The National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) has been reconstituted with P S Raghavan, former Ambassador to Russia, as its head. The NSAB deals with internal and external security, foreign affairs, defence, science and technology and economic affairs and normally meets at least once in a month. Former official of R&AW A B Mathur, Lt General (retd) S L Narasimhan and Prof Bimal N. Patel of Gujarat National Law University will be the members of the Board.
The new NSAB will succeed the previous Board headed by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, whose tenure ended in January 2015. The NDA government has significantly reduced the composition of the NSAB to just four, including the Chairman. The NSAB headed by Saran had 14 members. The first meeting of Raghavan-led NSAB was held last week and it will have a tenure of two years.
Its principal objective is to undertake long-term analysis of and provide perspectives on issues of national security. The policy recommendations and options proposed by the NSAB are conveyed to the National Security Council for its consideration. Over the years, the NSAB has contributed a large number of studies on both current and long-term issues of strategic significance.
It produced a Draft Nuclear Doctrine in 2001, a Strategic Defence Review in 2002 and a National Security Review in 2007. The first NSAB was set up in 1998 with K Subrahmanyam as its convener. The National Security Council is the apex body in a three-tier structure, headed by the Prime Minister, with the National Security Adviser as its Secretary.
The Strategic Policy Group is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, consisting of serving senior officials responsible for policy-making and for follow up action in matters concerning national security. It includes the Chiefs of the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing. Its main task is to make policy recommendations to the National Security Council.
The National Security Advisory Board consists of senior retired officials, civilian as well as military, academics and distinguished members of civil society drawn from and having expertise in Internal and External Security, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Science & Technology and Economic Affairs.