The post had been lying vacant for over two months after Bimal Julka completed his term on August 26.
Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) on Saturday, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement. President Ram Nath Kovind has administered the oath of office to Sinha as the Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, it said.
The post had been lying vacant for over two months after Bimal Julka completed his term on August 26. Sinha, a former diplomat, joined as the Information Commissioner on January 1, 2019. He has served as India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.
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Sinha, aged 62, will have a tenure of about three years as the CIC. A CIC and Information Commissioner are appointed for a tenure of five years or till they attain the age of 65 years. Sinha was short-listed for the post by a three-member committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Besides Modi, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Home Minister Amit Shah are members of the panel. Besides Sinha, the panel has short-listed journalist Uday Mahurkar, former Labour Secretary Heera Lal Samariya and former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General Saroj Punhani as the Information Commissioners, officials said. All three will be administered the oath of office by Sinha later in the day, they said.
With the induction of Mahurkar, Samariya and Punhani, the strength of Information Commissioner will be seven. At present, there are four Information Commissioners — Vanaja N Sarna, Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Suresh Chandra and Amita Pandove in the Central Information Commission against the sanctioned strength of 10.
Mahurkar has worked as Senior Deputy Editor with a leading media house. He has graduated from Gujarat’s Maharaja Sayajirao University in Indian history, culture and archaeology. Samariya, a 1985-batch IAS officer of Telangana cadre, retired as Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment in September.
Punhani, an Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS) officer of 1984 batch, served as the Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General (HR & Training) in government of India.