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Year in Reveiw 2016: Appointments on key posts in Modi government

While The Government Announced New Chiefs For Top Security Agencies Like The Intelligence Bureau And The Research And Analysis Wing (R&AW) In December, It Found Itself In The Eye Of The Storm After Naming The New Army Chief Abandoning The Traditional Criterion Of Seniority.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Kanishk Sharma | Updated on: 31 Dec 2016, 05:31:32 PM
A combination photo shows Lt Gen Bipin Rawat (right) and BS Dhanoa.

New Delhi:

The year 2016 saw some of the key political and defence appointments. 

While the government announced new chiefs for top security agencies like the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) in December, it found itself in the eye of the storm after naming the new army chief abandoning the traditional criterion of seniority.

The Opposition accused the Modi government of indulging in gradual politicisation of the Indian Army. 

Here is a look at the key appointments in 2016.

Defence chiefs 

The centre on December 17 appointed vice chief of army staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat as the new army chief, while vice chief of air staff Air Marshal BS Dhanoa was named the new chief of the Indian Air Force. 

Rawat's selection as the next army chief, superseding two senior officers, triggered a political controversy. After former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi overlooked General SK Sinha to make General AS Vaidya the army chief in 1983, this is the second time in 33 years when the government hasn't followed the tradition of choosing the senior-most general for the top post. 

An infantry soldier, Rawat superseded senior most army commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, who headed the Eastern Command and was next in line to be the army chief, besides Southern Command chief PM Hariz. 

R&AW and IB chiefs 

Given the security situation in India after recent attacks by suspected Pakistani terrorists on army installations in Jammu and Kashmir and the subsequent retaliatory strike across the LoC, the position of director intelligence bureau (DIB) and secretary R&AW assume that much more importance. 

Keeping that in mind, the Centre announced new chiefs for security and intelligence agencies- the R&AW and the IB on December 17. 
Anil Dhasmana, a 1981-batch IPS officer of MP Cadre was named the new R&AW chief while Rajiv Jain, a 1980-batch IPS officer of Jharkhand cadre was given charge to head the Intelligence Bureau. 

The high-level appointments are crucial considering the urgent need for high-grade intelligence. 

Anil Dhasmana succeeded Rajinder Khanna who completes his tenure this year end. Dhasmana has been with RAW for the last 23 years during which he has served on important desks including Pakistan. 

Rajiv Jain, who is at present serving as the Special Director in the IB, will take over on January 1 after the incumbent Dineshwar Sharma completes his two-year tenure on December 31. 

A recipient of President's Police Medal, the 1980-batch officer has served in various departments of the IB including the sensitive Kashmir desk. He was adviser to the previous NDA government's interlocutor on Kashmir KC Pant when talks were held with separatist leaders like Shabbir Shah. 

Sonowal becomes Assam chief minister 

After 15 years of Congress rule, Assam got its first BJP government headed by Sarbananda Sonowal. The BJP coalition won a comfortable 86 seats in the 126-member assembly. The BJP had alliances with smaller parties and ethnic groups like the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the Bodo People's Front (BPF) and the Rabhas and the Tiwa community, which also paved the way for its stronghold in the state. 

Four state governors 

Former Union minister Najma Heptullah was appointed governor of Manipur in August as President Pranab Mukherjee announced new gubernatorial appointments for three States and a Union Territory. 

Former Rajya Sabha MP VP Singh Badnore was appointed Punjab governor while Banwarilal Purohit, a three-time former member of Lok Sabha from Nagpur was named the governor of Assam. Delhi-based BJP leader and former MLA Prof. Jagdish Mukhi was made Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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First Published : 31 Dec 2016, 05:21:00 PM