Alok Joshi, a 1976 batch IPS officer, has emerged as a front-runner to succeed Sanjeev Tripathi as chief of Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India's premier external intelligence agency.
Tripathi is slated to retire on November 30.
Government sources said the name of next secretary (R&AW) would be finalised in a meeting between National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, principal secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji and cabinet secretary Ajit Seth on November 21, after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns from the East Asia summit.
A highly competent intelligence operator, Joshi has served in Intelligence Bureau and Haryana Police with key operations in Nepal and Pakistan to his credit.
He has been instrumental in recent successes of R&AW in unearthing Pakistan sponsored modules of Indian Mujahideen in India as well as countering the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in Pakistan as well in Middle-East.
The other contender for the R&AW chief's job is Amitabh Mathur, a 1977 batch IPS officer who has been absorbed into the Research and Analysis Service (RAS). Mathur returned from a three-year stint in London last year.