National Security and Intelligence Reforms

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by ejazr, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Manish Tewari introduces Bill on Intelligence Agencies Reforms


    Mr. Manish Tewari today introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to regulate the functioning and use of power by the Indian intelligence agencies within and outside India and to provide for the coordination, control and oversight of such agencies.

    The Private Member's Bill, 'The Intelligence Services (Powers and Regulation) Bill, 2011', could not be introduced in the last session of Parliament because of the political deadlock though it was scheduled on the last day of the session.

    This is the first time that a Bill is being introduced in the Lok Sabha on Intelligence Agencies reforms.

    Mr. Tewari, an Advisor to Observer Research Foundation and a senior Supreme Court lawyer, had been guiding the ORF research study on intelligence reforms. After extensive studies and many brain-storming sessions and roundtables, ORF had published a report ''Locating Intelligence Agencies in a Democratic Framework,' written by Mr. Danish Sheikh.

    On July 29, ORF had organised a conference on "Enabling Intelligence in India: Autonomy, Accountability and Oversight" in which Mr. Tewari spoke about the Bill and the need for such a legislation to make the agencies accountable to parliamentary oversight. Delivering the Special Address at the conference, Mr. G.K. Pillai, former Union Home Secretary, also revealed that there was a consensus among officials in favour of a legislation to regulate the intelligence agencies. He also mentioned that a Committee of Secretaries are studying the bill.

    Mr. Tewari's Bill seeks to enact a legislation pursuant to Entry 8 of List I of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India to provide the following:

    (a) A legislative and regulatory framework for the Intelligence Bureau, the Research and Analysis Wing and the National Technical Research Organisation;
    (b) Designated Authority regarding authorization procedure and system of warrants for operations by these agencies;
    (c) A National Intelligence Tribunal for the investigation of complaints against these agencies.
    (d) A National Intelligence and Security Oversight Committee for an effective oversight mechanism of these agencies; and
    (e) An Intelligence Ombudsman for efficient functioning of the agencies and for matters connected therewith.

    The Bill stipulates that the day-to-day operation of the R&AW shall be vested in an officer not below the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India who shall be appointed by the Prime Minister and who shall hold office for a period of two years or till he attains the age of sixty-two years, whichever is later.

    It also stipulates that the Intelligence Bureau shall function under the control of the Prime Minister. And it shall be the duty of the IB to work for national security in the context of internal conflict and, in particular, provide protection against threats from espionage, terrorist acts organized by other countries within the territory of India with the help of Indian nationals or residents and from actions intended to subvert the Constitution of India by violent means.

    The Bill says the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) shall function under the control of the Prime Minister. And the Central Government shall, in consultation with the National Intelligence and Security Oversight Committee, appoint an Intelligence Ombudsman from amongst persons having special knowledge in the field of intelligence to address the grievance of the members of staff and officers of the R&AW, the IB and the NTRO.

    The day-to-day operation of the NTRO shall be vested in a Chairman who shall be appointed by the Prime Minister and who shall hold office for a period of two years or attaining the age of sixty-two years, whichever is earlier.

    The Bill says there shall be constituted a Committee, to be known as the National Intelligence and Security Oversight Committee to examine the administration and compliance of policy laid down under this Act. The Committee shall, unless it is necessary to perform the functions assigned to it under the Act, not go into the operational aspects and sources of intelligence of the functioning of the R&AW, the IB and the NTRO, as the case may be.

    The Committee shall consist of the following:

    (a) the Chairman of the Council of States, Chairperson;
    (b) the Speaker of the House of the People, Member;
    (c) the Prime Minister, Member;
    (d) the Minister of Home Affairs, Member;
    (e) the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People, Member;
    (f) the Leader of Opposition in the Council of States; Member; and(g) one member each from the House of the People and the Council of States to be nominated by the Presiding Officers of the respective Houses, as members.

    The Committee shall submit an annual report on their functioning to the Prime Minister and may at any time report to him on any matter relating to discharge of those functions.

    The Bill also envisages establishing a tribunal to be known as the National Intelligence tribunal, under the chairmanship of a sitting or retired Supreme Court judge, for the purpose of investigating complaints against the R&AW, the IB or the NTRO.

    For a copy of the Bill, click here http://www.orfonline.org/cms/export/orfonline/documents/Int_Bill.pdf
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The same Manish Tiwari who is congress spokesman? Wow!!
     
