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Chief of R&AW to shift before term ends

delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2010 00:26 IST
Aloke Tikku
Aloke Tikku
Hindustan Times
Research and Analysis Wing

Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief KC Verma, who was brought in after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, is set to move out before his two-year term ends January-end next year.

An old intelligence hand, Verma is likely to be shifted to the National Technical Research Organisation that was carved out of the R&AW in 2004 on the recommendations of the group of ministers constituted after the Kargil conflict. It was expected to meet the technological needs for India's strategic intelligence.

Verma had earlier sought appointment as a member at the National Disaster Management Authority. But the government did not accept his candidature as the R&AW chief's post came with a two-year term and he still had some more months.

Sources said there had been a change in this stance since then and moves were afoot to find a suitable post for the external intelligence agency chief.

There is no clarity why the government is in a hurry to rehabilitate Verma outside the agency.

One version is that the exercise is an old bureaucratic ploy to ensure that a frontrunner for the next R&AW chief's post, Sanjiv Tripathi, does not lose the race. Tripathi — who heads the Aviation Research Centre — is due to retire on 31 December, a month before Verma's term comes to an end.

Government sources said Verma's name was shortlisted for the NTRO chief's post at a meeting convened at the Prime Minister's Office last week.

Verma was a member of the panel headed by cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar that shortlisted Tripathi and NTRO senior adviser PV Kumar for the NTRO chief's post.

Kumar has been officiating as the NTRO chief after incumbent KVSS Prasad Rao stepped down last month-end.

In a hurry?

R&AW chief KC Verma was brought in after 26/11 attacks.

He is likely to be shifted to the National Technical Research Organisation on the recommendations of a group of ministers.

His two-year term with R&AW ends January-end next year.

Verma had earlier sought appointment as a member at the National Disaster Management Authority. But the government did not accept his candidature as the R&AW chief's post came with a two-year term and he still had some more months.