New Delhi:

The race for the post of chairmanship of the IRDAI has hot up with so many high profiled insurers, retired and serving bureaucrats have thrown their hats into the ring.


The position will fall vacant on February 21, 2018, when IRDAI's present Chairman, TS Vijayan, demits office after completing five years.

VK Sharma, chairman, Life Insurance Corporation

Among the insurers who have applied for the post are- VK Sharma, chairman, Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) , G Srinivasan, CMD, New India Assurance, the country’s largest general insurance company that just got listed in the Indian bourses.


The other insurers those who  have applied for the post include: K Sanath Kumar, CMD, National Insurance, Usha Sangwan, MD, LIC, Hemant Bhargava, MD, LIC, Sunita Sharma, MD, LIC, B Venugopal, MD, LIC,  Rajesh Kandwal, CEO & Managing director,LIC, Bahrain. Nilesh Sathe, member(life),  IRDAI, is also in the fray.

G Srinivasan, CMD, New India Assurance 

Sources point out that several serving and retired bureaucrats including Anjuly Chib Duggal, former secretary , department of financial services, Shaktikanta Das, former economic affairs secretary, are also strong contenders of  the top IRDAI job.


Except Vijayan, all the chairmen of the IRDAI since 2000 have been retired  bureaucrats. Vijayan  was appointed in 2013 as the then finance minister P Chidambaram had strongly recommended for an insurance professional over bureaucrats  to lead the industry into growth path. 


“It would be worth watching, if the government would appoint an insurer or a bureacrat this time,'' said industry analysts.   


This is also for the first time that the appointment will be made by the government of India on the recommendation of the powerful Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee.


Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha heads the committee while additional principal secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra,- a permanent government nominee in the panel- Rajiv Kumar, Secretary , department of financial services and Ajay Mittal,secretary, department of personnel and training along with Bimal N Patel from Gujarat National Law University are other members of the panel.  


The last date for applying for the post of IRDAI chairmanship was Dec 27 and the Ministry of Finance sources said the interview for the post may happen during the third week of January. 


According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999, the chairperson of the authority will hold office for a term of five years, and is entitled to a consolidated salary of Rs  4.5 lakh per month without housing and car facilities.


A notification issued by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Govt of India stipulate that an applicant should have at least 30 years of work experience, and he/she should have worked as Secretary to the government of India or in its equivalent position either at a Central or State institution.


However, the ministry had amended the initial notification so that the CMDs public sector general insurance companies and MDs of LIC who are in the rank of additional secretary could apply for the post.The post is also open to experts from the private sector who have worked as CEO in a large financial institution.


Earlier in November third week, the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee. had interviewed a few candidates to select two members (Life and Finance) of the IRDAI.


Some of the senior officials of the insurance industry who had appeared for the interview for the post of member(non-life),IRDAI, are- K Sanath Kumar, CMD, National Insurance Company, Suresh Mathur, executive director, IRDAI,Segar Sampathkumar, former director, GIC Re,Vinay Sah, CEO, LIC Housing Finance.


Similarly  among the candidates, P.H. Kutumbe, executive director (Finance and Accounts), LIC, Chief Finance Officer V Chandrasekaran, former executive director LIC,Pulla Rao, ED, IRDAI, Ashwin Kumar, CMD, Dena Bank, were interviewed for the post of member(Finance & Accounts), IRDAI.