Chidambaram for radical changes in Home Ministry

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ppgj, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chidambaram for radical changes in Home Ministry

    PTI New Delhi, December 23, 2009

    [​IMG]
    Union Home Minister P Chidambaram delivers the 22nd I B Centenary Endowment Lecture at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

    Proposing a bold, thorough and radical restructuring of the security architecture at the national level, Union Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday suggested bifurcation of the Home Ministry, saying subjects not directly related to internal security should be dealt with by a separate Ministry or should be brought under a separate department in the Home Ministry itself and dealt with by a Minister independently.

    "The Home Minister should devote the whole of his/her time and energy to matters relating to security," Mr. Chidambaram said. In his view, given the imperatives and the challenges of the times, a division of the current functions of the Ministry of Home Affairs "is unavoidable".

    In order to counter, prevent, contain and also respond to a terrorist attack should one take place, India must set up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) by the end of 2010, he said while delivering the 22nd Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment lecture here.

    In his 40-minute address, he touched upon the situation post 26/11 terror strikes, the state of India’s police and outlined the tasks that lay ahead to ward off crisis like the hijack of IC-814 or another catastrophe like Mumbai terror attacks.

    Referring to the proposed NCTC, Mr. Chidambaram said: "Such an organisation does not exist today and it has to be created from the scratch. I am told that the United States was able to do it within 36 months of September 11, 2001. India cannot afford to wait for 36 months. India must decide now to go forward and India must succeed in setting up the NCTC by the end of 2010."

    He said that the NCTC must have a broad mandate to deal with all kinds of terrorist violence directed against the country and the people.

    "While the nature of the response to different kinds of terror would indeed be different and nuanced, NCTC's mandate should be to respond to violence unleashed by any group – be it an insurgent group in the North East or the CPI (Maoist) in the heartland of India or any group of religious fanatics anywhere in India acting on their own or in concert with terrorists outside India."

    He said: "NCTC would, therefore, have to perform functions relating to intelligence, investigation and operations. All intelligence agencies would therefore have to be represented in the NCTC. But I am clear in my mind that, without 'operations', NCTC and the security architecture that is needed will be incomplete. It is the proposed 'operations' wing of the NCTC that will give an edge - now absent - to our plans to counter terrorism."

    Turning to the functions of the MHA, Mr. Chidambaram said the Ministry now performed a number of functions that have no direct relation to internal security which include a division dealing with freedom fighters though it does not have even a desk for dealing exclusively with forensic science.

    "There are other divisions or desks that deal with Centre-State relations, State Legislation, Human Rights, Union Territories, Disaster Management, Census etc. These are undoubtedly important functions and deserve close attention. However, internal security is an equally, if not more, important function that deserves the highest attention," he said.

    Venturing after a year in office to outline the new architecture for India’s security, Mr. Chidambaram identified two enemies of change. "The first is 'routine'. Routine is the enemy of innovation. Because we are immersed in routine tasks, we neglect the need for change and innovation. The second enemy is 'complacency'," he told top police and intelligence officials that included National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, Director IB Rajiv Mathur and others.

    Striking a note of caution, Mr. Chidambaram said there was no time to be lost in making a thorough and radical departure from the present structure. "If, as a nation, we must defend ourselves in the present day and prepare for the future, it is imperative that we put in place a new architecture for India’s security," he said.

    He also announced commencement of two more projects early next year: business porcess re-engineering of the Foreigners Division at a cost of Rs. 20 crore and the more ambitious Mission Mode Project on Immigration, Visa and Foreigners' Registration and Tracking with the objective of creating a secure and integrated service delivery framework for facilitating legitimate travellers and strengthening security.

    The Hindu : News / National : Chidambaram for radical changes in Home Ministry
     
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  3. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Home minister for National Counter Terrorism Centre by end of 2010
    IANS 23 December 2009, 12:40pm IST

    NEW DELHI: Calling for a radical restructuring of India's security architecture, home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday proposed the setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre.

