Who Is Sunil Arora, The New Chief Election Commissioner?

Who Is Sunil Arora, The New Chief Election Commissioner?

by Swarajya Staff - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 03:10 PM IST
Who Is Sunil Arora, The New  Chief Election Commissioner?Sunil Arora will have a two-and-a-half-year term and will be responsible for conducting the 2019 general election. (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images) 
  • All you want to know about the new Chief Election Commissioner of India.

President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed retired bureaucrat Sunil Arora as the replacement for the current chief election commissioner, Om Prakash Rawat.

Rawat is set to retire on 2 December, after which Arora will have a two-and-a-half-year term and will be responsible for conducting the 2019 general election.


Arora, who holds a degree in English from Panjab University, is a 1980-batch bureaucrat and belongs to the Rajasthan Cadre. He has previously served in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (1999-2002), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (2014-2015), and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (2015-2016).


As a secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Arora led several initiatives, including curation, restoration, and preservation of feature and non-features films through digitisation and review of the film certification framework with the help of the Shyam Benegal Committee.

He also played a role in breaking the stalemate at the Film and Television Institute.

At the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, he steered the formulation and design of the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015.

Arora also led the design and implementation of the ministry’s flagship scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). And he was involved in formulating the National Skill Development Mission in a short span of eight months.

As joint secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, he was asked to look after the security concerns of the Airports Authority of India, domestic air transport, and Pawan Hans.

It was during his tenure that the Union government took the important decision to deploy the Central Industrial Security Force for security purposes at airports.

During his tenure as the chairman and managing director of Indian Airlines between 2000 and 2005, the entity registered a profit in the years 2003-04 and 2004-05 after facing losses for several years. Its revenue went up from Rs 3,700 crore to Rs 5,100 crore with the operation of the same number of aircraft.

Arora also served as the principal staff officer to Rajasthan chief minister between 2005 and 2009.

After his retirement in April 2016, Arora was appointed as an advisory to Prasar Bharti and later served as the director general and chief executive officer of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs.

Since 1 September 2017, Arora was serving as the Election Commissioner of India, one of a three-member panel that includes two election commissioners and a chief election commissioner.

Task Ahead

Besides the Lok Sabha election of 2019, Arora will be responsible for holding state assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim, scheduled to be held next year. That’s quite a workload he will be gearing up for.

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