GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

Rajiv Kumar took over as the new chief election commissioner on 15 May 2022, a day after his predecessor Sushil Chandra retired. Kumar will oversee the upcoming Assembly elections and the 2024 general elections during his tenure. The Ministry of Law and Justice on 12 May 2022 announced that the new chief election commissioner would take over on 15 May 2022.

What

  1. Kumar’s chief election commissioner tenure begins right after the delimitation commission finalised its order for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, recommending seven additional constituencies — six for Jammu and one for Kashmir — and taking the total number of seats in the UT to 90.
  2. It also comes at a time when the poll panel’s decisions have met with criticism by mainstream parties in the Valley.
  3. It will also pave the way for elections to be held in the Union Territory, which has been without an elected government since 2018.
  4. His tenure as an election commissioner has seen a slew of reforms, including multiple dates for voter registration and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which called for voluntary linking of Aadhaar numbers with voter cards. During Kumar’s tenure, the commission also began working on the concept of remote voting.
  5. Kumar has been credited with conceiving and implementing merger and acquisitions in the financial sector.
  6. He also has to his credit the National Pension System was streamlined by enhancing the mandatory contribution by the central government and providing freedom of choice for selecting pension funds and patterns of investment for and tax reliefs.