Power Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla was appointed the officer on special duty in the home ministry on Wednesday. He will take over as the new Union home secretary, succeeding Rajiv Gauba who will retire on August 31, PTI reported.

Bhalla, who is an Indian Administrative Service officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, will join the Ministry of Home Affairs with immediate effect. He will continue to disperse duties as the officer on special duty till Gauba’s retirement for smooth transitioning. Bhalla will have a fixed two-year tenure as the Union home secretary till August 2021.

The Centre also appointed Atanu Chakraborty the secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs. He will succeed SC Garg, who will be appointed the next power secretary after Bhalla.

The new Union home secretary will report to Home Minister Amit Shah. Bhalla’s appointment has come at a crucial time when the home minister is set to rejig the ministry’s dealings in conflict areas such as Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, Mint reported.