On the recommendation of a search committee, the Election Commission of India has appointed Ashutosh Kumar, a professor in the department of political science at Panjab University, as the first visiting professor to the T.N. Seshan Chair at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), the training arm of the poll panel.
With an aim to commemorate and celebrate the achievements and contributions of former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) late T.N. Seshan, the ECI had announced the establishment and funding of a chair on interdisciplinary approach to electoral studies at the Centre for Curriculum Development in IIIDEM, New Delhi.
The chair will be mentored by another former CEC, N. Gopalaswami.
A search committee under the chairmanship of Gopalaswami was constituted by the ECI which also comprised Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE; Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director, IIT Bombay; Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Vice Chancellor, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru; Urvashi Gulati, former Haryana Chief Secretary; and Dharmendra Sharma, Director General, IIIDEM.
Kumar has vast experience of over 14 years at the Panjab University in Chandigarh. He is also the Lala Lajpat Rai chair professor.
His areas of specialisation include electoral dynamics in Indian states. He has also conducted research on subjects relating to problems of democratic transition and consolidation in developing countries.
His research papers have been published in national and international journals. He has also authored and edited books related to election studies in India.