Aviation ‘expert’ Sunil Arora takes charge as 23rd Chief Election Commissioner
New Delhi, Dec 2: Retired IAS officer Sunil Arora assumed charge as the country's 23rd Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on Sunday. He succeeds Om Prakash Rawat who retired on Saturday. A 1980-batch Rajasthan-cadre officer, Arora was appointed an election commissioner in September 2017 - a year after he retired as secretary of the information and broadcasting ministry in April 2016.
He will formally take charge from outgoing CEC O.P. Rawat on 2 December. Arora will have a nearly two-and-a-half-year tenure as Chief Election Commissioner with 2019 General Elections to be conducted under his stewardship.
Arora's name was earlier cleared by the Centre and sent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Arora has served in several key positions as a bureaucrat, including as information and broadcasting secretary, secretary in the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship and chairman and managing director of Indian Airlines. With a career as a bureaucrat that spans over almost four decades, Arora has dabbled in areas of aviation, economy and sports among others. For his peers, with his versatile experience across domains, Arora illustrates the ability of IAS officers to seamlessly move from one sphere to another.
A 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, Arora was the skill development secretary before he was appointed as the top bureaucrat in the I&B Ministry. He has also worked in ministries and departments such as Finance, Textiles and Planning Commission and was also CMD of Indian Airlines for five years.
Back in his home state, Arora was one of the most trusted officers of Vasundhara Raje during her earlier term as Rajasthan Chief Minister. He was her principal secretary from 2005 to 2008.
A CEC of the Election Commission can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. The convention is to appoint the senior-most election commissioner as chief election commissioner.