PMO is considering to appoint a former diplomat as Deputy National Security Advisor to assist NSA Ajit Doval. In order to avoid turf war within South Block and the Ministry of External Affairs, the proposal is mooted to have a foreign policy adviser alongside a National Security Adviser (NSA) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for foreign policy formulation and execution at the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS)
Dr Arvind Gupta is the frontrunner for the post of Deputy NSA. Gupta, a 1979 batch IFS officer, retired in 2013 after serving at diplomatic missions in Moscow, Ankara and London. He also worked for nearly a decade in the NSCS and was part of the late K Subrahmanyam’s Kargil Committee Report. Sources informed that he is currently the Director General of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Analyses, a defence ministry think tank.
Interestingly, Indian Ambassador to the US S Jaishankar, late Subrahmanyam’s son, was earlier reportedly tipped to be the Foreign Policy Adviser. But the 1977 batch IFS officer has been asked to stay on in Washington as the Government wants him to arrest the recent downslide in India-US relations as well as prepare for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit in September.