    "As the name suggests the goal is to counter terrorism. Such an organisation does not exist today; it has to be created from scratch. I am told that the US was able to do it within 36 months of 9/11," Chidambaram said.

    "India cannot afford to wait for 36 months. India must decide now to go forward and succeed in setting it up by the end of 2010," he added.

    He was delivering the 22nd Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment lecture here.

    The home minister asked state governments to recruit more policemen and women.

    "In my estimate states would have to recruit over 400,000 constables this year and over the next two years to fill the vacancies."

    He also wanted 24x7 police control rooms in all districts.

    Chidambaram added that the central government had decided to set up a National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid). "Under Natgrid, 21 sets of databases will be networked to achieve quick seamless and secure access to desired information for intelligence and enforcement agencies," he said.

    The project will be completed in 18 to 24 months.

    Home minister for National Counter Terrorism Centre by end of 2010 - India - The Times of India
     
  4. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chidambaram hints at clipping NSA wings

    STAFF WRITER 19:16 HRS IST

    New Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram's roadmap for a "bold, thorough and radical" reconstruction of the country's security architecture could possibly see the wings of the office of National Security Advisor getting clipped.

    The blueprint unveiled today included setting up by 2010 end a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) whose objectives will be to prevent a terrorist attack, containing such a strike if one takes place and responding to a terrorist attack by inflicting pain upon the perpetrators.

    "The establishment of the NCTC will indeed result in transferring some oversight responsibilities over existing agencies or bodies to the NCTC. It is my fervent plea that this should not result in turf wars.

    fullstory
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    If only our Honourable Home Minister does something instead of talking big. All we hear from iarre big words. He should be thankful of the current situation in Pakistan has diverted the attention of Let and other organisations away from India. Also with the US now turning on the heat on LeT, they are laying low, and this is no credit to our HM.

    Just by bifurcating his ministry is not going to solve the issue. The same people will continue to be at their desks only the Name plate outside their door will show a new departmenatl name.

    As I understand that within the home ministry there is a sepearte team which handles the internal security and another team which handles the other so called routine stuff.

    All this is to pull down the NSA and for the Home minister to take over the role of the NSA.

    Gosh how long can you fool the people of India, Mr.Chidambaram
     
  6. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chidambaram wants to bifurcate home ministry
    24 Dec 2009, 0541 hrs IST, ET Bureau

    NEW DELHI: In A proposal that aims to give the home ministry full control over the plethora of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including those under the ministries of defence and finance and even the PMO, in matters relating to internal security, Union home minister P Chidambaram has proposed the setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), an overarching mechanism that will be singularly responsible for preventing, containing and countering terror attacks across the country.

    Delivering the annual endowment lecture organized by the Intelligence Bureau here on Wednesday, Mr Chidambaram said India would have the NCTC, an evolution of MAC that will also preside over intelligence, investigation and operational aspects of the fight against terror, by the end of 2010.

    In yet another key proposal to ”radically restructure the security architecture at the national level,” Mr Chidambaram on Wednesday suggested the bifurcation of the MHA so as to allow the home minister to devote his full energy to the crucial function of internal security.

    According to him, a separate department could be created within the MHA to deal with matters not directly related to internal security — such as centre-state relations, justice, human rights, UTs, disaster management, census, freedom fighters welfare — and be dealt with by a junior minister, “more or less independently.”

    An official later explained that the separate department for matters unrelated to internal security —that could be on the lines of the DIPP in the commerce ministry — could be handled by a junior minister, including possibly one of the ministers of state (MoS) in the home ministry, who would ultimately report to Mr Chidambaram.

    “Given the new internal security challenges that we face today and would continue to face over the next 5-10 years, the home minister’s whole time and energy must be devoted to matters relating to internal security,” explained a senior official, underlining the need to make internal security the central focus of MHA’s responsibilities.

