Ajit Doval reappointed as National Security Adviser.

Ajit Doval reappointed as National Security Adviser.

June 7, 2019.

The newly elected BJP government reappointed, Ajit Doval, retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer as National Security Adviser of India for another five-year tenure. In recognition of his earlier contribution in the national security domain, he has also been elevated to the rank of Cabinet Minister for this term. During his first term of 2014 to 2019 of NSA, he had the stature of a Minister of State (MoS).

The decision was taken since Mr. Doval leads strategic dialogues with many countries and a Cabinet rank will facilitate his interactions with the most senior officials, according to one official. “A case in point is China, where there has been a mismatch between him and the Special Representative for boundary talks, who is normally a State councilor of Cabinet rank. The official said, “China had raised discomfort about the mismatch.”

The need to give a Cabinet rank to Mr. Ajit Doval was felt due to the appointment of former foreign secretary S. Jaishankar as the External Affairs Minister last week, according to another official. The two have differed on various issues pertaining to foreign policy in the past. An MoS rank is also given to the other civil servants in the present Cabinet like Hardeep Puri, Arjun Ram Meghwal, and R.K Singh.

In an order issued on June 2 by P.K Tripathi, Secretary, ACC said, “Ajit Doval’s appointment will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister or until further orders, whichever is earlier.” A 1977 batch IFS officer, Mr. Jaishankar was appointed as Foreign Secretary in January 2015 after a stint in Washington DC as India’s envoy. He retired in January 2018.

NSA is the chief adviser to the prime minister of India on national and international security policy matters. He serves at the discretion of Prime Minister of India. NSA is now seen as the most powerful bureaucrat in the Government of India. This post was created in 1998 by the then government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Since then either an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) or the Indian Police Service (IPS) serves the post. Senior IFS officer Brajesh Mishra was India’s first NSA (in office from November 1998-May 2004).

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