A highly decorated officer, Ajit Doval retired as Director of Intelligence Bureau India in 2005. A recipient of Kirti Chakra, one of the highest Defence gallantry awards of the country, Shri Doval was also country’s youngest officer to be awarded prestigious Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service at the age of 29, a record that he still holds in the country. After obtaining his master’s degree in Economics in 1967 securing first position in the University of Agra, he joined the Indian Police Service in 1968. A graduate of National Defense College, Shri Doval was elected President of the International Association of Chiefs of the Police for Asia and Pacific region in 2004. During over three decades of his services with the Intelligence Bureau, he held many senior positions both within and outside the country. Essentially an operations man, he mostly worked in the field including North-East, Sikkim, Punjab, J&K, Pakistan, U.K. etc. In the Headquarters, he headed IB’s operation and counter intelligence wings for long years and was founder Chairman of the Multi Agency Centre and Joint Task Force on Intelligence.
Widely known to be amongst the very best Intelligence officers India have ever seen, he was actively involved in resolution of insurgency in Mizoram, Sikkim operation, handling of militancy in Punjab, tackling trans-border terrorism in Kashmir etc. During Mizoram conflict, Laldenga Chief of Mizo National Front claimed that Doval had won over 6 of his 7 army commanders leaving him no choice but to accept the settlement with India. He spent long periods of time incognito in Mizo insurgent camps in India and across. In Punjab he was behind the rescue of Romanian diplomat Liviu Radu and the success of Operation Black Thunder. Doval was actually inside the Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, Punjab, in 1989 during the Operation Black Thunder. He is said to have planned out the Punjab state elections of 1992.
Doval spent six years in Pakistan. In Kashmir, he persuaded many militant groups like that of Kuka Parray to become counter-insurgents targeting hardline pro-Pakistani terrorists. This set the way for state elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 1996. While tackling terrorism in the country’s hinterland, during 2000-2004, nearly 300 Pakistani sleeper cells and espionage rings were unearthed and neutralized.
He is held in high esteem as one of India’s foremost analyst and commentator on national and international security and strategic issues. Known for his clarity of vision for Indian and Global security and practical ideas to deal with them, his writings have been widely published both within and outside the country. He has extensively spoken, nationally and internationally, on strengthening Indian security apparatus and closer security cooperation amongst the nations. Currently, he is the Director of Vivekananda International Foundation, a non-partisan think tank and research centre dedicated to strategic and security studies, international relations and other issues of national concern. A strong advocate of a centrally strategized, coordinated and resourced response to national level threats, he has been a supporter for creation of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). Mr. Doval has also spoken at esteemed global conferences and seminars in support of greater international cooperation for tackling common security threats.