AJIT Doval began his second term as the National Security Advisor with an elevated stature equivalent to that of a Union Cabinet Minister, according to an official order made public on Monday. A 1968-batch IPS officer who retired as Intelligence Bureau chief in 2005, Doval’s appointment is the first key posting announced by the Narendra Modi Government after assuming office for a second term on May 30.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment for a five-year period with effect from May 31, 2019 and it will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister, the order said. “During the term of his office, he will be assigned the rank of Cabinet Minister,” the order said. This makes Doval, 74, the first NSA who has been appointed for two consecutive terms.
He was appointed to the post on May 30, 2014 and given the stature of a Minister of State in September that year after the Chinese side insisted on ministerial-level talks. During his first tenure, Doval is believed to have played a pivotal role in the surgical strikes on terror launch pads in PoKafter the Uri terror attack and his role during the Balakot airstrike after the Pulwama terror attack, officials said.