Bihari officer becomes SEBI Chairman

PATNA: U K Sinha has become the first Bihari to be appointed as the chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India ( SEBI) after the Prime Minister signed a notification to this effect on February 3. Sinha will formally assume charge on February 17. He had earned the same distinction when he joined as UTI Mutual Fund chairman.

Born in Gopalganj in erstwhile Saran district, he studied in the Government Basic School and Government Secondary School in Gopalganj. Sinha had his college education in Patna Science College with physics (hons) and M.Sc in physics. He, subsequently, conmpleted LLB from Patna University. While still pursuing his postgraduation, he was selected as probationary officer (PO) in the State Bank of India where he served for three years.

A Bihar cadre IAS officer of the 1976 batch, Sinha showed his innovative skill in the very beginning of joining the bureaucracy when as the SDM, Jamshedpur, which was his first posting, he came out with pioneering work of setting up Slag Pickers Cooperative Society for tribal workers. The society was able to stop exploitation of workers by the contractors. Within a year of its inception, the society was able to run schools, cr’ches, medical facilities etc. and had a healthy bank balance, Sinha said. The society is still running very well and is one of the very few successful attempts to organise downtrodden workers for their economic and social uplift.

He then served in districts Siwan, Giridih and Patna districts and remained

district magistrate for six years. In Giridih, people remember him for setting up of one of the largest and user-friendly bus terminal and credited for building a brand new cricket stadium where Ranji Trophy matches are held. He also conceptualized and implemented an innovative water supply scheme using water in abandoned coal pits. The Chaitadih Water Supply Scheme became the lifeline of one-fourth of the population of Giridih town, Sinha said. His father was late Phuldeo Prasad, a lawyer and freedom fighter.

Sinha has the distinction of being rated as no.1 by the state government for implementing developmental programmes and various other programmes for six years in a row.

He was also the Bihar State Credit & Investment Corporation MD which he turnaround as a result of which the corporation’s profit increased over three times during his tenure.

Sinha served in the ministry of finance in the banking division as well as in the capital markets division dealing with areas like ICICI and ICICI Bank merger, corporate debt restructuring, JPC on Ketan Parekh scam, restructuring of UTI, demutualisation of stock exchanges etc. He completely transformed UTI during his tenure again making it a very vibrant asset management company.

Sinha’s wife Dr. Shabnam Sinha is from Dhanbad and works as a senior education specialist with the World Bank.

Read more: Another feather in this Bihari officer’s cap – The Times of India