New Delhi: The national security advisor, Ajit Doval, is all set to head Strategic Policy Group that was once used to be chaired by a cabinet secretary. The selection of NSA as a head of SPG has made the group close to the Prime Minister’s Office.
NSA Ajit Doval also chairs the Defence Planning Committee that was earlier headed by the defence minister.
While speaking about the move taken by the government to appoint NSA as head of the SPG, a former home secretary said, “The cabinet secretary is a seasoned government servant and has more institutional sanctity. Unlike the cabinet secretary, NSA is a political appointee. The NSA chairing such a group suggests concentration of power in the Prime Minister’s Office. An informal power structure has been formalized.”
According to a former cabinet secretary, SPG meets only for the particular issues such as terrorism, militancy, and other security issues. A former Army chief has agreed with the decision of the government saying there will not be protocol issues in chairing meeting of chiefs and secretaries as NSA rank is equivalent to a minister of state.
The other members of SPG include vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, three services chiefs, and RBI governor.