New Delhi: The race for getting top posts in the central intelligence, investigating agencies and paramilitary forces has started. In the next few months, there will be a major reshuffle as top bosses of at least seven central agencies and forces, which includes high-profile CBI, Intelligence Bureau, R&AW, BSF and SPG, will be changed. It is also expected that the Union government will replace a few other top officers.

This month, Railway Police Force (RPF) chief Dharmendra Kumar and Border Security Force (BSF) chief KK Sharma will retire. The Centre has already finalised their replacements. Sharma is likely to get a post-retirement incentive from the government. BSF is the second biggest paramilitary force of the country.

RK Pachnanda, chief of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which is deployed in the highly sensitive India-China border; Arun Kumar Sinha, chief of the Special Protection Group (SPG), which is responsible mainly for the security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other VVIPs, will retire. Both the posts are crucial and the central government is at the final stage of narrowing down the names that will head these forces.

The most important month will be January, as the government will announce the name of the next CBI chief. This may be the most controversial posting due to the ongoing tussle between current CBI chief Alok Verma and one of the probable names for the next chief: Rakesh Asthana. Alok Verma is a Union Territory-cadre officer and Asthana is a Gujarat-cadre officer.

If YC Modi becomes the next CBI chief, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will have a new boss, too.

Due to the ongoing tussle, the government may rethink on Asthana's name, even though he was earlier almost confirmed to take charge of the CBI after Alok Verma. It is further unlikely that the government will give another chance to a UT-cadre officer this time.

Other probable names for the post are YC Modi, who is currently heading another sensitive agency, the NIA, and Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik.

The posts of director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief will also have new faces. In 2016 December, the Modi government had announced their names, but they took charge in January 2017.