National Security Advisor of India
Bhārat kē Rāṣṭrīya Surakṣā Salahkar
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Ajit Doval.png
Ajit Doval, KC

since 30 May 2014
National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS)
Member ofDefence Planning Committee (Chairperson)
Strategic Policy Group (Chairperson)
National Security Council (Secretary)
SeatSecretariat Building, New Delhi, India
AppointerAppointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)
Inaugural holderBrajesh Mishra, IFS
FormationNovember 1999; 22 years ago (1999-11)
DeputyD Padsalgikar, IPS
Vikram Misri, IFS[1]
Rajinder Khanna, R&AW
Salary162,500 (US$2,000) (monthly)

The National Security Advisor (NSA; ISO: Rāṣṭrīya Surakṣā Salahkar) is the senior official on the National Security Council of India, and the chief advisor to the Prime Minister of India on national security policy and international affairs. Ajit Doval is the current NSA, and has the same rank as a Union Cabinet Minister.


Brajesh Mishra, then Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, was appointed as the first National Security Advisor of India. The post was created on 19 November 1998 by then government headed by Atal Bihari Bajpayee.[2] In 2004, a new government headed by Manmohan Singh was formed at the Centre. This government separated the office of NSA into foreign headed by former Foreign Secretary J.N. Dixit and internal headed by former Director, IB M.K. Narayanan.[3] After the death of Dixit in 2005, the office was again fused and Narayanan became the full-time NSA.[4] He was then succeeded by former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon in 2010.[5] In 2014, the Modi-led government appointed former Director, IB Ajit Doval as the NSA.


The post has high vested powers, so the NSA is a highly prominent and powerful office in the Government of India. All NSAs appointed since the inception of the post in 1998 belong to the either Indian Foreign Service or to the Indian Police Service, and serve at the discretion of the Prime Minister of India.

The National Security Advisor (NSA) is tasked with regularly advising the Prime Minister of India on all matters relating to internal and external threats and opportunities to India, and oversees strategic and sensitive issues on behalf of the Prime Minister. The NSA of India also serves as the Prime Minister's Special Interlocutor with China as well as the envoy to Pakistan and Israel on security affairs.

The NSA receives all intelligence (R&AW, IB, NTRO, MI, DIA, NIA) reports and co-ordinates them to present before the Prime Minister. NSA is assisted by the Deputy National Security Advisors (Deputy NSAs). Currently, retired IPS officer Dattatray Padsalgikar, former R&AW chief Rajinder Khanna and retired IFS officer Pankaj Saran[6] serve as Deputy National Security Advisors.[7][8] The policy group is the main mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of inputs in forming national security policies. The group members include the NITI Aayog vice chairman, the cabinet secretary, the three military chiefs, the Reserve Bank of India governor, the foreign secretary, home secretary, finance secretary and the defense secretary.[9]

In June, 2019 NSA Ajit Doval was elevated to the rank of Cabinet Minister with a second 5 year term.[10]

List of National Security Advisors

No Name Portrait Term of office Background Prime Minister Deputy NSA(s)
1 Brajesh Mishra[a], IFS
Brajesh Mishra.jpg
19 November


22 May 2004 5 years, 185 days Permanent Representative to UN

Principal Secretary

Atal Bihari Vajpayee
2 J. N. Dixit, IFS
23 May 2004 3 January 2005 225 days Foreign Secretary Manmohan Singh
3 M. K. Narayanan, IPS
Mayankote Kelath Narayanan - Kolkata 2013-01-07 2702 Cropped.JPG
3 January 2005 23 January 2010 5 years, 20 days Director, Intelligence Bureau (Post created)
4 Shivshankar Menon,[5] IFS
Msc2011 SZ 004 Menon (cropped).jpg
24 January 2010 26 May 2014 4 years, 143 days Foreign Secretary
  • Vijaya Latha Reddy[13]
  • Nehchal Sandhu[13]
5 Ajit Doval, IPS
Ajit Kumar Doval.jpg
30 May 2014 Incumbent 8 years, 81 days Director, Intelligence Bureau Narendra Modi

See also


  1. ^ Concurrently served as the 9th Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.


  1. ^ "Vikram Misri, ex-envoy to China, named deputy NSA". The Indian Express. 28 December 2021. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  2. ^ Singh, Hemant (2019-08-12). "List of National Security Advisor in India". Retrieved 2021-02-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "JN Dixit Is NSA". The Financial Express. 2004-05-27. Retrieved 2021-02-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "25259: After Dixit, India ponders role of its NSA and who will get the job". The Hindu. 2011-03-15. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  5. ^ a b "Menon is next NSA". The Hindu. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  6. ^ "ACC Approvals". Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Government of India. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: others (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Former RAW chief Rajinder Khanna appointed deputy NSA". Hindustan Times. New Delhi. January 2, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Former RAW Chief Rajinder Khanna Appointed Deputy National Security Advisor". NDTV. New Delhi. January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Sharma, Neeta (9 October 2018). "With New Order, NSA Ajit Doval To Be Most Powerful Bureaucrat In 20 Years". NDTV. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Roche, Elizabeth (2019-06-03). "Ajit Doval to stay as NSA, gets cabinet rank with 5-year term". Livemint. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  11. ^ a b c Chaudhury, Nilova Roy (2007-04-19). "Leela K Ponappa appointed Deputy NSA". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Shekhar Dutt appointed Deputy National Security Advisor". Outlook India. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ a b "Outgoing Intelligence Bureau Director Nehchal Sandhu appointed as Deputy National Security Advisor". The Economic Times. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  14. ^ Haidar, Suhasini (27 December 2021). "Former China envoy Vikram Misri appointed Deputy NSA". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 December 2021.