Who is Vikram Misri, the new Deputy NSA?

Who is Vikram Misri, the new Deputy NSA?

Misri has served as private secretary to three Prime Ministers - Inder Kumar Gujral, Manmohan Singh, and Narendra Modi

Vikram Misri. Credit: IANS Photo

Seasoned diplomat Vikram Misri was appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser by the National Security Council Secretariat.

The appointment of Misri, a 1989-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, came after he served as the Indian ambassador to China for nearly three years.

Misri was born in Srinagar in 1964 and completed his early education in Gwalior. He has an undergraduate degree in history from the Hindu College of Delhi University and an MBA from XLRI.

Misri began his career as a diplomat from the 1989 batch of the Indian Foreign Service. During his early years, he served at the Indian missions in Brussels and Tunis. He was made India's ambassador to Spain in 2014, and Myanmar in 2016. He has also served in various Indian missions in Africa and North America.

Misri has served as private secretary to three Prime Ministers - Inder Kumar Gujral in 1997, Manmohan Singh in 2012, and Narendra Modi in 2014.

In his previous stint, he was ambassador to China, where he played a key role in Indo-China talks after the Galwan Valley clashes in 2020, and had advocated for cooperation between the two countries to expedite the development of a vaccine when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

During the Indo-China talks on the Galwan Valley clashes, Misri had called out the Chinese side for "shifting goalposts". "For long, the Indian and Chinese sides have adhered to a well-understood distinction between resolving the boundary question and managing border affairs," Misri said at the 4th High-level Track II Dialogue in September 2020.

The Special Representatives mechanism, the Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles of 2005 and the three-phase framework were all designed to work on the boundary question, "which we agreed was a complex and sensitive issue requiring time to work through," Misri said.

“This is the root cause of the tense situation along the borders. We advocate that we should address the boundary issue through peaceful negotiations and we don’t think that the border issue should be linked up to our bilateral ties," he said.

He had also said that in an international community, where the two countries interact as equals, and as important major neighbours, it cannot be that only one side’s concerns are of relevance while the other side’s case goes unheard.

Misri had courted controversy in 2020 during an interview with news agency Press Trust of India, where he said that Chinese troops needed to move back to their side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This triggered an intense Twitter discussion, as it contradicted PM Modi's remarks during an all-party meeting that no one has intruded into Indian territory. However, while there was no was no denial from the government on the controversy, Prasar Bharati threatened to discontinue subscribing to the agency over the "anti-national" reportage.

As the Deputy NSA, Misri will report to National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

(With agency inputs)

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