Former Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar has been appointed the new Election Commissioner of India. Kumar will take charge from outgoing Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa on August 31, the Law Ministry said in a notification on Friday.
"In pursuance of clause (2) of Article 324 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Rajiv Kumar, IAS (Retd.) as the Election Commissioner with effect from the date he assumes the office vice Shri Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner who has resigned with effect from 31st August, 2020," the notification read.
Lavasa has stepped down from the office of Election Commissioner with effect from August 31 to join Asian Development Bank as its vice president.
Kumar, a retired 1984 batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre, has a 30-year-long career behind him with experience in public policy and administration across sectors. He holds Bachelor degress in science and law, along with a Masters degree in public policy and sustainability.
The 60-year-old administrator joined as secretary, Department of Financial Services in September 2017 when the banking sector was neck-deep in bad loans. He was appointed as the finance secretary in July 2019.
The former finance secretary is known for spearheading the consolidation in public banking sector that resulted in the total number of state-run banks being reduced from 10 to 4. He also played a crucial role in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious financial inclusion plans through schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Mudra loan scheme.
During his term, the 59-minute loan scheme for the MSME sector was rolled out. He also undertook Rs 3 lakh crore recapitalisation of banks during his tenure. Kumar also acted as a bridge between the Reserve Bank of India and the Centre at the time of transfer of Rs 1.76 lakh crore surplus transfer from the former to the latter.
Before joining the Finance Ministry, Kumar was the establishment officer in the Personnel Ministry. After retiring, he was appointed as the Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) that looks after high-level recruitments in public sector enterprises.