Sh. Rajiv Kumar took charge as Election Commissioner in ECI on 1st September 2020. Prior to assuming charge in Election Commission, Sh. Rajiv Kumar had been Chairman, Public Enterprises Selection Board. He had joined as Chairman PESB in April 2020. Sh. Rajiv Kumar, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service of Bihar/Jharkhand cadre 1984 batch, superannuated from the Indian Administrative Service in February 2020.
Born on 19th February 1960 and acquiring academic degrees of B.SC, LL.B, PGDM and MA Public Policy, Shri Rajiv Kumar brings with him vast experience of more than 36 years of Government of India service, having worked in various Ministries at the Centre and State cadre across Social Sector, Environment & Forests, Human Resources, Finance and Banking sector.
During his tenure as Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary, Department of Financial Services to GOI, (Sept 2017 - Feb 2020), he had the mandate to look after Banking, Insurance and Pension Reforms. Sh. Kumar supervised financial services sector and was instrumental in inter-alia introducing major initiatives/reforms such as: Banking reforms with comprehensive approach of Recognition, Recapitalization, Resolution and Reform. As a starting point 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. He planned and implemented an unprecedented re-capitalization 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 banking sector and establishing in a short span that lenders and borrowers have to stick to prudential norms of lending.
Shri Rajiv Kumar has been 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.
Sh. Kumar was also instrumental in conceiving and implementing mega Merger & Acquisitions in financial sector. 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, providing freedom of choice for selection of Pension Funds and pattern of investment to central government employees and other tax reliefs was also ensured by him.
Sh. Kumar has 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 wrongdoing like in case of PMC Banks.
Sh. Kumar has also been Establishment Officer, Department of Personnel and Training from 2015-17 and prior to that Joint Secretary, Department of Expenditure with earlier assignments also in Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Forest as also Education Department in State cadre.
He spearheaded Transparent Personnel Management to encourage integrity and probity. He was also member of the Task force for restructuring of NITI Aayog. On the basis of the report, 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 (Reorganisation of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005 and was responsible for Special Central Assistance to States and Grants under Art. 275(1) of the Constitution for development of Scheduled Areas and TSP areas.
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.