Subhash Chandra Khuntia, 60, the newly appointed chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), will assume office on Monday.


Earlier this week, the government had appointed Khuntia, a former IAS officer and retired chief secretary of Karnatak, over insurer,as the new chiarman of IRDAI for three years.It is not yet known why the government gave Khuntia just three years, while all his predecessors had each a five-year tenure.


The post had lied vacant after TS Vijyan retired in Feb 20.


Apart from expanding the reach of government programmes for crop and social security, Khuntia is expected work on various issues to develop the sector.The Modi government has  launched some of the  mass schemes  like,  Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, (PMJJY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). National Health Protection Scheme(NHPS) and is expected to launch a few more in future.    


“The. insurance penetration is still very low in the country,” Khuntua said.


While the insurance industry has seen double-digit growth in recent years, penetration of insurance, or the ratio of premium underwritten to the GDP in India, is still below the global average. 


According to the Economic Survey, insurance penetration in the country increased to a mere 3.49 per cent in 2016-17 from 2.71 per cent in 2001.While life insurance penetration is below 5 percent, general insurance is below 1 percent.


With Khuntia’s vast administrative experience, the industry is also hoping that he would be able to bring in some sweeping changes across the segments in the sector and be a facilitator of use of technology in the Indian insurance industry.. 


Khuntia who is a Phd in Economics and Masters of Technology of Computer Science has worked on the technology front in his earlier stint across the agriculture, finance, railways as well in human resource development.