Sundareshan, who currently is special secretary in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, will assume office on February 1. His appointment has been cleared by the appointments committee of the cabinet, the government said in a statement.
Sundareshan replaces RS Pandey who retires from service after attaining superannuation age of 60 years on January 31. Sundareshan, 57, will be at the helm of affairs in the petroleum ministry till his retirement on October 31, 2012, unless he moves to some other ministry mid-way.
A 1976 batch IAS officer from the Kerala Cadre, he has held important economic portfolios during his career spanning over three decades.
As the chairman of Forward Markets Commission (FMC), he put in place regulation and structures for the commodities future market and established trading in close to 100 commodities including bullion, metals and agricultural commodities.