Sh. Rajiv Kumar, Election Commissioner in ECI since 1st September 2020, took charge as the 25th Chief Election Commissioner on 15th May 2022. Prior to assuming charge in the Election Commission, Sh. Rajiv Kumar had been Chairman, Public Enterprises Selection Board. Sh. Rajiv Kumar, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service of Bihar/Jharkhand cadre 1984 batch, superannuated in February 2020.
Born on 19th February 1960 and acquiring academic degrees of B.SC, LL.B, PGDM and MA in Public Policy and Sustainability, Shri Rajiv Kumar brings with him vast experience of more than 36 years, having worked in various Ministries at the Centre and State across Social Sector, Environment & Forests, Human Resources, Finance and Banking sector.
During his tenure as Election Commissioner, elections were held for State Assemblies of Bihar in 2020, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal amidst Covid concerns in March-April 2021 and also elections to Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh recently in early 2022.
As Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary, Department of Financial Services to GOI, (Sept 2017 - Feb 2020), Sh. Kumar supervised the financial services sector and was instrumental in introducing inter-alia major initiatives/reforms in Banking, Insurance & Pension sector. Sh. Kumar was also instrumental in conceiving and implementing mega mergers of Banks & acquisitions in the financial sector. He planned and implemented an unprecedented recapitalization programme for PSBs amounting to Rs. 2.11 lakh crore to support capital adequacy of PSBs and prevent default. He is credited with turnaround of the Banking Sector and establishing in a short span that lenders and borrowers have to stick to prudential norms of lending. To curb circulation of black money in layered fashion, Sh. Kumar had frozen bank accounts of ~3.38 lakh shell companies used for creating fictitious equity. Streamlining of National Pension System (NPS) was also effected, benefitting approximately 18 lakh Central Government employees including enhancement of mandatory contribution by the Central Government.
Sh. Kumar has a keen commitment to bring transparency, check information arbitrage and protect the vulnerable sections of society through the use of technology applications and/or amendments in legislation or extant Policy regime, wherever required. Some initiatives in this direction include the passing of Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, 2019 to provide much needed protection to poor depositors and deal with the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes; Amendment in Banking Regulation Act to strengthen Regulatory Powers of RBI over Multi State Cooperative Banks to avoid wrongdoings like in case of PMC Bank.
Shri Rajiv Kumar has been Director, Central Board of Reserve Bank of India, 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), Member Civil services Board among many other such Boards and Committees.
Sh. Kumar has also been Establishment Officer, Department of Personnel and Training from 2014-17 and prior to that Joint Secretary, Department of Expenditure. He spearheaded Transparent Personnel Management to encourage integrity and probity in senior-level appointments in GoI. He was also a member of the Task force for restructuring of NITI Aayog. On the basis of the report, the present structure of NITI Aayog was approved.
During 2001-2007, as Director and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Sh. Kumar drafted the Scheduled Tribes (Reorganization of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005. In the field, he has worked as Director, Primary Education, Bihar; Director Industries, Bihar; Deputy Commissioner, District Development Commissioner, ADM (Law & Order) and SDM.
Sh. Kumar loves to spend time with his family. He is a proud father and a close friend of his two daughters. He is a keen trekker and has crossed number of passes across Himalayas in Ladakh, Himachal, Uttrakhand, Sikkim, Tibet and also in Sahyadri, Western Ghats, Palghat, etc. Sh. Kumar loves Indian vocal classical and devotional music; meditation.