NEW DELHI (INDIA): Achal Kumar Joti has assumed charge as the 21st Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, succeeding Dr. Nasim Zaidi here today. Dr. Zaidi demitted office yesterday after completing his tenure.
Joti will be in office till January 17, 2018.The government is expected to appoint soon an Election Commissioner. Om Prakash Rawat is the other Election Commissioner.
After the assumption of charge, Joti spoke about the priorities of the Commission and said that the Commission shall pursue vigorously its commitment to hold free, fair, inclusive and credible elections throughout the country. Secondly, the Commission will also pursue its mission to ensure that “No Voter to be Left Behind”.
Thirdly, the Commission shall actively promote e-Governance for holding of elections to the State Assemblies and Parliamentary Elections in the country, Joti added.
He is a Gujarat cadre officer who retired as Gujarat chief secretary in 2013 when Narendra Modi was Chef Minister of state.
A CEC or an EC can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Joti has served as Election Commissioner since 13th May, 2015. During his tenure as Election Commissioner, State Assembly elections in the States of Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakand, Manipur and Goa were successfully conducted. Some of the initiatives undertaken during these elections are IT initiatives including the one for service voters through Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS), along with National Voter Service Portal (NVSP) –an e-portal for easy registration of eligible voters, voter awareness and educational initiatives and stringent expenditure monitoring mechanism etc.
Before joining the Election Commission of India, Joti has served the Nation as a longtime Civil Servant of Indian Administrative Service (1975 Batch).
He brings with him a rich experience of Public Administration of 42 years. During his distinguished career, he served as DM and Collector of Districts Surendranagar, Godhra and Kheda.
He held various significant assignments as Secretary (Water Supply), Secretary (Industries), Principal Secretary (Finance), along with serving as the Chairman of the Kandla Port Trust, on Central Government deputation with Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, between 1999 and 2004, as the Managing Director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) and Additional Chief Secretary (General Administration Department).
Joti superannuated as Chief Secretary to the Government of Gujarat in January 2013 after completing a three-year tenure.