The government has begun the search for a new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to succeed the incumbent U K Sinha, whose term is scheduled to come to an end on February 17, 2016. UK Sinha, a 1976 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, assumed office as Sebi’s Chairman on February 18, 2011, when the previous UPA government was in the power. UK Sinha was initially appointed with a three-year term and was later given a two-year extension. As per his age, he is eligible for a one-year extension.
It could not be ascertained whether UK Sinha was offered an extension or not. Before joining Sebi, UK Sinha, was heading UTI Mutual Fund. Prior to that, he had served in Finance Ministry among other positions as an IAS officer.
During UK Sinha’s tenure, Sebi has taken a number of steps to check manipulation and ensure safeguards of the investors and overall marketplace.
However, the most keenly watched developments during UK Sinha’s tenure has been grant of greater powers to Sebi and the action taken by the regulator against hundreds of ponzi schemes and lately against more than 1,000 individuals and companies suspected of tax evasion and laundering of black money through the stock exchange platform. Inviting applications, the Finance Ministry said in a notification that the Chairman of the capital markets regulator would be appointed for a five-year period or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Besides, the Chairman would be eligible for re-appointment. The applications have been invited by October 7, 2015.