  4. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    - No mention of revamping the intelligence setup to improve efficiency, efficacy and inciciveness of our intelligence agencies to face the challenges arising from fast-changing geopolitical situation

    - No commitment to bestowing reasonable autonomy necessary for such agencies to function effectively and quickly respond to situations that impact national security

    - Intelligence reforms cannot be viewed in isolation, they will be largely meanigless in absence of overall administrative reforms especially policing, teh bill fails to adress the fact

    - No firm ideas on a centrally archived data repository seamlessly linked to intelligence operations and easily accessible in time of need.
     
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  5. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    good this bill if pass would prevent things like that happen in the movie

    [​IMG]

    may be our lawmakers have seen this movie and they are scared of powers and means at the disposal of these intell agencies.
     
  6. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    Yeah.. Me too.. Wow.. Manish tiwari.. Kinda hard to believe.. Thought he was only good at shouting matches..
    Still intelligence reforms are long overdue.. Good luck to him
     
  7. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    The provisions of the bill are more focused on the overseeing aspect,than delivering any real reform in the operational aspect.More than providing autonomy,the intention is to instill better political supervision over the intelligence gathering,which until now was left to the discretion of respective departments.I think the spate of phone tappings,bugging the offices of sensitive ministries,and other incidents in the recent years has prodded the govt to come up with this bill.
     
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  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Oversight is part of the reforms required. For far too long the intel has been left alone to do what it wants and have also not delivered results in the last few years.
    I hope this is the beginning of some tough and far reaching reforms for the intel.
     
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  9. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Coming from a man who only job was shouting back at the opposition for every jibe coming from them, this is a great feat ! The bill does have some important changes much required in the current context.
     
  10. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Au contraire, there has been political bureaucratic interference in every nook and corner of our intelligence setup. Intelligence agencies have been used as tools for spying on political opponents, for shadow boxing, for turf wars instead of concentrating on national security. Hell, bleeding hearts like Gujral even wound up our covert operations in
    Pakistan and then we expect them to come up with results?

    This bill may well turn out to be a case of cure worse than the disease.
     
  11. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    The last political party to ooze any sort of confidence is the congress on matters related to defence, intelligence, least one expects them to make the process more effective, on the contrary there is more and more bureaucracy ushered in to have a more freaking control.

    The exercise of having things public seems to make sure their corrupt practices go undeterred and no one follows the leads covertly that would take the trail to these politicians, and no more, and you bet your last paisa that this will have an overwhelming support from all other political parties. chor chor mausere bhai!

    Reforms for the better, let’s just forget it, it’s not an indian thing and least to be ever attempted by and expected from our politicians. A parl which doesnt even debate the defence budget, will debate and come with brilliant ideas on matters relating to intelligence, someone must be having good time cracking this joke. Our politicians have interest in matters where there is political mileage to be made, and undermine efforts which bring transparency in matters pertaining to their working.
     
  12. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Parliamentary oversight is the first step in any reform our intelligence agencies. When you have a parliamentary panel that consists of members from ruling and opposition parties that can scrutinize directives and policies, then it will make it more difficult for the executive to misuse the agencies for their own benefit.

    Other important features in the bill like a redressal mechanism and a procedure to check nepotism and underhanded promotions by having an independent ombudsman. There have been allegations of nepotism and out of turn promotions to favorites against the RAW and this will make sure that only the best of the best make it to the top job.

    Lets hope that this bill actually passes in this session.
     
  13. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I smell more bureaucracy. I do hope though that I'm wrong, and this results in a better operational tempo for the intel agencies.
     
  14. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    I'm against more bureaucratic control of intelligence agencies. There tend to hamper up the working of agencies.. But i think a huge revamp of our intelligence agencies is required.
     
  15. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    d u really think this bill is going to pass .i heard it today on dfi . there was no such news in media latelly about this bill.i think no body is in GOI is interseted to pass this bill. its only for showman ship. if manish tiwary is so much worried why doesn`t he ask his fellow comardes chief ministers to follow police reforms despite by the orders by superme court of india
     
  16. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India's external intelligence service the Research and Analysis Wing was formed in 1968, and 43 years later, we are still trying to determine what sort of an organisation would best serve the national purpose. This is a sad reflection on our strategic mindset because although periodic reforms are necessary, we in India are still debating how the organisation should be manned.

    Some of the questions we should be asking are: What are the security threats that India would face in 2025 or 2030? What kind of an intelligence organisation would thus be needed either to protect our interests, prevent others from upstaging us or, if required, reversing the trend among our rivals. Does the present organisation have the ingredients to deliver? If not, what needs to be done so that we are not found wanting in 2025? In doing so, we have to evolve our own systems and not just copy other systems.