    Mr Chidambaram too agreed that “given the imperatives and challenges of the times, a division of the current functions of the MHA is unavoidable.” He added that a separate department be created within the ministry to deal with functions not related to internal security, and dealt by another minister, more of less independently, without referring every issue to the home minister.

    Mr Chidambaram’s radical proposal not only seeks to limit national security advisor’s (NSA) role in presiding over counter-terrorism matters, leaving him to concentrate on external threats and policy, but also aims at making the home minister somewhat of an internal security czar. With the minister clearly stating that it would be logical and natural to place the NCTC under the MHA, all the intelligence agencies — NIA, NTRO, JIC, NCRB, NSG, besides the R&AW, CBI and ARC and even the DRI, FIU and ED, “to the extent that they deal with terrorism -- would end up reporting to him on matters relating to internal security.

    According to the vision outlined by Mr Chidambaram, the NCTC would prevent and respond to violent attack “of a certain magnitude” by any insurgent or terror outfit across the country, with agencies like NIA, NTRO, JIC, NCRB and NSG being brought “naturally” under its control. That apart, the positioning of R&AW, ARC and CBI would have to be re-examined to put them under oversight of NCTC to the extent that they deal with terror. Even the intelligence agencies of the defence and finance ministries would have to mandatorily depute their representatives to the NCTC, which would also control NATGRID -- a network of 21 sets of databases -- and supervise the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS).

    Justifying the bringing of all intelligence and law enforcement agencies under the NCTC umbrella to deal with internal security challenges, Mr Chidambaram noted that “what will strike any observer that there is no single or unified command which can issue directions to these agencies and bodies...it is this assessment which leads me to argue that the security structure at the top must be thoroughly and radically restructured.”
    The NCTC is proposed to be headed by a highly-qualified professional with vast experience in security-related matters. Mr Chidambaram indicated that he could either be a senior police officer or a military officer. “He will be the single person accountable to the country on all matters relating to internal security,” the home minister noted.

    Chidambaram wants to bifurcate home ministry- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times
     
  7. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    @sob,
    MHA is far too weighed down by unrelated work which can be apportioned to a department or a new ministry or may be additonal state ministers under MHA.

    from the above post.
    MHA has a plethora of paramilitary forces under its command and many intel agencies. focus is not possible even for the finest minister with such load.
    over the years successive govts have only added more responsiblities to MHA not knowing where to put the depts under which ministry.
    i think PC is making right note and wants to revitalise the ministry in view of the thraets around. hope he succeeds in his venture.
     
  8. Ritwik

    Ritwik Regular Member

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    Chidambaram is unique in being a minister who is actually asking for his responsibilities [and consequently, influence] to be reduced! Most politicians want to assume control over new domains without giving up the fiefdoms they've already built.
     
  9. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    editorial in the hindu.

    How to face security challenges

    December 25, 2009

    “By a quirk of fate,” Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in a December 23 lecture to the Intelligence Bureau, “India in the twenty-first century has turned out to be the confluence of every kind of violence: insurrection or insurgency in order to carve out sovereign states; armed liberation struggle motivated by a rejected ideology; and terrorism driven by religious fanaticism. Never before has the Indian state faced such a formidable challenge.” Drawing on the lessons of the November 2008 carnage in Mumbai, he proposed a new architecture for India’s internal security administration. There would be a single-point source of authority for all counter-terrorism-related issues. Key counter-terrorism elements of organisations as diverse as the Intelligence Bureau, the Research and Analysis Wing, the National Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Guard would be brought under the supervisory authority of a National Counter-Terrorism Centre. The NCTC, in turn, would be accountable to a Ministry dedicated to internal security — and a Minister with internal security as her or his primary task.

