National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has made it to Modi's Cabinet 2.0. He is not only going to continue as the NSA for another five years, but has also been promoted to a Cabinet rank from the Minister of State rank in the government's previous term.
Government sources told India Today that this promotion comes as a recognition of his work in the past five years. During his term India conducted two cross-border surgical strikes - the Indian Air Force's February 26 Balakot strike and the Indian Army's September 2016 retaliatory strikes post the Uri attack - and sorted out several delicate diplomatic issues including Doklam and the extradition operation of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore Choppergate scandal. He is also credited with planning key missions related to Myanmar and China.
Before being appointed as India's fifth NSA in 2014, Doval spent three decades with the Intelligence Bureau and went on to retire as its director in 2005. As the NSA, he has not only emerged as the most powerful bureaucrat in the country but is also seen as one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's closest aides. The fact that he was elevated as the head of the Strategic Policy Group to assist the National Security Council and help with developing a long-term strategic defence review - a post earlier headed by the cabinet secretary - underlined his steep ascent in the power corridors.
Doval's return for a second term puts the spotlight on the national security doctrine being worked upon by a committee that he heads.