TS Vijayan appointed as IRDA chairman

TS Vijayan appointed as IRDA chairman

TS Vijayan, former chief of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), has been appointed as India's new insurance regulator.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved Vijayan's appointment as the chairman of the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) of India.

A statement by IRDA states that 60-year-old Vijayan took charge with immediate effect. Vijayan will get a five-year term. The IRDA chief's tenure is five years or till the age of 65.

The post of chairman of IRDA had become vacant on Wednesday after former chairman J Hari Narayan retired.

Vijayan had joined LIC, the largest life insurance firm of the country, as a direct recruit officer in 1977. He gradually ascended to the top post and remained its chief for five years until 2011.

He was appointed LIC chairman in the year 2006. He was the youngest ever chairman of the LIC to begin with. During the initial part of his tenure, the corporation saw a decline in its market share as private firms entered into the sector. However, starting 2008 the corporation reclaimed its lost fame.

In 2001, the finance ministry demoted him to the post of managing director due to alleged financial irregularities. That prompted him to take voluntary retirement in November last year.

Vijayan has assumed the new role at a time when the industry is suffering from a persistent slowdown. He faces several tough tasks, including simplification of insurance products and spreading insurance to rural markets.

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