Senior IAS officer Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday took charge as the Union home secretary, officials said. The 1984-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer succeeds Rajiv Gauba, who has been appointed as the Cabinet Secretary. Bhalla has served as the Union power secretary, before being appointed as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Home Ministry on July 24. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved Bhallas appointment as the new home secretary. Bhalla will have a fixed two-year tenure.