The Union government has decided to bring in National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to head ‘Strategic Policy Group or SPG’ to assist the National Security Council, which advises the Prime Minister on matters of national security and strategic interests.
According to reports, NSA Doval will be replacing Cabinet Secretary in the SPC, a mechanism created in April 1999 to assist the National Security Council (NSC) in strategising on matters dealing with external, internal and economic security of the country.
The Strategic Policy Group or SPG will assist the National Security Council and undertake among other tasks, a long-term strategic review of the country’s security affairs. Reportedly, the SPG will be the foremost mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of relevant inputs in the formulation of national security policies of the country.
According to the reports, the high-level panel will be chaired by Mr Doval and its members include the NITI Aayog vice chairman, cabinet secretary, the chiefs of the three defence services, the RBI governor, the foreign secretary, the home secretary, the finance secretary and the defence secretary. The other members are secretaries of revenue, atomic energy, space, director of Intelligence Bureau and secretary, National Security Council Secretariat.
in addition to this, the secretary of the Department of Defence Production and Supplies, the scientific adviser to the defence minister and the secretary, cabinet secretariat will also be members of the panel.
The NDA government through a notification brought changes to the 1999-order, by making NSA as its chairman of SPG replacing the cabinet secretary.
The new changes brought in by the government to its National Security architecture has made sure that NSA Ajit Doval is at the helm of all strategic and security affairs, making him one of the most powerful people in the government currently.