Biography of Harishankar Brahma

At a time when there was no suitable environment for students of Assam to appear for all India level competitive examinations, there was a lack of awareness among the students. At the end of the late nineteen fifties, an Assamese child succeeded in the tough competitive examination of the Public Service Commission of India. His name was Harishankar Brahma. Importantly, the first Assamese to hold the post of Chief Election Commissioner of India is Harishankar Brahma. He has been able to bring glory to Assam by holding the 19th Chief Election Commissioner of India and the first Assamese Chief Election Commissioner. In one word, a bright sun in the North East is Harishankar Brahma.

Biography of Harishankar Brahma

Biography of Harishankar Brahma

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Table of Contents

NameHarishankar Brahma[1]
Date of BirthApril 19,1950
Place of BirthGohaingaon Kokrajhar
Education1/Don Bosco School, Guwahati
2/Bachelor’s Degree (St. Edmund’s College, Shillong).
3/Master’s Degree(Guwahati University)

Personal & Early Life

Harishankar Brahma was born on April 19,1950 to a large family in Gohaingaon in Kokrajhar district. After completing his schooling at Don Bosco School in Guwahati, Harishankar Brahma graduated from St. Edmund College in Shillong. He later received a master’s degree in political science from Guwahati University. After completing his master’s degree, Harishankar Brahma served in Andhra Pradesh as an officer of the Indian Administrative Service after appearing for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination, India’s toughest test in 1975.

Harishankar Brahma had a dream to work in the Public Service Commission of India from an early age. Harishankar Brahma received a lot of inspiration from his father in this regard. Importantly, he did not get proper instructions on how to prepare for public service commission examination as it is now, to pass the tough competitive exam while appearing for the Public Service Commission examination. He did not succeed even after appearing for the Public Service Commission of India examination for the first time. However, with his concentration and hard work, he was able to achieve success by appearing for this test at least for the second time in nearly two years of preparation.

Also Read: Biography of Jawaharlal Nehru

Professional Life

Harishankar Brahma served smoothly after succeeding in the Public Service Commission Examination sat in various important posts in the civil department of the Government of India and the State Government. Importantly, Harishankar Brahma served in various posts of civil service for nearly 40 years. He also held the post of Joint Secretary, Home Department of the Central Government and did his duties. He served as joint secretary from March 2003 to December 2006. It should be noted that Brahma held various posts in the civil service and performed his duties smoothly but the most challenging time was to serve as joint secretary of the home department of the central government.

Harishankar Brahma held the post of Joint Secretary (Border Management) for more than four years before retiring as secretary from the power ministry. Importantly, during his time in charge, he played an important role in completing almost all border wall and other border infrastructure works along the Indo-Pak-Indo-Bangladesh border. He also served as special secretary and additional secretary of the National Disaster management department. He took over as member and secretary of the State Electricity Council of Andhra Pradesh and Harishankar Brahma-

1/ Served as district collector and magistrate for 4 years

2/ Served as municipal commissioner of Hyderabad for more than 3 years

3/ Also served as Transport Commissioner (Transport, Roads and Buildings) government of Andhra Pradesh for more than two years

4/ Moreover, Harishankar Brahma served as commissioner of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs for five years

5/Harishanker Brahma also served as secretary in the Department of Environment, Forest, Science and Technology, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Harishankar Brahma retired as secretary of the Union Ministry of Power in April 2011 after serving smoothly in various important posts. 


Importantly, from January 16, 2015 to April 18, 2015, Brahma served as the Chief Election Commissioner of India. He overseen two Lok Sabha elections and at least one phase of assembly elections in each state after being appointed as election commissioner. Brahma was the second person appointed as election commissioner from the North East. J.M. Lyngdoh was the first person appointed as election commissioner from the North East. But Harishankar Brahma was the first person to take over as election commissioner from Assam.

As a civil high ranking officer and Election Commissioner of India, he was endowed with various experiences. Since then he had a serious view of various issues and problems in Assam and India.

In an article published in ‘The Indian Express’ on July 28, 2012, Harishankar Brahma mentioned that the unwanted untoward situation in Assam was caused by illegal migration from Bangladesh to Assam. He also opined that this infiltration is an important problem before the Election Commission. Because while preparing the electoral rolls of Assam, about 1.5 lakh d-voters (suspicious voters) also come up. The issue of D-voters is a matter of court consideration. Harishankar Brahma opined that distribution should be disused to those identified as illegal migrants through courts. Otherwise the problem of illegal migration will not be solved but different unpleasant situations will arise at different times.

Harishankar Brahma served as the chairman of the Land Rights Protection Committee set up by the Assam government to ensure protection of rights of Assamese indigenous land. Importantly, a land policy was introduced in Assam in1989 and subsequently there were various problems in the last period due to lack of any reforms. After all, in the changing times, this critical land policy created a state of inability to protect the interests of indigenous. That is why, after Sarbananda Sonowal took over as chief minister in 2016, a new realistic land policy was re-established. Retired (IAS) had constituted a one-man committee headed by former chief election commissioner of the country Harishankar Brahma.

The Brahma Committee submitted its report to the government with more than four crores at the end of a long period of study. The Brahma Committee of Harishankar had made several suggestions including further conservation of tribal fences, computerizing circle officer offices, land registration offices, all these suggestions have been included in the new land policy.

The Land Rights Protection Committee headed by Harishankar Brahma made several important remarks on the rights of indigenous people. Harishankar Brahma also mentioned in an interim report submitted to the Assam government that 66% of the land in 33 districts of the state is occupied by illegal migrants. The Brahma Samiti(Committee)mentioned that 70% of the land in Nagaon district is occupied by non-Assamese/outsiders. Importantly, public hearings were held in every district of the state under the leadership of Harishankar Brahma on the eve of the preparation of this interim report. Harishankar Brahma also mentioned in this report that illegal migration has completely sifted the demographics of nine districts. Harishankar Brahma mentioned in the report that Bangladeshis migrate freely to Assam through the Indo-Bangladesh border i.e. Assam, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya border. He also made important remarks about lakhs of hectares of indigenous land being encroached upon by encroachers and 90 per cent of indigenous land not having term leases (Earthenware). Harishankar Brahma said Bangladeshis occupied 8,000 acres of land in addition to government land, tribal blocks and belt land. 


Harishankar Brahma was known to various social media leaders as well as various social experiences whether it was because of his mental lying on his way from here to their, the country as a civil officer or because of his inquisitive mind. For which he expressed his views in a strong manner on various aspects of society.

On various occasions the children of Assam have lit the name of Assam in the world court. Assamese children have been able to show their skills in their respective workplaces at different times. Similarly, Harishankar Brahma is one of the notable names of Assamese who have got a distinct status in the field of Indian public service. Born in Gohain village of Kokrajhar, Brahma is a familiar name not only for Assam but also for the whole of India. He is the pride of the people of Assam. He is the pride of the people of Assam. Harishankar Brahma’s teachings, hard work, his pursuits, passing the civil service exam due to his hardships in the late nineteen fifties, are a source inspired by the new generation.


1. Who is Harishankar Brahma?

Ans: Harishankar Brahma is the former Chief Election Commissioner of India.

2. When and where was Harishankar Bhrama born?

Ans: He was born on April 19, 1950 at Gohaingaon Kokrajhar.

3. Who is the second Chief Election Commissioner of North East?

Ans: Harishankar Brahma is the second person from the North East to become an Election Commissioner after J.M. Lyngdoh.

4. When did Brahma retired as the Union Power Secretary?

Ans: He retired as the Union Power Secretary in April 2010.

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