Shashikant Sharma, currently a secretary in department of financial services, has been appointed as defence secretary succeeding Pradeep Kumar, who has been chosen the next central vigilance commissioner.
The announcement in this regard was made on Thursday after the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared Sharma's name for the post, defence ministry officials said in New Delhi.
Sharma, A 1976 batch Bihar cadre IAS officer, has earlier served as the director general (acquisition) in the defence ministry and will take up his new assignment on July 31.
Holding an MSc degree in Administration Science, Sharma has had a stint of total six years in the defence ministry in various important capacities.
The officer "may be appointed as officer on special duty in the ministry of defence, in the rank and pay of secretary, with immediate effect and till he takes over as defence secretary."
The official will hold the office of defence secertary for the next two years.
In another appointment, Shekhar Agarwal, presently special secretary in the department of ex-servicemen welfare, has been appointed as secretary, department of defence production, replacing Rajkumar Singh, who is now the home secretary.