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New R&AW chief is first
to be trained in Israel
Sheela Bhatt in Mumbai | April 02, 2003 12:06 IST
C D Sahay, who took over as the fifteenth chief of the Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet secretariat, India's external intelligence agency, on Monday is the first R&AW chief to have undergone training with Israeli intelligence in addition to training in the United Kingdom.
Previous R&AW chiefs have had the benefit of training courses in the UK or the United States or both, but not in Israel.
Like his predecessors, Sahay will be designated secretary (R) in the Cabinet secretariat.
He will work under Brajesh Mishra, principal secretary to the prime minister, but his administrative boss will be the Cabinet secretary.
Sahay is the thirteenth officer of the Indian Police Service to be appointed R&AW chief since the organisation was created in 1968. The agency has had one boss each from the Indian Frontier Administration Service and the Indian Postal Service as well.
Of R&AW's 15 chiefs, six, including Sahay, were experts on Pakistan before they came to head the organisation. Two others were experts on China. Only two came into office with expertise in the collection of technical intelligence.
According to sources, R&AW's present set-up does not have any recognised senior expert on China. In the last 10 years, there has been a gradual dilution of China-related expertise in R&AW.
Monday also saw the setting up of a new technical intelligence organisation on the recommendation of the Special Task Force formed in May 2000 to look into revamping of the intelligence apparatus after the Kargil conflict. The task force was headed by Governor Girish Chandra Saxena of Jammu and Kashmir, himself a former R&AW chief.
The new organisation will also be part of the Cabinet secretariat. R S 'Billy' Bedi, a R&AW officer with a military background, who was senior to Sahay in the Research & Analysis Service, has been named the first head of this organisation.
It will cater to the technical intelligence requirements of all agencies of the Government of India. But the Intelligence Bureau, R&AW, and the intelligence directorates general of the armed forces will retain their own capabilities in this area.
The Directorate General of Security, of which the Aviation Research Centre is a part, will continue to function under the supervision of the secretary (R).
Last week, Amar Bhushan, an IPS officer of the R&AW, was named head of the DGS with the rank of special secretary. He replaced Bedi in that post.
The name of the new technical intelligence agency is the National Technical Facilities Organisation.
With this, the Indian intelligence community consists of the following agencies: the Intelligence Bureau under the home ministry; the R&AW, DGS and NTFO under the Cabinet secretariat; the Defence Intelligence Agency under the defence ministry; the directorates general of intelligence of the army, air force and navy; and the directorate general of revenue intelligence under the finance ministry.