The government on Friday appointed Ajay Tyagi, additional secretary in the department of economic affairs in the finance ministry, as the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for five years. Tyagi, 59, will succeed incumbent Sebi chairman UK Sinha, whose six-year tenure (initially appointed for three years, he got two extensions later) is scheduled to end March 1. “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Tyagi (as Sebi chief) … for a period not exceeding 5 years or till the age of 65 years or until further orders, whichever is the earliest,” said an official order.
Tyagi, whose current work allocation includes financial and capital markets, was the front-runner for the Sebi chief post. Like Sinha, Tyagi is an IAS officer and belongs to 1984-batch (Himachal Pradesh cadre). He is a post graduate in economics. In response to finance ministry’s advertisement on September 19, 2016, nearly 45 candidates including Indian Revenue Service officers, officers from other government services and professionals from the private sector had shown interest for the job.
Other top contender for the regulator post was power secretary Pradeep Kumar Pujari, a 1981-batch officer of Gujarat cadre. Besides the two IAS officers, 2-3 professionals from the private sector were also in the reckoning for the Sebi chief post.
According to the eligibility criteria advertised, persons in the age group of 50-60 having experience in the securities market and related fields was to be considered for the post. The appointment is made by the government on recommendation of the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee, headed by Cabinet secretary. Sinha is the second longest-serving Sebi chief in its 28 years of history after DR Mehta’s term of seven years.