    Intelligence agencies can prevent wars but cannot by themselves win the wars. This has to be done by the armed forces, or if the threat is economic or technological (cyber, for instance) other experts are required. In India, reforms have been episodic, usually following a debacle and not based on periodic threat assessments. In house reviews have been about cadre reviews and career prospects fixing deputation quotas. Reform has to be more fundamental and far deeper. It must be borne in mind that intelligence agencies and reforms have to be done in the fullness of time and not when a crisis has begun to loom.

    National threats have changed. There are other transnational threats that no single agency or a single country can handle. Besides, there is no knowing how the new threats will evolve. The rapidly changing technological applications bring their own threats. Catastrophic terrorism, cyber terrorism, remote control missile attacks and virtual wars are the other new threats. International trade and commercial transactions have become faster and more intricate; banking transactions move at the speed of lightning.

    IT-driven globalisation also covers the criminal world. Interaction between narcotics smugglers, arms merchants, human traffickers and terrorists is that much easier, faster and safer. They all have access to sophisticated denial and deception techniques.

    Add to this, radical religious terrorists who are affecting India most dramatically and are supported by Pakistan in every way. Intelligence organisations need language skills, interrogation skills, ability to deal with hostages, area and issue expertise, apart from operational skills of a special kind. The normal civil servant, however bright, just does not have these skills or the aptitude. There is no option for the intelligence organisations in India, but to follow the pattern elsewhere --recruit from the open market through advertisements.

    The ideal of an intelligence organisation is that it has to be unique and is not like any other organisation, department or a ministry. It cannot exist without its mystic; a life of mirrors and masks. It is therefore a system with a mission which then becomes a crusade -- be it downsizing Pakistan, matching up to China or piggy backing on friendly powers.

    As the CIA used to say, "the secret of our success is the secret of our success"; there are no heroes and the medals are secret. What is the price the government is willing to pay a band of men and women who sacrifice their individuality for anonymity and go against the grain of human nature, is a question that needs to be asked and replied all the time.

    As with all institutions, intelligence organisations also occasionally face a decline -- for a number of reasons, -- bad internal leadership or disinterest by the political leadership. Robert Gates, who later headed the CIA, describes this well in a long memo he wrote to the then chief, Bill Casey in1981.

    He said that the CIA was "a case of advanced bureaucratic arteriosclerosis: the arteries are clogging up with careerist bureaucrats who have lost the spark." Any intelligence organisation that is manned by careerists, who are either too old to be moulded or are risk averse, is on a sharp downhill slope. Any government of the day must guard against this because faulty or inaccurate intelligence is far more dangerous than no intelligence.

    The writer is a former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)

    National security and intelligence reforms
     
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  17. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Finally I know what RAW is. :)
     
  18. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I would not dispute that statement. I would add that CIA bureaucrats too often put their politics ahead of national interests. IMHO.
     
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  19. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    From 2009

    Intelligence Reforms

    By A. K. Verma

    (This paper was prepared and published by G-files)

    More than 50 years after gaining independence from the British, Indian Intelligence continues to operate within the same framework left by the British. The system was created to deal with problems and requirements of a different age. Since then we have moved into a new era where the national security architecture of the world keeps changing in a kaleidoscopic pattern, creating new axess of conflicts and conciliations. Times have changed enormously and the world has become far more complex. Unfortunately, Indian Intelligence has not kept pace with the changes.

    It is high time that an Indian Intelligence Reforms Commission is appointed on the lines of the Administrative Reforms Commission to overhaul the old system. There are a whole lot of new paradigms requiring to be considered. If in today’s world intelligence has become the first line of defense, there is not a moment to be lost.

    The very first reform should be to give Indian Intelligence the backing of legislative enactments. The laws should provide a degree of autonomy which frees intelligence from all bureaucratic restraints and controls relating to financial management, administrative functions, pay scales, recruitment, postings and promotions, hire and fire policies and enforcement of discipline. The laws should spell out the charters and authorize the Central Government to fix broad targets within the charter. This will prevent the misuse of the institutions by those in authority. The laws should hold intelligence accountable to the Cabinet or its Committee for national Security but also create a parliamentary committee for oversight. Detailed rules can be worked out to determine the parameters of oversight and areas of intelligence work over which it will be exercised in consultation with the Parliament.

    Absence of legislative cover is a serious lacuna for Intelligence. All intelligence work is carried out under executive instructions but foreign intelligence operations would involve breaking of local laws of the country concerned. Neither those who give instructions for such operations nor those who carry them out are protected legally under the Indian laws. Institutions like the CIA of US are created by laws of the US Congress. All activities which CIA may be required to carry out are directly or indirectly identified in the charter legally given. Their operations are thus safe under US laws but no such protection is available to Indian operatives, carrying out intelligence tasks in a foreign country.

