New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Saturday appointed Rajinder Khanna as the new chief of India’s external spy agency, Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), while Prakash Mishra has been made the new Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
According to reports, the appointments committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued the above two orders.
"There was a demand from the R&AW to make its chief from the internal officers instead of bringing IPS officer from outside," a PMO official said.
Khanna has led the agency’s counter-terror operations in recent years. With his appointment as new RAW chief, Khanna will have to rebuild the agenyc which is devastated by internal feuds, staff shortages and technology deficits.
The appointments committee cleared Khanna, a 1978 batch RAS cadre, for the post of RAW chief for a period of two years from 31 December after incumbent Alok Joshi retires.
Along with Khanna, the Centre had also announced the appointment of Arvind Saxena as Director of Aviation Research Centre (ARC).
Considered as the father of counter-terrorism unit in the RAW, Khanna has been in the forefront of seeking cooperation from intelligence agencies around the globe.
During his long stint in RAW, Khanna has also served in Northeast besides outside the country as well. Saxena, a 1978 batch RAS cadre, will be director of ARC which carries out aerial surveillance of the borders using its unmanned aerial vehicles and other flying machines including MIG and helicopters.
ARC has also the responsibility with IAF to transport Special Frontier Force (SFF) commandos. Saxena will hold the charge till August next year. Mishra, a 1977-batch IPS officer from Odisha cadre, was made chief of CRPF, a post lying vacant since Dilip Trivedi retired on 30 November.
CRPF is the mainstay for anti-Naxal operations and Mishra has himself spearheaded the battle when he was DGP of Odisha. The about 3-lakh personnel force is facing a number of challenges, especially in the left wing extremism theatre, and three committees have been formed by the government in recent past to fine-tune the operational efficacy and modernisation of the paramilitary.
(With Agency inputs)