Ajit Doval

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Ajit Kumar Doval
अजीत कुमार डोवाल

Ajit Kumar Doval.jpg
Ajit Kumar Doval
5th National Security Adviser of India
Assumed office
30 May 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Deputy Arvind Gupta
Preceded by Shivshankar Menon
Director of Intelligence Bureau
In office
July 2004 – January 2005
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by K P Singh
Succeeded by E S L Narasimhan
Personal details
Born (1945-01-20) 20 January 1945 (age 72)
Ghiri Banelsyun, Pauri Garhwal, United Provinces, British India (now in Uttarakhand, India)
Residence New Delhi, India
Education Masters in Economics
Alma mater Rashtriya Military School Ajmer
Agra University
National Defence College
Awards IND 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
Website Doval's Blog

Ajit Kumar Doval, IPS (Retd), PM, PPM, KC (born 20 January 1945) is a former Indian intelligence and law enforcement officer, who, since 30 May 2014, is the 5th and current National Security Adviser to Prime Minister of India.[1][2][3] 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[edit]

Doval was born in 1945 in Ghiri Banelsyun village in Pauri Garhwal in the erstwhile United Provinces, now in Uttarakhand. Doval's father was an officer in the Indian Army.[citation needed]

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 first position.[citation needed]


Police career[edit]

Doval joined the IPS in 1968 in the Kerala cadre. He was actively involved in anti-insurgency operations in Mizoram and Punjab.[4] Doval was one of three negotiators who negotiated the release of passengers from IC-814 in Kandahar in 1999.[4] Uniquely, he has the experience of being involved in the termination of all 15 hijackings of Indian Airlines aircraft from 1971–1999.[5] 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).[6]

Intelligence career[edit]

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.[7][citation needed]

In Punjab he was behind the rescue of Romanian diplomat Liviu Radu.[citation needed]. He was inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1988 before Operation Black Thunder to collect critical information.[7][8]

Doval 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.

After retirement (2005–2014)[edit]

Doval retired in January 2005[4] as Director, Intelligence Bureau. In December 2009, he was the founder Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation, a think tank set up by the Vivekananda Kendra, a Spiritually Oriented Organisation.[9][10] 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 DC, Australia-India Institute, University of Melbourne, National Defence College, New Delhi and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.[11][12] Doval has also spoken internationally at global events, citing the ever-increasing need of cooperation between the major established and emerging powers of the world.[13]

As National Security Adviser (2014–present)[edit]

A photo taken during an October 2014 meeting of Ajit Doval, second 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 Adviser.

In June 2014, Doval played a crucial role in ensuring 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.[14]

Although, the exact circumstances of their release are unclear, 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 Kochi.[15]

Along with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Doval planned a military operation against Indian militants operating out of Myanmar. The mission was said to be a success with 50 militant casualties.[16] [17] [18]

He is widely credited for the doctrinal shift in Indian security policy in relation to Pakistan, from 'Defensive' to 'Defensive Offensive'. It is speculated that India's surgical strikes in Pakistan in September 2016 were his brain child, which were extremely effective in neutralizing targets which were themselves targeting India. [19]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • Doval was the youngest police officer ever to get the Police Medal for meritorious service.[7] He got it after six years in the police (the norm is at least 17 years' service).[7]
  • 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.[4]


  1. ^ "राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार के रूप में श्री अजीत डोवाल की नियुक्ति" (in Hindi). Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "डोवाल बने राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार" (in Hindi). BBC. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ...अजित कुमार डोवाल को प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी का राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार... 
  3. ^ "Modi Picks Internal Security Specialist as National Security Adviser". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d 'Bangladeshi infiltration is the biggest threat'. Rediff, 26 April 2006.
  5. ^ IA's Terror Trail by Anil Sharma (2014)
  6. ^ a b "Ajit Doval, giant among spies, is the new National Security Adviser". 
  7. ^ a b c d "Kandahar negotiator gets IB top post". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 8 July 2004. 
  8. ^ "Return of the Superspy". newindianexpress.com. 
  9. ^ "The Brains Behind Modi Sarkar - Brijesh Singh - Tehelka - Investigations, Latest News, Politics, Analysis, Blogs, Culture, Photos, Videos, Podcasts". tehelka.com. 
  10. ^ "Terrorist threat and response capability - India a year after". deccanherald.com. 
  11. ^ "Vivekananda International Foundation - Seeking Harmony in Diversity". vifindia.org. 
  12. ^ Working in real time
  13. ^ "Power Shifts and International Order". ISF. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "NSA Doval went on secret mission to Iraq". The Hindu. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Indian nurses freed in Iraq given rapturous home welcome". 5 July 2014 – via www.bbc.com. 
  16. ^ "NSA Ajit Doval, General Dalbir Singh planned retaliatory strike against militants - The Economic Times". indiatimes.com. 
  17. ^ http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/blow-by-blow-account-how-pm-modi-ajit-doval-army-chief-planned-covert-strike-against-militants/articleshow/47615318.cms
  18. ^ "Ajit Doval skipped Dhaka trip for Myanmar operations-IndiaTV News". indiatvnews.com. 
  19. ^ http://www.india.com/news/india/meet-ajit-doval-the-man-behind-surgical-strikes-across-loc-1524025/

External links[edit]

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