Recently appointed Internal Security Advisor to the Home Minister,K C Verma is all set to be given the sensitive post of RAW chief after the tenure of the incumbent Ashok Chaturvedi comes to an end in February.
Sources said an agreement had been reached over Vermas name following a general understanding in the government that a person from outside needed to be appointed at the top of RAW to bring in a fresh outlook and initiate wholesome changes to make Indias premier external intelligence agency more efficient.
Chaturvedi was a RAW insider while his predecessor P K Tharakan,an IPS officer,had prior experience in the organisation,having served for a number of years in different capacities,both in India and abroad.
Verma,a Jharkhand-cadre IPS officer of 1971 batch,on the other hand,has never worked in the RAW. Instead,he spent most of his career,spanning almost three decades,in the Intelligence Bureau.
He was appointed head of the Narcotics Control Bureau in 2005,before being elevated as Secretary (Security) in the Cabinet Secretariat. Last month,Home Minister P Chidambaram had assigned him additional responsibility of being his Internal Security Advisor.
Sources said PM Manmohan Singh had cleared Vermas appointment on Friday before he went in for surgery and a formal announcement in this regard is expected to be made in the next couple of days.
Vermas appointment will come at the cost of P V Kumar,the current number two in the organisation,who was widely expected to take over from Chaturvedi. Kumar belongs to RAWs own cadre,Research and Analysis Service (RAS),and is the senior-most serving RAS officer.
zHe was very much in the race till the Government veered around to the view that in the current situation,an outsider would be better suited to the job.
Vermas appointment is also an indication that Chidambaram has played an important role in the selection process. It was the Home Minister who had sought Verma out from the Cabinet Secretariat for a more active role when he took on the responsibility of overhauling the internal security mechanism of the country in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.