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Ajit Kumar Doval, KC, PM, PPM, IPS (Retd.) (born 20 January 1945), is the 5th and current National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India.[2][3][4] He previously served as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau in 2004–05, after spending a decade as the head of its operation wing. Under his supervision 2016 Indian Line of Control strike on 29th Sept, 2016 and 2019 Balakot airstrike on 26th Feb, 2019 were conducted.

Ajit Kumar Doval

Ajit Kumar Doval.jpg
Ajit Kumar Doval
5th National Security Advisor of India
Assumed office
30 May 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
DeputyPankaj Saran, Rajinder Khanna, R. N. Ravi[1]
Preceded byShivshankar Menon
Director of the Intelligence Bureau
In office
July 2004 – January 2005
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byK. P. Singh
Succeeded byE. S. L. Narasimhan
Personal details
Born (1945-01-20) 20 January 1945 (age 74)
Ghiri Banelsyun, Pauri Garhwal, United Provinces, British India (now in Uttarakhand, India)
ChildrenVivek Doval, Shaurya Doval
ResidenceNew Delhi, India
EducationMasters in Economics
Alma materRashtriya Military School, Ajmer
Agra University
National Defence College
AwardsIND Police Medal for Meritorious Service.png Police Medal
IND President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service.png President's Police Medal
Kirti Chakra ribbon.svg Kirti Chakra


Early life and educationEdit

Doval was born in 1945 in Ghiri Banelsyun village in Pauri Garhwal in a Garhwali family in the erstwhile United Provinces, now in Uttarakhand. Doval's father, Major G N Doval, was an officer in the Indian Army.[5][6][7]

He received his early education at the Ajmer Military School (formerly King George's Royal Indian Military School) in Ajmer, Rajasthan. He graduated with a master's degree in economics from the University of Agra in 1967.[8] He was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution in the field of strategic and security matters, in science and literature from Agra University in December 2017 and Kumaun University in May 2018 respectively.[9][10]

Career as IPSEdit

Police careerEdit

Doval joined the IPS in 1968 in the Kerala cadre. He was actively involved in anti-insurgency operations in Mizoram and Punjab.[11] Doval was one of three negotiators who negotiated the release of passengers from IC-814 in Kandahar in 1999.[11] Uniquely, he has the experience of being involved in the termination of all 15 hijackings of Indian Airlines aircraft from 1971–1999.[12] In the headquarters, he headed IB's operations wing for over a decade and was founder Chairman of the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), as well as of the Joint Task Force on Intelligence (JTFI).[13]

Intelligence careerEdit

During the Mizo National Front (MNF) insurgency, Doval won over six of Laldenga's seven commanders. He spent long periods of time incognito with the Mizo National Army in the Arakan in Burma and inside Chinese territory. From Mizoram, Doval went to Sikkim where he played a role during the merger of the state with India.[14][15]

He was trained under M K Narayanan, the 3rd National Security Advisor of India for a brief period in counterterrorism operations.[16]

In Punjab he was behind the rescue of Romanian diplomat Liviu Radu.[17] He was inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1988 before Operation Black Thunder to collect critical information.[14][18]

Doval spent seven years in Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan. He went to Kashmir in 1990 and persuaded militants (like Kuka Parray) to become counter-insurgents targeting hardline anti-India terrorists.[13] This set the way for state elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 1996.[19]

After retirement (2005–2014)Edit

Doval retired in January 2005[11] as Director, Intelligence Bureau. In December 2009, he became the founding Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation, a public policy think tank set up by the Vivekananda Kendra.[20][21][22] Doval has remained actively involved in the discourse on national security in India. Besides writing editorial pieces for several leading newspapers and journals, he has delivered lectures on India's security challenges and foreign policy objectives at several renowned government and non-governmental institutions, security think-tanks in India and abroad.

In 2009 and 2011 he co-wrote two reports on "Indian Black Money Abroad In Secret Banks and Tax Havens",[23] with others, leading in the field as a part of the task force constituted by BJP.[24] In recent years, he has delivered guest lectures on strategic issues at IISS, London, Capitol Hill, Washington DC, Australia-India Institute, University of Melbourne, National Defence College, New Delhi and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.[25][26] Doval has also spoken internationally at global events, citing the ever-increasing need of co-operation between the major established and emerging powers of the world.[27]

As National Security Advisor (2014–present)Edit

File:U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, meets with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, second from right, at the Pentagon 141001-F-DT527-105c.jpg
A photo taken during an October 2014 meeting of Ajit Doval, second from right and Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, third from right, with then US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, at the Pentagon

On 30 May 2014, Doval was appointed as India's fifth National Security Advisor. In June 2014, Doval played a crucial role in ensuring the secure return of 46 Indian nurses who were trapped in a hospital in Tikrit, Iraq. After family members lost all contact from these nurses, following the capture of Mosul by ISIL. Doval, on a top secret mission flew to Iraq on 25 June 2014 to understand the position on the ground and make high-level contacts in the Iraqi government.[28]

Although the exact circumstances of their release are unclear, on 5 July 2014, ISIL militants handed the nurses to Kurdish authorities at Erbil city and an Air India plane specially-arranged by the Indian government brought them back home to Kochi.[29]

Along with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Doval planned a cross-border military operation against National Socialist Council of Nagaland militants operating out of Myanmar. The mission was said to be a success with 50 militant casualties.[30][31][32]

He is widely credited for the doctrinal shift in Indian national security policy in relation to Pakistan. Switching from 'Defensive' to 'Defensive Offensive' as well as the 'Double Squeeze Strategy.'[33] It was speculated that the September 2016 Indian surgical strikes in Pakistan were his brainchild, which were extremely effective in neutralizing targets hostile to India.[34][35][36][37]

Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi and The National Security Adviser, Shri Ajit Doval,

Doval is widely credited along with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Indian Ambassador to China Vijay Keshav Gokhale, for resolving Doklam Standoff through diplomatic channels and negotiations.[38][39][40]

In October 2018, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Strategic Policy Group (SPG), which is the first tier of a three tier structure at the National Security Council and forms the nucleus of its decision-making apparatus.[41]

After the Balakot airstrike, India and Pakistan came perilously close to firing short-range missiles at each other on February 27, 2019 according to Hindustan Times. Doval told his US counterpart John Bolton and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over a hotline that India was prepared for the worst if any bodily harm was done to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman held in Pakistani custody. Because of Indian and foreign efforts, Pakistan quickly released Varthaman.[42]

On June 3, 2019 he was reappointed as NSA for 5 years and was given Union Cabinet Minister Rank.

Awards and recognitionsEdit

  • Doval was the youngest police officer to receive the Police Medal for meritorious service.[14] He was given the award after six years in the police.[14]
  • He was later awarded the President's Police Medal.
  • In 1988, Doval was granted one of the highest gallantry awards, the Kirti Chakra, becoming the first police officer to receive a medal previously given only as a military honour.[11]


  1. ^ "3 deputies to reduce workload of NSA Ajit Doval". 26 October 2018. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018.
  2. ^ "राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार के रूप में श्री अजीत डोवाल की नियुक्ति" [The appointment of Shri Ajit Doval as National Security Advisor] (in Hindi). Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 30 May 2014. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. ^ "डोवाल बने राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार" [Doval becomes National Security Advisor] (in Hindi). BBC. 31 May 2014. Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ...अजित कुमार डोवाल को प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी का राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार...
  4. ^ "Modi Picks Internal Security Specialist as National Security Advisor". Retrieved 1 March 2015.[dead link]
  5. ^ 8, Rahul Katariya September; Pm, 2015 2:04 (12 June 2015). "लक्ष्य।। (by late Major Gunananda Doval & translated by Kshitij Doval)". Insight. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Doval laments Uttarakhand's poor pace of development, growth". Archived from the original on 24 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Top positions in country's security establishments helmed by men from Uttarakhand - Times of India". 21 December 2016. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Ajit Doval: The most powerful person in India after PM Modi". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  9. ^ Siraj Qureshi (6 December 2017). "Colleges, universities have responsibilities to impart skills to students: Ajit Doval". India Today.
  10. ^ "NSA Ajit Doval has a four-point mantra for success". 18 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d 'Bangladeshi infiltration is the biggest threat' Archived 9 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Rediff, 26 April 2006.
  12. ^ IA's Terror Trail by Anil Sharma (2014)
  13. ^ a b "Ajit Doval, giant among spies, is the new National Security Advisor". Archived from the original on 31 May 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d "Kandahar negotiator gets IB top post". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 8 July 2004. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008.
  15. ^ "Sikkim Day: How Sikkim Became a Part of India". The Quint. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  16. ^ "M.K.Narayanan". 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  17. ^ "'Hero spy' Doval named Modi's security advisor". Mail Online. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Return of the Superspy". Archived from the original on 17 August 2016.
  19. ^ "The Doval Doctrine: Never Say Never Again | OPEN Magazine". OPEN Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  20. ^ "The Brains Behind Modi Sarkar - Brijesh Singh - Tehelka - Investigations, Latest News, Politics, Analysis, Blogs, Culture, Photos, Videos, Podcasts". Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Terrorist threat and response capability - India a year after". Archived from the original on 24 November 2009.
  22. ^ "About Us". 17 January 2017. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  23. ^ Indian Black Money Abroad In Secret Banks and Tax Havens
  24. ^ "Bharatiya Janata Party". Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Vivekananda International Foundation - Seeking Harmony in Diversity". Archived from the original on 25 May 2014.
  26. ^ Working in real time Archived 16 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Power Shifts and International Order". ISF. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  28. ^ "NSA Doval went on secret mission to Iraq". The Hindu. 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 1 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  29. ^ "Indian nurses freed in Iraq given rapturous home welcome". 5 July 2014. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016 – via
  30. ^ "NSA Ajit Doval, General Dalbir Singh planned retaliatory strike against militants - The Economic Times". Archived from the original on 17 June 2015.
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Ajit Doval skipped Dhaka trip for Myanmar operations-IndiaTV News". Archived from the original on 11 June 2015.
  33. ^ "NSA Doval's 'double squeeze' strategy will never succeed: Pak - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ "Ajit Doval likely to visit China: NSA's famed 'Doval doctrine' and deconstructing India's stand on Beijing". Firstpost. 14 July 2017. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  36. ^ George, Glenn (30 September 2016). "India's aggressive approach at border is the brainchild of NSA Ajit Doval". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  37. ^ "Power doctrine of Ajit Doval: Why it is much better than empty Gandhi-giri". Firstpost. 5 August 2015. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  38. ^ "Inside story of how India achieved breakthrough in Doklam border standoff with China". Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  39. ^ "Doka La standoff: Ajit Doval proves it doesn't take a diplomat to resolve an international crisis". Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  40. ^ "Meet Prime Minister Modi's key men who cracked Doklam for him". Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  41. ^ "NSA Ajit Doval to head new Strategic Policy Group established to assist National Security Council". 9 October 2018.
  42. ^

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Shivshankar Menon
National Security Advisor
Police appointments
Preceded by
K. P. Singh
Director of Intelligence Bureau
Succeeded by
E. S. L. Narasimhan