Counter-terrorism expert and outgoing Intelligence Bureau director Nehchal Sandhu is all set to be appointed as the deputy national security advisor from January 1, 2013, with an expansive mandate to oversee strategic intelligence and cyber security.
He will succeed Latha Reddy as the national cyber security coordinator after she moves out of the National Security Council Secretariat in March next year.
Sandhu, a 1973-batch IPS officer, is slated to be approved for the job by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Manmohan Singh this week on the recommendation of national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. A veteran of IB’s counter-terror operations wing since the Punjab militancy days, the officer is valued for professional advice by the PM.
Top government sources said Sandhu’s appointment will bridge the internal security gap within the NSCS. To be appointed in the rank and pay of Secretary, Government of India, Sandhu is also expected to broadly oversee the work of JIC, which is tasked with preparing long-term strategic papers, and the National Technical Research Organisation.