NTRO headless as former bureaucrat turns down top post

The country’s top technical intelligence agency,the National Technical Research Organisation

Written by Ritu Sarin | New Delhi | Published:July 2, 2013 5:37 am

The country’s top technical intelligence agency,the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO),remains headless with retired bureaucrat R Chandrashekhar,who was expected to take charge Monday,reportedly declining the government’s offer to run it for a three-year term.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet had early last month cleared the name of Chandrashekhar,who retired as telecom secretary,to succeed P V Kumar.

With Kumar already demitting office,Chandrashekhar was expected to take charge Monday. But with no announcement being made,NTRO officials said there was an air of uncertainty in the organisation.

The former DoT secretary had visited the NTRO headquarters on more than one occasion last month but did not attend the farewell organised for Kumar last week.

Chandrashekhar could not be reached for comment. His reported refusal,sources said,could force the government to give Kumar an extension. The government also has the option of picking a retired IPS officer with technical intelligence experience or one of the advisors employed with the NTRO at present.

The NTRO functions directly under the National Security Advisor. Set up in 2004,the agency has been tasked to create a nationwide cyber-security grid and act as a feeder for all intelligence agencies. Its performance has,however,been mired in intra-departmental squabbles and it had to face the scrutiny of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on cost overruns of projects and its recruitment policy.

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