He is tasked with regularly advising the Prime Minister on all matters relating to internal and external threats to the country, and oversees strategic issues. The NSA of India also serves as the Prime Minister's Special Interlocutor on border issues with China, and frequently accompanies the Prime Minister on Foreign State visits.
The directors of R&AW and IB technically report to the NSA rather than the Prime Minister directly. He receives all intelligence reports and co-ordinates them to present before the Prime Minister. He is assisted by a Deputy NSA. The post was created on 19 November 1998 by the Government of A B Vajpayee, with Brijesh Mishra as the first appointee.