On April 16, 2022, i.e., earlier this year, there came a news in mainstream Indian publications about the announcement of the forthcoming chief of the country’s secretive R&AW, i.e., the Research and Analysis Wing.
It was told that the central government was headhunting keenly for two of the most important security posts dealing with both internal and external safety of the country.
As per the-then, news update, it was told that the replacement to the incumbent R&AW and IB chiefs, i.e., Mr. Samant Goel and Mr. Arvind Kumar would be announced soon and that the country would not have to wait any longer to know their replacements.
Yet, almost a month and a half later, even on May 30, there’s not much clarity whether India has found its next R&AW as well as IB chiefs.
What was made evidently clear, as per the news was that the shortlisting process for the new security chiefs had already begun.
It’s a well established fact that the tenure of the serving R&AW chief would come to an end on June 30.
As a matter of fact, Mr Goel, who took over the reigns of the key security position back in June 19, extended his tenure as India’s R&AW chief, which was back in May of 2021.
However, this was also the case with the IB chief Mr. Kumar, who, after taking over as the head of the Intelligence Bureau in June of 2019, earned a one year extension in June 2021.
Though, rather importantly, it was told that any chances, whatsoever, of the two chiefs being handed yet another extension was completely ruled out and not possible.
But where does all of this stand now? According to a latest news report published on the said matter by IANS, India is still in the process of finalising the names of not only the next R&AW and IB chiefs but also that for the National Investigation Agency, commonly also known as the NIA.
And in here comes the big question, arguably the most important where the next figureheads of NIA, R&AW and IB are concerned.
Just who could be the ideal candidate or successor for the key security establishments of the country, a nation that here in the beating heart of the sub-continent often jostles with a capricious and violent neighbour and has, for quite some time, experienced rancid behaviour on the part of China?
That being said, to get a sense of what might happen to these critical positions in the imminent future, it is important to reflect on the inputs provided by DNA publication. It had the following to say-
The government will first look to elevate senior-most IB and RAW officers before looking at options among IPS officers from outside the agencies, it was reported.
For the IB chief post, the frontrunner is A.S. Rajan, IPS officer of 1987 batch from Bihar cadre who. Rajan is currently number two at IB and has previously served on Deputy Director and Joint Director ranks in Gujarat.
He is rated highly by the government.
Another contender for the IB chief post is Tapan Deka, a 1988 batch officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre. Currently, Deka is Special Director and also heads counter-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, that being said, the individual highly likely to replace the outgoing Samant Goel at R&AW is Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, CBI director in current capacity but someone who was the station head for the Research and Analysis Bureau’s Mumbai wing.
Also, NIA’s next-possible head could be CRPF DG Kuldeep Singh.