R. N. Kao

R. N. Kao

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R. N. Kao

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Rameshwar Nath Kao (1918-2002) was a spymaster and the first chief of India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) from its founding in 1969 to 1977.Kao was one of India's foremost intelligence officers, and helped build R&AW. An intensely private man, Kao was rarely seen in public after his retirement. A very cautious and reserved person, throughout his life, he was photographed only twice.

He held the position of Secretary (Research) in the Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of India, which has been held by all R&AW directors since. He had also, during the course of his long career, served as the personal security chief to Prime Minister Nehru and as security adviser to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He also founded the Aviation Research Centre (ARC) and the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Early years

Kao was born in the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on May 10, 1918 to a Kashmiri Pandit family who immigrated from Srinagar district. He was brought up by his uncle Pandit Triloki Nath Kao. Encouraged to pursue education, he had his early schooling in the city of Baroda, in the Bombay Presidency. Here he did his matriculation in 1932 and intermediate in 1934. In 1936, he attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lucknow University. He then chose to pursue a Masters degree in English Literature at Allahabad University. He completed his Master of Arts degree some time before 1940.<ref...
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