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Ajit Doval: The Indian James Bond

Ajit Doval: The Indian James Bond

Ajit Doval: The Indian James Bond

Colloquially called ‘The James Bond of India’, Doval has been strengthening Indian security architecture silently.


Ajit Kumar Doval, a former Indian intelligence and law enforcement officer, is presently serving as the fifth National Security Advisor (NSA) to the Prime Minister of India. He is a retired Indian Police Services (IPS) officer of the Kerala cadre. 

Born on January 20, 1945, in a small village in Pauri Garhwal in a Garhwali family. His father, Major G. N. Doval, was an officer in the Indian Army. Ajit Doval did his schooling at Ajmer Military School, Rajasthan. In 1967, he graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics from Agra University.

Doval joined the Indian Police Service in 1968 and started serving as an IPS officer in the Kerala cadre. He also participated in counter-insurgency operations in Mizoram and Punjab. 


Intelligence career

Ajit Doval won over six of Laldenga’s seven commanders during the Mizo National Front insurgency. Doval was underground for several years in the Arakan in Burma and inside Chinese territory. From there, he went to Sikkim and played an important role during the merger of the state with India. 

In 1988, Doval was inside the Golden Temple, Amritsar, to collect critical information before Operation Black Thunder.

In 1999, he was one of the three negotiators who played a crucial role in securing the release of passengers on board IC-814, which was hijacked and taken to Kandahar.

According to reports, Doval spent a total of seven years covertly operating in Pakistan, collecting information on active militant groups. The most famous story from his spy days is when he was an undercover agent in Pakistan disguised as a Muslim for a year. Following his year-long stint as a secret agent, he spent the next six years working at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. 


Crossing the Barrier: Post Retirement Service

After his retirement in 2005 as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Doval became the founding Director of Vivekananda International Foundation in 2009. 

Mr. Doval has written editorial articles for major newspapers and journals. He has also given lectures on national security, foreign policies and the challenges faced by India at various government and non-government institutions and think tanks both in India and abroad.

He was appointed as India’s Fifth National Security Advisor on May 30, 2014. In July 2014, he proved his competence by ensuring the safe return of 46 Indian nurses trapped in a hospital in Tikrit, Iraq. 

He is the brain behind India’s policy shift towards Pakistan. It is said that the 2016 Surgical strikes and 2019 Balakot airstrikes in Pakistan were his brainchild.

He resolved Doklam Standoff through diplomatic relations with the then Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Indian Ambassador to China Vijay Keshav Gokhale.

There are many such instances where he has shown exceptional quality and quick thinking, which makes him the right fit for this position.

Despite being picked from the bureaucracy, he has always been the quick-thinking spy who knows how to handle any situation and respond when it’s required.


Awards and Accomplishments

Doval is a well-decorated officer who devoted a significant portion of his career operating as a field agent for the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Throughout his tenure, he has established his reputation by displaying a tough stance towards militancy and terrorism, which has earned him numerous accolades, awards, and accomplishments.

  •  After providing six years of exceptional service in the police, Ajit Doval was recognised with a Police Medal, making him the youngest police officer to receive such an award.
  •  He was honoured with the prestigious President’s Police Medal.
  • The Kirti Chakra, the highest gallantry award, was conferred upon Ajit Doval in 1998. Interestingly, he was the first police officer to receive this award, which was previously only given to military personnel.

Mr Doval has indeed crossed all barriers to serve his nation by fighting insurgency in the Northeast, militancy in Kashmir and psychological warfare against separatists in Punjab. He is rightly called the James Bond of India who has given a befitting reply to the enemies who dared raise an eye at India. He is the man behind India’s firm stance and growing internal security strength.

Doval prioritises improving India’s internal security and defence capabilities over external issues. As the head of intelligence agencies, the National Security Advisor holds a prominent and influential position in the bureaucracy.


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