    The case for a new administrative architecture for security is compelling. It starts with the identification of a longstanding malaise in India’s security bureaucracy — the use of administrative deux ex machina to evade the kinds of sustained work and attention to detail that are needed to fix deep-rooted problems. The great November 2008 tragedy in Mumbai provides a useful prism to reflect on the problem. India possessed a copious mass of intelligence leads suggesting the Lashkar-e-Taiba was planning an attack on Mumbai. But it failed to capitalise on these leads not because there was no single-point authority but because the intelligence services lacked the necessary technological and human resource capabilities. The Mumbai Police made strenuous efforts to deal with the attacks but clearly lacked the resources and the training. The NSG’s less-than-brilliant response to the fighting stemmed from poor training and leadership issues. None of these failures, and others too numerous to enumerate here, have been properly audited by an independent, public enquiry. Even had there been an NCTC in place during the Mumbai terror attacks, it would have lacked the capabilities to handle events with any greater efficiency than what was on display. Setting up an NCTC and an Internal Security Ministry may facilitate the development of capabilities to face the challenges the Home Minister has described. But without a highly professional and dispassionate assessment of precisely what India’s security weaknesses are, and how they must be addressed, the creation of new administrative machinery will achieve little.

    The Hindu : Opinion / Editorial : How to face security challenges
     
  10. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Secure The Foundations

    PRAKASH SINGH, 11 January 2010, 12:46am IST

    In his Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture on December 23, 2009, the home minister gave the outlines of a new security architecture for India. The focal point of his proposals is the setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) with the objective of preventing a terrorist attack, containing the attack should one take place, and responding by "inflicting pain upon the perpetrators".

    The NCTC would deal with all kinds of terrorist violence. It would, therefore, perform functions related to intelligence, investigation and operations. The National Investigation Agency and the Multi Agency Centre would become part of the NCTC. Other organisations like the National Technical Research Organisation, the National Crime Records Bureau, the National Intelligence Grid and the National Security Guard would also come under its umbrella.

    The home minister also mentioned that his ministry, which had become unwieldy, would be bifurcated. Internal security would receive the home minister's exclusive attention while another minister or a separate department would handle routine matters like Centre-state relations, disaster management, census, human rights, etc.

    These reforms were overdue and P Chidambaram deserves credit for the home ministry's proposed restructuring. However, we must diagnose correctly the reasons for our ineptness, if not failure, in handling various problems besetting the country. Unless these are addressed, the proposed security architecture would not deliver.

    Successive governments have placed political considerations above national interests. Accountability for failures is not enforced. Corrupt and criminal elements are operating openly and infiltrating state legislatures and Parliament. There is a nexus between corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, police officers and criminals. Corruption is upsetting the development apple cart. The bureaucracy and police have been emasculated by self-seeking and venal politicians. Institutions that inspired confidence and evoked respect are being systematically subverted.

    Terrorism is a threat not only to our democratic structure and economy but to the very idea of India. Yet we are diffident about tackling it and have not bothered to enunciate our counterterrorism doctrine. The capitulation at Kandahar was indefensible. The will to fight and to sacrifice are essential for success in the battle against terrorism.

    Jammu & Kashmir is a festering sore not because of any failure of the security forces but because of a series of political blunders starting from referring the matter to the UN and then agreeing to a ceasefire, surrendering the gains of the 1965 war at Tashkent, not insisting on a final settlement of the problem at Shimla in 1972, agreeing to release militants in exchange for Rubaiya, and so on. The problems of the north-eastern states are essentially due to political mishandling. There is a ceasefire in Nagaland but we have allowed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) to virtually run a parallel government there.

    The Naxal problem represents a failure of governance. Large sections of people, particularly tribals, have been alienated because of acute poverty, failure to implement land reforms, social discrimination or economic deprivation. The problem of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has been dusted under the carpet. A group of ministers acknowledged that it posed "a grave danger to our security, social harmony and economic well-being" and yet there is no effort to tackle the problem.

    1984 was a disaster but the arch villains of the massacre remain unpunished. 26/11 was a national humiliation but no one in the administration has been held accountable. The guilty men ensured no national commission would go into the causes of our failure to tackle terrorists. The criminal justice system is in the doldrums. All attempts at reform are stymied. The Malimath committee's comprehensive report was dumped.

