NEW DELHI: National security advisor Ajit Doval has replaced cabinet secretary as the head of the Strategic Policy Group (SPG).
A mechanism first notified 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 SPG will assist the NSC and undertake among other tasks a long-term strategic Defence review.
"The SPG shall be the principal mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of relevant inputs in the formulation of national security policies," the notification said.
While the 1999 notification constituting SPG and its role and functions had specified the cabinet secretary as its chairperson, the government, through a notification on September 11 and published in the Gazette on October 8, has made a partial modification, listing NSA as its chairman.
While the SPG notified in 1999 was a 16-member body, the new notification makes it an 18-member body with the cabinet secretary and vice-chairman of NITI Aayog as the new members.
The other members are Vice Chairman of NITI Ayog, Cabinet Secretary, three services chiefs, RBI Governor, Secretaries of External Affairs, Home, Defence, Finance, Defence Production, Revenue, Atomic Energy, Space and National Security Council Secretariat besides Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, Secretary (R) in Cabinet Secretariat and the Intelligence Bureau chief.
According to the notification, the representatives of other ministries and departments may be invited to SPG meetings as, when necessary, and that the National Security Advisor will convene such meetings from time to time.
The Cabinet Secretary will coordinate the implementation of SPG decisions by the Union Ministries and departments and state governments.
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