Former CEC MS Gill inducted in Union Council of Ministers

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) The newly-inducted Union Minister Manohar Singh Gill, better known as the Chief Election Commissioner of India during whose tenure electonic voting machines were introduced for the first time and for pioneering the cooperative movement in Punjab, is a committed nationalist and a visionary administrator.

A man who had the rare honour to be nominated as Election Commissioner of India in 1993 and Chief Election Commissioner of India in 1996, Dr Gill was born on June 14, 1936.

His great work for the nation in various fields brought him the honour of Padma Vibhushan and Dadabhai Naoroji New Millennium International Award.

He received his education in a prestigious institution St Georges College, Mussoorie, graduation in honours and Masters in English from Punjab University. He did his PhD on the Cooperative Movement in Punjab and its role in agriculture.

A perceptive author having 10 renowned publications covering a wide spectrum from Punjab agriculture to elections in India, he is credited with introducing cooperative credit banking system for farmers.

Dr Gill qualified in the Indian Civil Services Examination with distinction. He worked extensively on rural development, agriculture improvement, population control and literacy improvement.

In recognition of his work in these areas, he was selected to represent the IAS nationally and sent to Queens' College, Cambridge, for a one-year Development Studies Programme.

He became the Managing Director, National Cooperative Development Corporation, wherein he oversaw the Cooperative Movement in all states of the Union. He was invited by the World Bank to head one of their largest projects (500m dollars over five years) in Nigeria.

During his tenure as Chief Election Commissioner, he conducted three Parliamentary Elections in 1996, 1998 and 1999, along with elections to numerous State Legislatures. He also conducted elections for President and Vice-President of India in 1997.

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced for the first time. During 1998-2000, the entire electoral roll was computerised and Photo Identity Cards were promoted.

It was under his stewardship, that the Commission won international recognition and its members were invited to provide expertise and technical assistance to countries such as Nigeria, Indonesia, Cambodia, South Africa, amongst others.

As a member of Rajya Sabha, he has raised numerous issues relating to Punjab, particularly those affecting the poor Punjab peasantry.

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