He was appointed as Chairperson of UPSC by the President Pranab Mukherjee in accordance with the Article 316 (1) of the Constitution.
He took charge as UPSC chairman on 23 November 2014. Gupta replaced Rajni Razdan, who completed her term on 22 November 2014.
He is the first non-UPSC member to be appointed as UPSC chairman.
He is a retired IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre. Traditionally, UPSC chairman is appointed from the serving members of the Commission.