Shri Ashok Lavasa
Sh. Ashok Lavasa assumed charge as Election Commissioner of India on 23rd January, 2018. He is a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Haryana cadre (Batch 1980). Prior to his appointment as Election Commissioner of India, Sh. Lavasa retired on superannuation as Union Finance Secretary on 31st October 2017.
Sh. Lavasa has rich leadership experience of active service over 37 years, holding various crucial positions in the Central Government and in the State Government of Haryana as well and he has been known for good governance and policy reform initiatives that have been taken during his tenure of active service in Government of India and State levels. Being a member of the Indian Administrative Service he has been involved not only in routine administration associated with his job, but has worked in areas that required a fair degree of research and analysis of international experience as well as collation of empirical evidence.
Born on 21st October 1957, he did his graduation BA (English Honours) and MA in English from Delhi university. He also has an MBA degree from Southern Cross University, New South Wales and M.Phil (Defence and Strategic Studies).
Prior to his appointment as Election Commissioner of India, Sh. Lavasa served in key positions, namely, Union Finance Secretary, Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Secretary, Union Civil Aviation Secretary, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Economic Affairs (Ministry of Finance), Principal Secretary and Financial Commissioner (Renewable Energy Sources, Power), Chief Coordinator (Industries), Resident Commissioner of Haryana, Managing Director of Haryana State Federation of Co-operative Sugar Mills limited, Managing Director, HSIIDC, Tourism Corporation, Director, Industries, Director, Public Relation, Director of Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation, several other important positions.
Sh. Lavasa served as Union Finance Secretary from 30th April, 2016 to 31st October 2017. Under his guidance and mentorship, Railway Budget was merged with General Budget after 92 years, the distinction between Plan & Non Plan was done away with, an Outcome Budget was presented and the date of Budget presentation advanced to complete the approval process by 31st March and this has been termed as a landmark 2017-18 Budget. He also finalized the revision of General Financial Rules, only the third time since 1947.
His stint at Ministry of Finance was preceded by almost two-year term as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. As Secretary Environment, he led the Indian delegation in COP 21 and successfully negotiated the Paris Agreement. He, further, led the Indian team in negotiating the Montreal Protocol and the International Convention on Desertification. India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for submission to the UNFCCC in 2015 was also finalized by him. In addition to the above, Implementation of the online system of Environment and Forest clearances, standardization of the Terms of Reference for carrying out Environment Impact Assessment, bringing out the policy for scientific sand mining, revamping of the environment clearance process for buildings, and finalization of the reclassification of polluting industries were some of the accomplishments that have been made during his tenure at the Ministry of Environment.
Sh. Lavasa has also served as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Civil Aviation for a period of eight months. He spearheaded several initiatives including drafting of the Regional Connectivity Policy for Airlines, the concept of No Frills Airports, and the Flexi Use of air space. As Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, he prepared the Financial Restructuring Plans for Electricity Distribution Companies in 2012 and revised the Standard Bidding Documents for competitive procurement of electricity. As Joint Secretary (Asian Development Bank and Infrastructure Division), Department of Economic Affairs, he was a member of the Expert Committee on Restructuring the Indian Railways headed by Dr.Rakesh Mohan, which worked for about two years and laid out a blueprint for reforms in the Railway sector.
Sh. Lavasa, an avid photographer and having keen interest in adventure activities and sports, has also authored a book 'AN UNCIVIL SERVANT', published by Rupa in 2006. In the beginning of his career, he taught in Delhi University as a lecturer from August 1978 to December 1979 and Worked as Probationary Officer in State Bank of India from December 1979 to July 1980.