    Autonomy is essential for non-conventional organisations to do their jobs. They should be free to hire the best talent available which will be possible only if a very superior compensation package is on offer to the recruit. Today’s intelligence needs require Engineers, Management Specialists, Economists, Scholars, Scientist, Sociologists among others, of supreme quality but only the inferior type wants to make a career in intelligence because the better type finds the existing compensation packages totally unattractive. Intelligence services of other countries are usually the best paid organizations in those countries. This is the reason why CIA serves as a magnet drawing in large numbers of PhDs from the best schools in the US.

    In recent years the threats from International terror has grown exponentially. There are threats of mass destruction of population and property through use of weapons of mass destruction, mass disruption of communications through manipulation of cyberspace and of mass doctrinal madness through clever selective religious indoctrination. Such a range of offensive tactics cannot be countered by keeping intelligence on the defensive. Intelligence has to be provided teeth to bite with. It should therefore develop its own cadre of offensive operators or learn to do so in the company of select uniformed services. While the major countries of the world have for long practiced the offensive mode of Intelligence work, we have lagged behind in India. Intelligence reforms should open up the possibilities of covert actions. Use of non state actors by state actors effectively takes away India’s options to stay neutral to covert operations. A redefinition of nation’s security interest will shout loudly for India to give up its self created soft image and to move out to meet challenges boldly as they should be.

    Intelligence has to acknowledge appearance of new perspectives following globalization. Fast moving technologies have made borders meaningless. There is a new competition for economic penetration. Sovereignties of nations are at a discount because of these trends. In the times ahead India will face acute competition from the other two rising powers of the Asia, China and Japan. Issues of land, water and climatic changes, all of which singly or together, lead to mass migrations, creating demographic imbalances. Who else should study such phenomenon holistically if not intelligence? Their database and sharp analysis can contribute to keep the nations interests secure.

    The rising complexity calls for another reform – the operations and analysis cadres in the intelligence should be made distinct and separate. When intelligence needs were few, there may have been a justification for the two streams to flow as one, but not any longer. Indian Intelligence has to grow much larger than what it is today. The value of an analyst lies in the depth of his studies of his field. The longer he specializes, greater is the intuitive insight he acquires. Such knowledge will go waste if he moves to operations.

    Naxalism has been identified as the nation’s most serious problem in the field of national security. Starting from a single village, Naxalbari, in West Bengal in 1965, Naxalism is now present in 16 states, affecting 160 districts. In the context of intelligence reforms, one must examine why such a growth has taken place. It would seem that our constitutional scheme by dividing powers between states and centre has prevented the latter from formulating and executing a cohesive policy for the country to battle this problem. If this situation is not rectified, mere reforms in intelligence will not take us anywhere.


    Intelligence Reforms
     
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  20. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Defence Reforms and National Security

    by Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (retd)
    Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS)
     

    Attached Files:

  21. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Secret Service: Intelligence Reform in India

    The Group of Ministers recommendations on intelligence reforms were redacted from the report on India's defence system, but reports suggest that the restructuring and reform based on its recommendations is being carried out.

    Ever since the Mumbai blasts, the spotlight has been on the abilities of our intelligence services. Purely coincidentally, this has become clubbed with the somewhat farcical mole-hunt set off by Jaswant Singh, and the very real breach of security in the National Security Council Secretariat. Yet a great deal of the criticism has been uninformed, sometimes bordering on the hysterical. The expectation that the country’s secret services should somehow be better than other governmental services is unfair. No one would want disloyal personnel or traitors lurking in their ranks. But surely we cannot expect the intelligence services to be way above the norm, considering they draw their personnel from the same stock as other services in the government sector. Their organisations, tighter than the usual government department, have the same DNA in terms of work culture, problems and prospects. There are pools of excellence, dedication and selflessness in these services just as there are elsewhere. And as in all organisations, a lot has to do with history, as well as leadership.

    Actually the root of many of our problems in the area of intelligence lies much higher up — in the upper echelons of our political system. The intelligence agencies must function within the parameters of a country whose political class sees nothing extraordinary in criminals sitting in legislatures, or shrugs off infiltration from Bangladesh. This country’s intelligence culture is evident from two books that appeared this year. The first, the Mitrokhin Archive spoke of high-level penetration and influence-peddling by the KGB in India. It was politely ignored. The second, by a former IB official, detailed the political shenanigans of his organisation, including juicy tidbits like how the PMO was used to bug the President of the Republic. Again, the book and the charge were coolly ignored by the entire political class.

