Meet Rajiv Kumar...The new Chief Election Commissioner of India!

Ahead of the retirement of the incumbent Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). The order of appointment was made on Thursday - May 12 and under his new role, Kumar will conduct the crucial and challenging elections including the upcoming Presidential elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. 

According to a notification issued by the Union Law Ministry, Rajiv Kumar will assume charge on May 15 after incumbent Sushil Chandra demits the office on May 14. Rajiv Kumar will be holding the office as the CEC till the middle of February 2025. Kumar had taken charge as the Election Commissioner on September 1, 2020, after the then incumbent Ashok Lavasa resigned from the post. 

Rajiv Kumar was a 1984-batch Indian Administrative Service officer of the Bihar/Jharkhand cadre and he had superannuated from service in February 2020. He was the chairperson of the Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) when he was appointed an Election Commissioner. Nearly two years after his appointment, he has now been elevated as the Chief Election Commissioner.

The time when Rajiv Kumar takes charge as CEC is significant as the Election Commission has been mulling to pioneer the implementation of postal ballots for the Indian voters living overseas. Sharing the official notification, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said, "In pursuance of clause (2) of Article 324 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Rajiv Kumar as the Chief Election Commissioner with effect from May 15th, 2022. My best wishes to Shri Rajiv Kumar." 

In an official notification, the Law Ministry said, "The President is pleased to appoint Shri Rajiv Kumar, the senior-most Election Commissioner, as the Chief Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India. Shri Rajiv Kumar will assume the charge of the office of the Chief Election Commissioner with effect from the 15th May, 2022, vice Shri Sushil Chandra consequent upon his demitting the Office of the Chief Election Commissioner on the 14th May, 2022." 

Rajiv Kumar had also served as the Director, Central Board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), SBI, NABARD, Member, Economic Intelligence Council (EIC), Member, Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), Member, Bank Board Bureau (BBB), Member, Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC), Civil Services Board among many other such Boards and Committees.