V. S. Sampath
|Veeravalli Sundaram Sampath|
|Chief Election Commissioner of India|
11 June 2012
|Born||16 January 1950|
Veeravalli Sundaram Sampath ( Telugu: వీరవల్లి సుందరం సంపత్ ) is the current chief election commissioner (CEC) of the Election Commission of India. He replaced S. Y. Quraishi as the Chief Election Commissioner on 11 June, 2012.
In his early career in the state of Andhra Pradesh in the southern part of India, Shri Sampath was the administrative head (District Collector) of large Indian districts between 1975 to 1986. This stint, apart from giving him a strong grounding in public administration and policy implementation, also provided a good exposure to election organization at the grass root level. As the District Collector of several coastal districts, Shri Sampath led large teams in managing natural disasters and cyclone relief in rural areas, an experience that required execution abilities under extreme pressure and timelines.
Subsequently, Shri V S Sampath also led several state owned financial institutions and federations such as the Apex Co-operative Bank, Handloom Marketing Society, and Oil Seeds Federation in Food and Public Distribution Department, Industries Department and Finance Department between 1986 to 1989. This provided a strong footing in managing organizations and working towards realization of organizational goals in compressed timeframes.He will serve as CEC until he reaches the retirement age of 65 on 16 January 2015.
Subsequently, between 1990 and 2004, Shri Sampath moved to the upper echelons of the state administration, wherein he held several challenging portfolios like Secretary in Agriculture Department and Principal Secretary in Energy Department.
His period as Principal Secretary Energy ushered in the first instance of large-scale power sector reforms in a large state like Andhra Pradesh, and enabling the opening up of the sector for the private sector investment in power sector. The work of the Energy department and the state administration in reforming the power sector has been internationally appreciated, and has demonstrated how effective governance and reforms could reduce AT&C losses and improve distribution efficiencies.
Subsequently, Shri Sampath then served as Principal Secretary, Finance wherein he handled the state finances of Andhra Pradesh, a state with an annual budget of over Rs. 51,000 crores (or $8 billion) and a population of over 80 million.
In the past few years Shri Sampath held several important postings in Central Government. Starting with a stint in the Union Ministry of Rural Development. In 2005, Shri Sampath was appointed as Director General, National Institute of Rural Development. Subsequently, he held the post of Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals where he was pivotal in conceptualizing and implementing the PCPIR policy to help the growth of the Petrochemical sector in India by facilitating massive investments in the identified Regions.
Later, he also served as Secretary, in the Central Power Ministry, where he was instrumental in implementing several forward-thinking policies to aid the sector. Among them was Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), a mega-package for the renovation and modernization of Indian power utilities to help them improve their performance.Currently he is supervising the elections to the 16th LOK SABHA.
Views on electoral reforms
V. S. Sampath believes that the Election Commission should be given greater autonomy and more power for its effective functioning. He advocates for a strong law to curb the practice of paid news. He has suggested the Parliament to take up right to reject.[clarification needed] Advocating such a move, he said, "Right to reject is an idea inherent to democracy, whose time for execution has come".
- Ranjan, Amitav (April 10, 2009). "V S Sampath to be new election commissioner". The Indian Express (New Delhi). Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- "V S Sampath is new Chief Election Commissioner". The Times of India (New Delhi). PTI. June 6, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Election Commission"Chief Election Commissioner of India".
- Sebastian, Sunny (August 25, 2012). "Sampath wants greater autonomy for EC". The Hindu (Jaipur). Retrieved January 12, 2013.