National Security Advisor Current Affairs - 2019

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Ajit Doval reappointed as National Security Adviser

Ajit Doval is reappointed as National Security Advisor (NSA) of India for another five year tenure. In recognition of his earlier contribution in the national security domain, he has also been elevated to rank of Cabinet Minister for this term. During his first term 2014-2019 NSA was given rank of Minister of State (MoS).

About Ajit Doval

  • He is a 1968-batch IPS officer. For over 33 years he worked as an intelligence officer during which he served in North East, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
  • The 74 year old Doval had also done several key diplomatic assignments in Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK).
  • He headed the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) operations wing for over a decade including serving as Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) from July 2004 to January 2005.
  • Post retirement, he founded Vivekananda International Foundation, a public policy think tank headquartered in New Delhi.
  • In May 2014, he was appointed as India’s fifth NSA. Under his supervision, Surgical strike was conducted in September 2016 (aftermath of Uri terror attack) and Balakot airstrike was conducted in February 2019 (aftermath of suicide attack on CRPF convey).

About National Security Advisor (NSA)

  • NSA is the chief adviser to the prime minister of India on national and international security policy matters. He serves at the discretion of Prime Minister of India.
  • NSA is now seen as the most powerful bureaucrat in the Government of India.
  • This post was created in 1998 by then government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Since then either an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) or the Indian Police Service (IPS) serves the post. Senior IFS officer Brajesh Mishra was India’s first NSA (in office from November 1998-May 2004).
  • NSA presides over the National Security Council (NSC). NSC was established in 1998. It is an executive government agency that oversees India’s political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern. It is a three-tiered organization comprising of Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), Strategic Policy Group (SPG) and National Security Advisory Board (NSAB).

India-Saudi Arabia bilateral Meeting

India and Saudi Arabia held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India. The joint statement issued on the sidelines of the bilateral meet between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlights the following:

  • Affirming that extremism and terrorism threaten all nations, India and Saudi Arabia rejected any attempt to link this universal phenomenon to a particular race, religion or culture.
  • Without naming Pakistan the joint statement said that nations should renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
  • Constitution of a ‘comprehensive security dialogue’ at the level of national security advisor and setting up of a joint working group on counter-terrorism.
  • Saudi Arabia reiterated its commitment to meeting India’s growing needs for crude oil and petroleum products and substitute for any shortages that may arise as a result of disruptions from other sources without naming Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia also increased India’s Haj quota by about 25,000. India’s Haj quota now stands at 2 lakh.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that Saudi Arabia has already invested $44 billion in India since the PM’s visit in 2016 and they see an investment opportunity of worth $100 billion in sectors like energy, petrochemicals and manufacturing.

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman condemned the recent terrorist attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.