Mr Asthana now becomes the second in command in the Central probe agency after CBI Director Alok Verma. He currently holds the charge of additional director in the agency.
Mr Asthana has also served as the interim chief of the investigating agency after Anil Sinha retired on December 2 last year. He is among eight IPS officers promoted yesterday by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
Mr Asthana, a 1984 batch police service officer, headed the state Special Investigation Team that probed the burning of Sabarmati Express in Godhra in February 2002. He was also associated with the probe into the fodder scam in Bihar.
The other IPS officers promoted were Gurbachan Singh and Arvind Kumar as Special Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB), Deepak Kumar Mishra and Sudeep Lakhtakia as Special DG in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Rajesh Ranjan and AP Maheshwari as Special DG in the Border Security Force (BSF).
Javeed Ahmed, a 1984-batch IPS officer who served as the Director General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh and launched key police modernisation projects such as the 'Twitter Seva' in the state, was given the rank of special DG at the Centre.
(With Inputs From PTI And IANS)