    Another instance of how casually matters of security are treated by the politicians: In the late Eighties, when Indian forces were battling the LTTE in Sri Lanka, Tamil politicians, particularly those of the DMK, ignored the activities of the terrorist outfit which was at the time obtaining fuel and funds, and even running grenade factories in the state. Today, it’s not surprising that DMK leader and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, once again in pursuit of votes, is going out of his way to be soft not only on Islamic fundamentalists, but even those charged with terrorist crimes.

    Among the intelligence services, the Intelligence Bureau stands out in terms of reputation. In part this has to do with its inheritance a counter-intelligence culture from the British. Since the Pakistani covert assault against India got underway, the bureau’s focus has shifted to anti-terrorist operations as well. Because India has refused to get into a tit-for-tat terrorist war by bombing and assassinating in Pakistan, the country’s counter-terror tactics have relied on the IB’s abilities to block, deflect and terminate terrorist conspiracies on Indian soil.

    This has led to the other service, the Research & Analysis Wing which deals with external intelligence, being deprived of a significant ‘operations’ culture. India has had a poor history in this area anyway because during colonial times, this was an exclusive British preserve. Some limited capabilities were created for operations against China in Tibet in the 1960s, but these are of little use today. This has meant atrophied abilities for covert operations in countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

    In recent times, R&AW has got a bum rap because of allegations of foreign penetration, as in the case of Rabinder Singh and Brig Ujwal Dasgupta. R&AW’s problem is that by its very charter, it is more open to penetration. Its main work lies outside the country and it is responsible for liaison with foreign intelligence agencies. This doesn’t excuse what happened, but explains why it could have, and also points to the problem in need of correction. The IB, for example, has blocked some four attempts at penetration in the past decade or so.

    In the past two years, an enormous effort has been made to reform and restructure the intelligence services. Though a Group of Ministers’ decisions were approved in 2003, intelligence agencies used the 2004 change of government to block reform. The process got underway only in mid-2005 because of the sudden demise of National Security Advisor JN Dixit. The appointment of MK Narayanan as his successor has led to a sharp rise in the pace of change in great measure because of his background as a highly regarded intelligence professional. This is evident from the implementation of the approved decisions on restructuring and reform, as well in the creation of newer instrumentalities.

    Premier among these is the country’s new high-tech spying agency — the National Technical Research Organisation. The NTRO was created to centralise all high-tech, and hence expensive, assets under one organisation. Predictably, there was a lot of kicking and screaming from existing agencies who had to surrender turf. Narayanan played a key role as the chairman of the Technology Coordination Group to mediate conflicting claims and ensured that the NTRO was able to strike roots in the short span of a year. The agency which will look after imagery and communications intelligence was headed till last month by a the legendary, J.S. Bedi, and now a DRDO specialist, KVSS Prasad Rao, has taken over.

    Another significant decision by Narayanan has been to restore the Joint Intelligence Committee. The experience of having the NSCS doubling as the JIC was simply unworkable. While the NSCS is a kind of think-tank, the JIC has vital, urgent responsibilities. Since most intelligence failures turn out to be the result of poor interpretation and assessment, rather of the unavailability of information, the work of the JIC is cut out for it.

    The expansion of India’s interests in sync with its economy, and the rapid transformation wrought by the information age, require a revolution in the way we handle intelligence. For one, we will need to spend much, much, more money for electronic intelligence gathering. This money is not only needed to buy satellites, computers and interception equipment, but to have an army of language specialists and analysts. The country’s educational and national security system are, as of now, completely misaligned. We have more than 60 universities teaching Arabic and Urdu, yet there is an acute paucity of skilled Arabic and Urdu interpreters. Despite India’s huge interest in Afghanistan and Pakistan, just one university offers Pushtu language training. Even the existing language schools stress the teaching of culture and literature while the practical need is for translators and interpreters. As for analysts, they ought to come from the various schools of international studies, but there is little link between the academia and the security services. As it is our area studies institutions are abysmal and we do not have even a single decent centre for Pakistan studies.

    Recent terror incidents and the intensification of Maoist violence pose new challenges for the secret agencies. Only a part of these can be handled by methods perfected in the past. A whole new set of challenges have arisen with economic growth, demographic and sociological changes, encouraged by urbanisation, easier foreign travel and the internet. They require an entirely new outlook and instruments that are open, and well, at the same time, closed.

    By Manoj Joshi in 2006
     
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