Former Chief Election Commissioner of India

Dr. S.Y.Quraishi assumed charge as the 17th Chief  Election Commissioner of India on 30th July 2010. Dr. Quraishi earlier held the position of  Election Commissioner since 30thJune 2006. He has been already involved, as part of the three member Commission, with control, direction and superintendence of the conduct of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President of India, General Elections to the Lok Sabha  – 2009, besides elections in a large number of states. In the management of elections, Dr. Quraishi has brought a special focus on people’s participation, voters’ education and youth involvement in the electoral process through scientific research and interventions. He has been an ardent proponent for lending strength to the grassroots level election functionaries.

Academic Background

Born on 11 June 1947, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi completed his Masters degrees from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi before joining the Indian Administrative Service in 1971. He earned distinction for his study of several languages. Dr. Quraishi received a Ph. D for his thesis on “Role of Communication and Social Marketing in Development of Women and Children”.

Career Summary

Dr Quraishi brought to the Election Commission 35 years of distinguished work in the civil service, at both federal and state levels. Prior to his joining the Commission, he was Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India.

Dr Quraishi is known for his special contributions in social sector reforms covering health, education, population, drug abuse, and civil society action. He has done extensive work in the fields of Gender, Women & Child Development, HIV/AIDS, Youth and Adolescent issues. UN and other international organizations have availed his expertise in these areas as consultant and resource person on several occasions.

Dr. Quraishi held the offices of Special Secretary (Health) & Director General of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) where he brought India’s national AIDS control programme on the world map. He is credited with pulling together a large number of national and international agencies for creating the strategic framework for India’s Phase III AIDS Control Programme.  Dr. Quraishi also pioneered India’s biggest AIDS awareness programme and IEC campaign called ‘Universities Talk AIDS’ (UTA) in 159 Universities, considered as one of the best global practices.

As Director General, Doordarshan (National Television Network), Dr. S Y Quraishi brought about a turnaround in the programmes and finances of the organisation through introduction of new methods and approaches.

Dr Quraishi also held the office of Director General of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), India’s largest rural youth development agency.  He founded the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development and served as its Director. Dr. Quraishi was the Team Leader in framing India’s National Perspective Plan for Youth- 2020 and mainstreaming gender issues.

Dr. S Y Quraishi is also a known name in power sector reforms.  As Secretary of the Department of Power and Non-Conventional Energy, in Haryana, he successfully negotiated a $600 million World Bank loan for reform and privatisation of power sector in the State. This initiative was evaluated as one of the ten best in the world by the World Bank Quality Assurance Team. He also served as Secretary, Irrigation in Haryana. As Additional Secretary for Ministries of Renewable Energy and also of Steel in GOI, Dr. Quraishi piloted wide ranging reforms.


Dr. Quraishi has a number of books, articles and talks to his credit on issues related to democracy, elections, HIV AIDS and Family Planning, social marketing, women and child development and Youth. His book ‘Social Marketing for Social Change’ has broken new ground in the field of Development Communication.


Dr. Quraishi has received several prestigious awards in recognition of his contribution to civil society and human development issues. Among these are, the Nehru Fellow for innovative and outstanding work in child welfare, Secular India Harmony Award for contribution to human understanding, Silver Elephant National Award of Indian Scouts and Guides in recognition of service of most exceptional character to the movement, Shiromani Award for merit, high calibre and commitment to National Progress and Human Welfare.


Dr. Quraishi has widely travelled across India and the globe. He headed Indian delegations at a large number of international conferences and discussions. He is an avid musician and spends most of his leisure time among people and friends with musical interests.

Dr S.Y. Quraishi assumed charge of the Chief Election Commissioner of India on 30th July 2010. He relinquished the charge of CEC on 10th June 2012.