The union government has appointed new chief for the country’s external and internal intelligence agencies. Samant Goel has been named as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), currently the head of operations at the agency. Arvind Kumar has been appointed as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), who is currently the special director for Kashmir at IB. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by prime minister Narendra Modi cleared the appointment of the two IPS officers for the top posts.
Both Samant Goel and Arvind Kumar are 1984 batch IPS officers, Goel belongs to Punjab cadre while Kumar is from Assam cadre.
Samant Goel is known as the person who had planned Balakot airstrikes against Jaish camps in Pakistan earlier this year. He was also instrumental in the planning of the surgical attacks in 2016 by Indian forces. He was involved in handling militancy in Punjab during 1990s, and is an expert on Pakistan.
On the other hand, Arvind Kumar is closely involved in tackling left-wing terrorism in the country. They are replacing outgoing R&AW chief Anil Dhasmana and IB chief Rajiv Jain. Their term had ended in December 2018, but both them were given six-month extension due to Lok Sabha elections. The then Modi government wanted the new government to make the appointment to these key positions.
Last year Samant Goel came under the attack from left-liberal activists during the CBI vs CBI drama. Goel’s name was mentioned in the FIR registered against Rakesh Asthana by then CBI chief Alok Verma.