    About 150 MPs elected in 2009 have criminal cases pending against them and these include 73 with serious charges against them under various sections of the IPC. Why can't we have electoral reforms to debar these elements?

    The entire security architecture rests on the foundation of district police or, to be more precise, thana police. This foundation continues to be extremely weak. There is paucity of resources, shortage of manpower and the living and service conditions of policemen are pathetic. Most chief ministers have not shown any commitment to police reforms and have treated Supreme Court directions on the subject with contempt. The fragility of the basic unit of the police would prove to be the Achilles' heel of the security architecture if and when there is another major terrorist strike.

    Centralisation of powers in the hands of a counterterrorism czar could also create problems. Will the Director of Intelligence Bureau and secretary R&AW be reporting to him? What would be his equation with the national security adviser?

    Assuming all these prickly issues are sorted out, our 'original sin' - of placing caste, regional and political considerations above national interests - would still mar our efforts. While the security apparatus does require an overhaul, our principal weakness lies in the domain of petty politics, rampant corruption, lack of accountability, failure to carry out reforms in the criminal justice system and clean up democratic processes. A magnificent structure cannot be raised on foundations of sand.

    The writer is a former director-general, BSF

    Secure The Foundations - Edit Page - Opinion - Home - The Times of India
     
  11. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Super PC home, NSA can take a walk

    20 Jan 2010, 0400 hrs IST, ET Bureau

    NEW DELHI: With the government naming Mr M K Narayanan as the next governor of West Bengal, policy wonks have begun crowding TV studios with the “we-don’t-need-an-NSA” argument. Mr Brajesh Mishra, a former NSA who used the perch to play the role of a number 2 in the Vajpayee government, has gone to the extent of saying that the post should be scrapped. “The prime minister requires only a diplomatic advisor as the Cabinet Committee on Security has been advising the prime minister on all important security issues,” Mr Mishra said.

    A truncated portfolio for the NSA was being talked about ever since home minister P Chidambaram voiced the need for the home ministry coordinating internal security initiatives and fashioning responses. He had suggested bifurcation of the home ministry’s functions with internal security under his exclusive charge. He also proposed setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre and bringing all security and intelligence agencies under its umbrella. The NCTC chief, he suggested, should be directly accountable to the home minister.

    During the tenure of both Mr Brajesh Mishra and Mr Narayanan, the National Security Council was quite powerless. Mr Mishra did not run the NSA as an institution and all crucial decisions were taken in his corner room in the PMO. The early days of the UPA-I only complicated matters when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appointed two advisors — Mr Narayanan looking after internal security and J N Dixit in charge of external affairs, leading to turf wars. After Mr Dixit’s death in 2005, Mr Narayanan was given both the jobs. A clueless home minister in Shivraj Patil gave Mr Narayanan a bigger play in the security apparatus and this continued till Mr Chidambaram took charge of the security establishment.

    But those who argue that the NSA’s job, as it was conceived earlier, is still relevant point to the 2003 order that brought clarity to the post. The institutional role of the NSA was formalised in the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) on January 4, 2003. According to the order, “the NCA consists of a political council and an executive council. The political council is to be chaired by the prime minister and it is the sole body which can authorise the use of nuclear weapons. The executive council is chaired by the NSA, and it provides inputs for decision-making by the NCA and executes the directives given to it by the political council.”

    But there is certain to be some redefining of the NSA’s job after Mr Narayanan vacates the post. Although the Congress is in agreement with the broad policy framework of the government, it is keen that the neighbourhood gets the maximum attention. Barring Pakistan, other countries in the neighbourhood rarely figured in the government scheme of things.

    The changes in the Prime Minister’s Office also signal Congress keenness to provide a new orientation to the highest office. A section of Congress has been maintaining that the PMO has not been sufficiently sensitive to the political interests of the party. It has repeatedly aired his dissatisfaction with the way issues like price rise are being handled by the government.

    Super PC home, NSA can take a walk- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times
     

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