Spymaster Ajit Doval reappointed NSA for record third term in Modi 3.0

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval arrives at the Border Security Force (BSF) Investiture Ceremony and Rustamji Memorial Lecture, at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval arrives at the Border Security Force (BSF) Investiture Ceremony and Rustamji Memorial Lecture, at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi.

New Delhi | Ajit Doval, one of India's most celebrated spymasters, has been part of many key decisions taken by the Modi government in its first and second terms as the country's National Security Adviser (NSA).

He was on Thursday re-appointed as the NSA for a record third term, the government said in an order. With more than 10 years in the job, he is the longest serving NSA.

Doval (79) holds over 33 years of extensive experience in the field including Northeast, Sikkim, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir region.

A master of spycraft, he spent over six years in Pakistan also, official sources said.

Doval spearheaded the operations wing of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) -- the country's internal security intelligence agency -- for a long time.

He also founded the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), which came into force after the 2001 standoff with Pakistan. The MAC is a counterterrorism grid under the aegis of IB, they said.

A 1968-batch IPS officer of Kerala cadre, Doval retired as chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB) in 2005.

He was appointed as the NSA for the first time on May 30, 2014 and re-appointed for another term from May 31, 2019.

With this fresh term, Doval becomes the first NSA to be appointed for three consecutive terms.

During his first tenure, Doval is believed to have played a pivotal role in the 2016 surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after the Uri terror attack.

He has also been widely hailed for his contribution in the national security domain, including his role during the Balakot air strike after the Pulwama terror attack in 2019.

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.

Born in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand on January 20, 1945, Doval received his education in Delhi, Ajmer and in Agra, they said.

Having the distinction of being the first police officer who received the Kirti Chakra, a military gallantry honour, Doval will be providing his deep insight about the threats faced by the country from within and outside.

He was awarded the honour 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.

Doval had also clandestinely entered Myanmar and China to break the dominance of Mizo insurgent outfit, the sources said.

Widely recognised for his clear insight into and vision on Indian and global security issues, he has been actively participating at different fora at home and abroad on strengthening the Indian security apparatus and forging closer cooperation among security forces globally.

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