kumar had frozen bank accounts of 3.38 lakh shell companies used for creating fictitious equity.”
The 25th CEC served as the establishment officer in the personnel and training department from 2015 to 2017. As director and joint secretary in the tribal affairs ministry, Kumar drafted the Scheduled Tribes (Reorganisation of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005.