Ajit Doval | Srivideo
Full name: Ajit Kumar Doval
Born/Date of Birth: 20 January 1945
Place of Birth: Ghiri Banelsyun, Pauri Garhwal, United Provinces, British India (now in Uttarakhand, India)
Spouse(s): Aruni Doval (m.1972)
Children: Vivek Doval, Shaurya Doval
Residence: New Delhi, India
Education: Masters in Economics,
Alma mater: Rashtriya Military School, Ajmer
National Defence College
Awards: Police Medal, President's Police Medal, Kirti Chakra
Ajit Kumar Doval, KC (born 20 January 1945), is the 5th and current National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India. He previously served as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau in 2004–05, after spending a decade as the head of its operation wing. He is also regarded as an instrumental figure in Revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Early life and education
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.
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 Agra University in 1967. 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. Ajit Doval was also conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in philosophy by Amity University, in November 2018.
Career in Indian Police Service
Doval joined the Indian Police Service in 1968 in the Kerala cadre. He was actively involved in anti-insurgency operations in Mizoram and Punjab.
According to the police records, the IPS officer, who is considered the 'Indian James Bond', worked in Thalassery for a brief period from Jan 02, 1972 to June 9,1972. A young officer with just three years’ experience, Doval, who was then the ASP in Kottayam, was assigned the duty by the then Hom Minister, K Karunakaran, according to veteran police sources. Though the Thalassery riot, in which the RSS was accused of targeting Muslims and their mosques, and the CPM came to the rescue of the Muslim community, lasted for only a couple of days after it began on 28 Dec 1971, Karunakaram wanted to avert it escalating further, following which the young IPS officer was assigned the duty. Immediately after reaching Thalassery, his priority was to retrieve the properties looted by the rioters, remembers Pulikkodan Narayanan, who was the SI in Kannur Town Police station at that time. He also brought the looters before society and charted out effective action plans to curb the violence and everything was back to normalcy within one week, he said. “Though I was not in Thalassery at that time, I have heard of him and it is said that he was a daring police officer with great dreams", said AK Vasudevan, a former IPS officer who was the commandant of the Malabar Special Police (MSP which was deployed in Thalassery following the riots. He worked in Thalassery for five months and he later joined the central service, which marked the beginning of his career as the 'Indian James Bond'.
Doval was one of three negotiators who negotiated the release of passengers from IC-814 in Kandahar in 1999. Uniquely, he has the experience of being involved in the termination of all 15 hijackings of Indian Airlines aircraft from 1971–1999. 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).
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 an important role during the merger of the state with India.
He was trained under M. K. Narayanan, the 3rd National Security Advisor of India for a brief period in counterterrorism operations.
In Punjab he was behind the rescue of Romanian diplomat Liviu Radu. He was inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1988 before Operation Black Thunder to collect critical information.
After retirement (2005–2014)
Doval retired in January 2005 as Director, Intelligence Bureau (which is India's Internal intelligence agency). In December 2009, he became the founding Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation, a public policy think tank set up by the Vivekananda Kendra. 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", with others, leading in the field as a part of the task force constituted by BJP.
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. 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.
As National Security Advisor (2014–present)
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.
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.
Along with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Doval planned an cross-border military operation against National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) separatist operating out of Myanmar. Indian officials claimed that the mission was a success and 20-38 separatist belonging to Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) were killed in the operation. However, the Myanmar government denied any strikes tooks place on Myanmar side of the border. According to Myanmar officials, the Indian operation against NSCN-K took place entirely on the Indian side of the border. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) also rejected India's claims and denied that any of their fighters were targeted by Indian military.
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.' It was speculated that the September 2016 Indian surgical strikes in Pakistan were his brainchild.
Doval is widely credited along with then Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Indian Ambassador to China Vijay Keshav Gokhale, for resolving Doklam Standoff through diplomatic channels and negotiations.
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.
On 27 February 2019, tension rose between Indian and Pakistan after the Indian Air Force airstrike in Pakistan and later Pakistan Air Force retaliatory airstrike in India and subsequent capture of Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistani military. The captured pilot was released on the next day by Pakistan. Pakistani officials claimed that the pilot was released as a gesture of peace and to de-escalate the tensions between the two countries. Indian officials termed the release of Indian pilot as a major victory for India. Indian officials claimed that while Indian pilot was in the custody of Pakistan, Ajit Doval had held talks with US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to secure the release of the Indian pilot. He is popular in media as India's real life James Bond.
On June 3, 2019 he was reappointed as NSA for 5 years and was given Union Cabinet Minister Rank.
Awards and recognitions
- Doval was the youngest police officer to receive the Police Medal for meritorious service. He was given the award after six years in the police.
- 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.
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