| Kundan Kumar |
The Election Commission has selected Saran district magistrate Kundan Kumar for the Best Electoral Practices Award-2013 for outstanding performance in electoral management.
The 38-year-old is the first IAS officer from Bihar to get this award.
A Bihar cadre IAS officer, Kumar encouraged residents of Saran districts to get electoral photo identity cards (EPIC) and improved the sex ratio in the electoral rolls. To get the award, one has to perform excellently in several sectors of the electoral process.
Three IAS officers in the country would receive the award from President Pranab Mukherjee on National Voters Day at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on Saturday.
Kumar, a history graduate from Delhi University, is the second among them.
He studied at Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College.
Originally from Bettiah in West Champaran district, Kumar did his schooling from Sainik School in Tilaiya, now in Jharkhand. Before being posted in Saran in August last year, Kumar has served Aurangabad, Samastipur and Nalanda districts in the same capacity.
Taking charge of Saran, Kumar worked towards improving electoral management in the district, including encouraging people to get electoral photo identity cards.
On getting the honour, he said: “I am elated because everyone has worked hard on the issues. The award is not recognition for only one district but for the whole state. I am sure that this honour will make every resident proud. I personally do not want to take the credit. It was team work, so it should be dedicated to all the officials involved in achieving this goal.”
Kumar will be the first IAS officer from Bihar to get this prestigious award.
In 2011, IPS officer Nishant Kumar Tiwari got this award during his tenure as the West Champaran superintendent of police. He is now the Gaya senior superintendent of police.
Kumar told The Telegraph over phone from Chhapra: “When the electoral draft roll was submitted, I came to know that around 1.5 lakh EPIC were not there. I took up the work on priority basis. I wanted to make it cent per cent. I encouraged voters to get the cards. Another indicator for the award is improving the sex ratio in the electoral rolls. The district was also lagging behind in this sector. When the process was started, the ratio was 823 female voters for every 1,000 male voters. We made a quantum jump and brought it to 868.”
He also focused on improving the electoral population ratio by conducting awareness campaigns for residents who completed 18 years. Finally, the district registered 2 lakh new voters. He added: “A lot of awareness campaigns were carried out in the district to encourage new voters to register their names in the voters’ list. The district again made a tremendous performance by registering 2 lakh new voters.”
Ashok Priyadarshi, deputy election officer, headquarters, Bihar, said: “An IAS officer of the state getting this award for the first time is a proud moment for Bihar. Earlier IPS officer Nishant Kumar Tiwari had got this award. It is big laurel for the state. This proves that the state is working hard towards strengthening the electoral process.”