New Delhi: Pankaj Kumar Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer, on Tuesday took over as the new director general (DG) of the Border Security Force while his batch-mate Sanjay Arora assumed charge of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Singh, from the Rajasthan cadre of the IPS, has been serving as the special DG of the country’s largest border guarding force that mans over 6,300 km of Indian boundary with Pakistan and Bangladesh and has about 2.65 lakh personnel.
His father and retired IPS officer of the 1959-batch Prakash Singh also headed the BSF as its DG from June, 1993 to January, 1994.
Singh’s batch-mate and IPS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre, Arora, took charge of the ITBP that guards the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
Singh is considered an architect of police reforms in the country. He had petitioned the Supreme Court in 1996 for carrying out reforms in the police establishment following which the government started giving a fixed tenure of two years at least to the chief of the Intelligence Bureau, the CBI, foreign secretary, the RAW chief and the Union home secretary.
This is also the first time that a son stepped into the shoes of his father at the top DG rank in the central armed police forces (CAPFs).
In 2010, IPS officers from the 1973 batch and real brothers– Vikram Srivastava and Raman Srivastava– served as the DsG of the CRPF and the BSF respectively.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had issued the order for appointment of Singh as the new BSF DG on August 25.
The officer holds LL.B, M.Phil and MBA from the IIM Ahmedabad and his retirement is scheduled in December next year.
He has served in the Rajasthan Police as well as in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), during which he cracked an infamous sex scandal that had rocked Jammu and Kashmir besides being involved in solving several cases related to corruption.
A serving minister, several high-profile bureaucrats and individuals were arrested in the politically-sensitive sex scandal in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also headed the eastern command of the BSF headquartered in Kolkata as an Additional DG and the CRPF anti-Naxal operations formation in Chhattisgarh as its Inspector General.
Arora, who was serving as the special DG in the CRPF till now, will head the about 90,000 personnel strong mountain-warfare trained ITBP.
He will retire from service in July, 2025.
He has earlier served in the ITBP as a Commandant between 1997-2002 during which he headed its battalion based in Matli and also served in the training wing of the officers’ training academy located in Mussoorie.
Both the new DG took the charge from 1984-batch IPS officer S S Deswal who retired Tuesday. Deswal was holding the additional charge of BSF DG.