Retired IAS officer Anup Chandra Pandey on Wednesday took office as Election Commissioner, returning the three-member body, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, to full strength.
President Ram Nath Kovind had appointed Pandey as Election Commissioner on Tuesday. He fills the vacancy arising after Sushil Chandra succeeded CEC Sunil Arora, who retired on April 12.
The poll panel has to oversee the next set of crucial Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand next year.
The 62-year-old will demit office in February 2024 on attaining the age of 65 years, according to the age criteria for Election Commissioners, just ahead of the likely announcement of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Born on February 15, 1959, Pandey was a 1984 batch, UP cadre Indian Administrative Service officer. During his 37 year service, he has held key posts at both the Centre and the state level.
Prior to joining the Election Commission, Pandey was serving as a member of the National Green Tribunal Oversight Committee, Uttar Pradesh.
Pandey was handpicked by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to head the state bureaucracy as Chief Secretary on June 28, 2018, and retired in August 2019. Under his watch, the state organised the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj, and the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas at Varanasi in 2019.
Earlier, Pandey served as Industrial Development Commissioner and successfully organised a mega Investors Summit at Lucknow in 2018. He also introduced various policy reforms in the industries and business sector, including single window Nivesh Mitra Portal.
As the state’s Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, he oversaw the successful designing, planning and implementation of the state’s Farm Loan Waiver Scheme.
Pandey has held diverse portfolios during his deputation at the Centre, serving as Additional Secretary, Defence, and Joint Secretary, Labour and Employment.
He also represented the country at various international forums like G20 and International Labour Organisation. He was also Director in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Holding a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Punjab Engineering College and a master’s degree in Materials Management from the Panjab University, Pandey, who has had a keen interest in study of history, also holds a Ph.D in Ancient Indian History from the Magadh University.
Pandey has a keen interest in writing and has authored a book titled “Governance in Ancient India”, exploring the evolution, nature, scope, functions and related aspects of Indian civil service from the Rig Vedic period to 650 AD. (IANS)