Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat on Sunday was appointed the new chief election commissioner (CEC). Rawat will succeed AK Joti who will step down from the post after retirement. A 1977-batch IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Rawat will take charge from Tuesday. He was appointed to the Election Commission in August 2015. He is a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre (Batch 1977). Prior to his appointment as Election Commissioner of India, Rawat had retired as Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Department of Public Enterprises on December 31. Born on December 2, 1953, Rawat did his MSc in Physics from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), and MSc in Social Development Planning in 1989-90 in the United Kingdom. During his long career, he served at various important portfolios at Centre and state level. He served as Collector, Narsinghpur (1983-86) and Indore (1986-88) in Madhya Pradesh.
In 1993, in his first stint at Centre, he served as Director/Joint Secretary in the Defence Ministry. During his term he was deputed to South Africa in May, 1994 as United Nations election observer to oversee first post-apartheid elections in the country. After his return from central deputation, he served as Commissioner (Women & Child Development), Registrar (Co-operative Societies), Secretary (Cooperation), Secretary (Agriculture) and State Excise Commissioner in Madhya Pradesh. He was appointed Principal Secretary to Chief Minister in August, 2004, where he continued until January, 2006.
Later he also served as Principal Secretary (SC/ST Welfare Department), Govt. of Madhya Pradesh when he received Prime Minister’s Award on 21st April, 2010 for excellence in Public Administration for innovative group initiative “Recognition of Forest Rights”. He took over as Additional Chief Secretary, Narmada Valley Development Department and as Vice-Chairman, Narmada Valley Development Authority in September, 2009 and continued there until April, 2012 when he again went on central deputation.
During his second tenure at Centre, he served as Secretary at Department of Public Enterprises in the Ministry of Heavy Industries from April, 2012 till 31st December, 2013 when he retired.
As Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, he served as ex-officio President of the Governing Council of International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE), Ljubljana, Slovenia, an inter-governmental body initially promoted by United Nations.