IFS, IAS and defence officers shortlisted for top-post at IDSA

NEW DELHI: A three-cornered fight is on between the administrative service, foreign service and defence forces for the top position at India's apex government-run think tank, which has been headless since August 2014.

A shortlist for the post of director general of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) has been put in place and a final round of selection is being processed, sources say.

IDSA has been headless since its former DG Arvind Gupta was appointed deputy national security advisor by the Narendra Modi government in August.

Gupta, a 1979 batch IFS officer, is also secretary of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).

Sources said while several names were considered by the search committee over the past few months, a down select has been made that includes two former IFS officers, an IAS officer and a retired lieutenant general of army. For the past few years, the post of DG has rotated between the IFS and the IAS.

The two IFS officers shortlisted are former ambassadors Jayant Prasad and Vikram Sood. Prasad had several interesting stints in the neighbourhood, including postings as the ambassador to Afghanistan when the Indian mission and reconstruction efforts there were targeted by ISIbacked militants.

The only armed forces officer believed to be in the shortlist is Lt Gen Ata Hasnain, who retired as the military secretary (MS) at Army headquarters.

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