T M Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank, has also been appointed as Vigilance Commissioner, while Sudhir Bhargava, former Social Justice and Empowerment Secretary, has been named as Information Commissioner.

Their appointments were approved today by President Pranab Mukherjee, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said, a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge recommended their names.

With Chowdary's appointment, the government has for the first time broken away with the tradition of appointing an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer as the Chief of the anti-corruption watchdog since it was formed in 1964.

The appointments have come after opposition leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi had attacked the government over keeping these posts vacant and raised questions whether it was afraid of transparency.

Chowdary, a former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, is working as an Adviser in the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to check blackmoney. He retired as Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in October, last year.

Sharma, a former environment secretary, has been working as Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commissioner since 2012. He will have a tenure of about six months as he attains the age of 65 years on December 1, this year.