Ajit Doval, the National Security Adviser (NSA), resumed his second term on Monday with an elevated stature of Cabinet rank. This is the first time a NSA has got a second back-to-back tenure. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Doval’s appointment for a five-year period with effect from May 31, 2019. It will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister, the order said.
“During the term of his office, he will be assigned the rank of Cabinet Minister,” the order said. Doval, 74, was appointed to the post on May 30, 2014 and given the stature of a Minister of State in September that year after the Chinese side insisted on ministerial-level talks.
A, 1968-batch IPS officer from Uttarakhand, Doval started his career as Assistant Superintend of Police in Thalassery in Kerala. After his brief stint in Kerala cadre, Doval was absorbed in Intelligence Bureau and retired as the agency’s chief in 2005.
During his first tenure as NSA, Doval played a pivotal role in the surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after the Uri terror attack. He has also been widely hailed for his contribution to the national security domain, including his role during the Balakot air strike after the Pulwama terror attack, officials said. Doval was the chief strategist in tackling the Myanmar-parked Naga rebels.
Having the distinction of being the first police officer who received “Kirti Chakra”, a military honour, Doval will be providing his deep insight about the threats faced by the country from within and outside.
Doval was awarded the Kirti Chakra in 1988 for conducting anti-insurgency operations in Mizoram and bringing Mizo insurgent leader Laldenga to the negotiating table by winning over six of his seven commanders. He had also clandestinely entered Myanmar and China to break the dominance of Mizo insurgent outfit.
He worked with the Intelligence Bureau for over 33 years during which he had served in the Northeast, Jammu & Kashmir, and Punjab. He served in the UK as well. Doval, known as one of the best operational brains in intelligence circles, was one of the main negotiators from India with the hijackers of Indian Airlines plane IC-814 taken to Kandahar in 1999.
After his retirement from service, he had been running Delhi-based Vivekananda International Foundation, considered to be a right-wing think-tank. Known for his clear insight into and vision on Indian and global security issues, Doval has spoken extensively at home and abroad on strengthening the Indian security apparatus and forging closer cooperation among security forces globally.
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