Ajit Doval

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Ajit Kumar Doval
अजित कुमार डोभाल

Ajit Doval 2014.jpg
Doval in 2014
5th National Security Adviser
Assumed office
30 May 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Preceded by Shivshankar Menon
Director of Intelligence Bureau
In office
July 2004 – January 2005
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by KP Singh
Succeeded by E.S.L. Narasimhan
Personal details
Born (1945-01-20) 20 January 1945 (age 70)
Ghiri Banelsyun, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India
Residence New Delhi, India
Education Masters in Economics
Alma mater Rashtriya Military School Ajmer
Agra University
National Defence College
Awards Kirti Chakra ribbon.svg Kirti Chakra
Website Doval's Blog

Ajit Kumar Doval, KC (Hindi: अजित कुमार डोभाल, born 20 January 1945) is a former Indian intelligence and law enforcement officer, who is the 5th and current National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, since 30 May 2014.[1][2] He had previously served as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau in 2004-05, after spending a decade as the head of its operations wing.

Early life and education

Doval was born in 1945, in village of Ghiri Banelsyun, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand in a native Garhwali family. Doval's father had served in Indian Army.

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, obtaining the first position.


Police career

  • In 1968: Doval is an IPS officer from the 1968 batch of the Kerala cadre. He was actively involved in the anti-insurgency operations in Mizoram, Punjab and Kashmir.[3]
  • 1999: Doval was India's main negotiator with the hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in Kandahar in 1999.[3] Uniquely, Doval has the experience of being involved in the termination of all 15 hijackings of Indian Airlines aircraft from 1971-1999.[4] In the Headquarters, he headed IB's operations wing for over a decade and was founder Chairman of the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) a Multi-agency coordination body and Joint Task Force on Intelligence (JTFI).

Intelligence career

  • 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.[5][citation needed]
  • In 1989, 1992: In Punjab he was behind the rescue of Romanian diplomat Liviu Radu and the success of Operation Blue Star.[3]
  • In 1990, 1996: Doval before his retirement had spent six 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.[6] This set the way for state elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 1996. Later, he was posted in the Indian High Commission in London, UK as a Minister.
  • He lived undercover in Pakistan for seven years.[7]

After retirement (2005-2014)

  • 31 January 2005: He retired from service on 31 January 2005 from the position of Director, Intelligence Bureau. He is held in high esteem as one of India's well-known Foremost analysts & commentators on strategic national and international issues. His writings have been published widely in International journals, domestic and international media, and he is known for his clear insight and vision for Indian and global security issues. He has spoken extensively nationally and internationally on strengthening Indian security apparatus and closer cooperation amongst security forces globally.
  • In December 2009: He is the founder Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation, a think tank set up by the Vivekananda Kendra, a Spiritually Oriented Organisation in December 2009.[8][9] 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 recent years, he has delivered guest lectures on strategic issues at IISS, London, Capitol Hill, Washington D.C., Australia-India Institute, University of Melbourne, National Defence College, New Delhi and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.[10][11] Doval has also spoken internationally at esteemed events globally, citing the ever increasing need of cooperation between the major established and emerging powers of the world.[12]

As National Security Adviser (2014-present)

A photo taken during a October 2014 meeting of Ajit Doval, second from right, with then U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, at the Pentagon.

On 30 May 2014, Doval was appointed as India's fifth National Security Adviser.

In June 2014, Doval played a crucial role in insuring secure return of 46 Indian nurses who were trapped in a hospital in Tikrit, Iraq. After the family members lost all contacts from these nurses, following the capture of Mosul by ISIS. 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.[13]

Although, the exact circumstances of their release are unclear, but On 5 July 2014, ISIS militants handed the nurses to authorities at Erbil city and two specially arranged planes by Indian Government brought them back home to the south Indian city of Kochi.[14]

Awards and recognitions

  • Doval was the youngest police officer ever to get the Police Medal for meritorious service.[5] He got it after six years in the police (the norm is at least 17 years' service).[5]
  • He was later awarded the President's Police Medal.
  • In 1988, Doval was awarded 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.[3]


Doval supports the idea of using Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan against Pakistan as an instrument of India's "defensive offense" Policy[15][16] and has attracted criticism in Pakistan for that.[17] He also claims to separate Balochistan from Pakistan and threatens to exercise this leverage saying "You can do one Mumbai, you may lose Balochistan" while referring to 2008 Mumbai Attacks.[15][18][19]


  1. ^ "डोभाल बने राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार" (in Hindi). BBC. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ...अजित कुमार डोभाल को प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी का राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार... 
  2. ^ "Modi Picks Internal Security Specialist as National Security Adviser". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d 'Bangladeshi infiltration is the biggest threat'. Rediff, 26 April 2006.
  4. ^ IA's Terror Trail by Anil Sharma (2014)
  5. ^ a b c "Kandahar negotiator gets IB top post". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). July 8, 2004. 
  6. ^ "Ajit Doval, giant among spies, is the new National Security Adviser". 
  7. ^ 'I lived in Pakistan for 7 Years NSA Shri Ajit Doval on his experience in Lahore during spying '.
  8. ^ http://www.tehelka.com/vivekananda-international-foundation-the-brains-behind-modi-sarkar/
  9. ^ "Terrorist threat and response capability - India a year after" Deccan Herald
  10. ^ Vivekananda International Foundation
  11. ^ Working in real time
  12. ^ "Power Shifts and International Order". ISF. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "NSA Doval went on secret mission to Iraq". The Hindu. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Indian nurses freed in Iraq given rapturous home welcome
  15. ^ a b 'How to tackle Pakistan by Ajit Doval [India National Security Adviser 2014']. Dailymotion, accessed 7 January 2015.
  16. ^ 'India’s National Security doctrine is ‘defensive offense’ against Pakistan'. The Daily Mail International. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  17. ^ Munir Akram, 'War in the shadows'. Opinion column, The Dawn, 4 January 2015; retrieved 13 May 2015.
  18. ^ 'India, Pakistan on the Brink, Again'. meforum.org. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  19. ^ 'You can do one Mumbai, you may lose Balochistan'. saddahaq.com, Retrieved 14 May 2015.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Shivshankar Menon
National Security Adviser