New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday appointed new heads for spy agencies Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appointed Arvind Kumar as the new director of IB, replacing Rajiv Jain who was given a six month extension in December last year. At the same time, it also appointed Samant Kumar Goel as the new secretary of RAW, replacing A.K Dhasmana.
Senior bureaucrat Amitabh Kant, who spearheaded various campaigns about India’s potential for manufacturing, tourism and entrepreneurship on the global stage, has also been given a two-year extension of his term as the chief executive officer of NITI Aayog.
While both director-general (DG)-rank Indian Police Service (IPS) officers are from the 1984 batch, Goel is from the Punjab cadre while Kumar is from the Assam-Meghalaya cadre.
A senior officer, who wished not to be identified, said that, “given the seniority of both officers and the present climate in Jammu and Kashmir, the decision to elevate (them) was taken."
The decision to elevate Goel comes in the wake of his participation and orchestration of the Balakot air strikes. At the same time, Arvind Kumar has been one of the IB’s key men in combating and containing Naxalism in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Kant’s term was to end on 30 June. The Cabinet Committee of Appointments has decided his term will now end on 30 June 2021, said an official statement.
Kant, a 1980 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service, has been closely associated with the campaigns ‘Make in India’, ‘Incredible India’, and ‘Startup India,’ as well as Kerala’s tourism campaign branding the culturally rich coastal south Indian state as ‘God’s Own Country’.
As NITI Aayog chief executive, Kant has been active in expanding the sphere of influence of the federal policy think tank, which unlike its predecessor Planning Commission, has no power to allocate funds to states. The top brass of Niti Aayog believe the think tank’s power is the power of its ideas. Kant has helped device ranking of states on various parameters, including on sustainable development goals, that has infused a spirit of competition among states.
Earlier, in his capacity as industry secretary, Kant drove the ease of doing business initiative and ranking of states on outcome parameters.