Should India be giving more priority to paramilitary/Home ministry/internal security?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ejazr, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Counter terrorism, Counter insurgency and myriad of police reforms and internal security issues from naxalites issue to local policing India is facing a serious deficit in this area. Atleast for the short term, we dont see any sort of large scale war happening in the near neighbourhood. However, internal unrests and armed uprisings can and are happening which are more cost effective for foriegn powers to manipulate and keep us tied up.

    So isn't it reasonable to spend and focus more on Internal security and upgrade of security forces fighting these wars atleast in the short term as compared to longterm spending on defence budget related to army airforce navy e.t.c.? And what is the relative spending that should be spent by defence vs home?

    Just as comparison, China which is the only country that has a comparable population as India spends almost as much on internal security as it does on defence last year....around $80billion USD. India barely spent around a measely $5,7Billion on internal security this year of which 1.5Billion was for CWG security alone! Adding state expenditure may bump up the figure but still seems to be quite inadequate.

    A TOI article below shows the comaprison of India's internal security forces compared with other countries
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    India has the largest number of paramilitary organizations in the world, though we are second to China in numerical strength. India raised various paramilitary outfits from time to time to meet specific national security requirements. The international borders are guarded by the Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Seema Suraksha Bal and Assam Rifles in different theatres. The CRPF looks after internal security while the Central Industrial Security Force is entrusted with the security of industrial installations and airports. The NSG is an elite anti-terror outfit.

    These units are 1.3 million strong as against the 3.9 million Chinese paramilitary forces. The Chinese forces comprise the People's Armed Police, the Militia and the Reserve Force. The People's Armed Police, like the CRPF, is responsible for internal security during peacetime, but in times of war, like the BSF, it operates as light infantry in support of the People's Liberation Army.

    Other countries have paramilitary forces as well. Brazil has the Polícia Militar do Estado or Military Police, which reinforces the armed forces in an emergency. Italy has the Carabinieri, an auxiliary military formation. Its personnel are recruited, administered and paid by the ministry of defence and the Carabinieri chief is always an army general. The force strongly resembles the Assam Rifles. Germany has the Bundesgrenzschutz (BGS) or Federal Border Force which, apart from securing the borders, also acts as a federal reserve to deal with major disturbances and other emergencies. It is, one might say, the BSF and CRPF in one. The Russian paramilitary forces are assigned specialized security functions such as border protection, river patrol, riot control and internal security duties. Egyptian paramilitary forces include the National Guards, Border Guards and the Coast Guard, all under the ministry of defence.

    There are two reasons for the proliferation of central paramilitary forces (CPMFs) in India. First, India faces more complex internal and border security problems than perhaps any other country in the world. (The problems in Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan fall into a different category). Second, the state police forces are in a state of atrophy and are not able to deal with major eruptions on the law and order front except of a very routine nature. As a consequence, the Centre has to step in to assist the states throughout the year.

    The Central and state governments are paying some attention, even though half-hearted, to police reform in the states. The central paramilitary forces, it's generally believed, are well administered. But it's time the government took cognizance of the decline in the capabilities of the paramilitary forces. The disaster at Dantewada, where 75 CRPF men lost their lives in one incident, brought that into focus.

    In the wake of Kargil, the Indian government appointed task forces whose recommendations were examined by a Group of Ministers (GoM). This GoM recommended inter alia that "the counter-insurgency role be progressively taken over by the CRPF" and directed the home ministry to draw up a well considered plan "to adequately enlarge, upgrade, equip and train the CRPF for discharging its future responsibilities". The recommendation was theoretically sound, though perhaps not very pragmatic. In any case, the plan was never drawn up or perhaps it remained on paper. No wonder, the CRPF paid a heavy price in Chhattisgarh.

    Reckless expansion of CRPF in the last 10 years has been its bane. The paramilitary has 212 battalions. It has more manpower now but serious infrastructural deficiencies as well. The government must put a cap on the expansion of the central paramilitary forces and concentrate on building up the capability of the state police forces. The deployment of CRPF units, which is chaotic to say the least, must also be rationalized.

    The government would do well to set up a high powered body to go into the functioning of the central paramilitary forces and suggest suitable measures to stem the rot. Meanwhile, some measures could be taken straightaway: consolidate the expanded strength of the CPMFs, rationalize their deployment, ensure that companies in training are not sent on duty under any circumstances and evolve stringent norms for the selection of CPMFs chiefs.

    Prakash Singh is a former chief of the Border Security Force

    Read more: Central forces can't do state police's job - The Times of India Central forces can't do state police's job - The Times of India
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    A 2009 article on the same theme...


    India pushes for security revamp


    NEW DELHI - The Indian government - criticized for its lackadaisical approach to handling terror and internal security - finally seems to be getting its act together to overhaul the crumbling and creaking security system.

    President Pratibha Patil, in her inaugural address to the joint session of parliament on June 4, emphasized that internal security would be one of the "top priorities" for the new government and an urgent plan to address national-security challenges would be executed in a phased manner.

    "A policy of zero-tolerance towards terrorism, from whichever source it originates, will be pursued," asserted Patil in a subtle hint to Pakistan, adding that a National Investigation Agencywould now be empowered to tackle terror-related offences.

    The presidential address - which underscores the freshly-minted Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's much-vaunted resolve to tackle terror - comes in the wake of a slew of already proposed reforms that may well transform the visage of India's security and intelligence apparatus.

    The proposed measures - currently being scrutinized by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) - include the creation of a national database, beefing up intelligence-gathering networks, ramping up staff at intelligence agencies, absorbing meritorious and retired intelligence officials in the system and tightening border and maritime security, among others.

    Based on the CCS's recommendations - with the input of an intelligence task force set up in 2007 to revamp the security system - the UPA government will flesh out a comprehensive blueprint for an overhaul.

    The task force's recommendations include a road map to revamp the intelligence-sharing network, establishment of three new niche intelligence-gathering agencies, concrete steps to improve technical intelligence and the establishment of a training institute for intelligence personnel, among others.

    To fortify the intelligence network, the task force has recommended the government strengthen organizations like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing, while increasing the strength of informers currently recruited by intelligence networks along with an improvement in their pay scales.

    While skeptics say the freshly proposed reforms may yet again become mired in the infamously labyrinthine bureaucracy, many experts are hopeful that they will likely see the light of day.

    "Considering the Mumbai terror attacks nearly cost the UPA this election, it is keen to prove that it means business on the security front this time," said security analyst Dipak Bhanocha. "So in the first flush of its current electoral win, it is trying hard to push the proposed reforms with vigor."

    Indeed, there's no denying that a new and tighter security apparatus is in India's interest, given the heightened environment of terror on all its borders. With unrest in the immediate neighborhood - including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal - a better security infrastructure will enable India to handle the tectonic shift in South Asia's geopolitical dynamics.

    There's no denying that India's vulnerability to terror has increased manifold because of external factors. The rise in jihadi terrorism in its immediate neighborhood presents India with a complex challenge, which has become all the more disquieting as the hub of religious fundamentalism - indeed global terrorism - is now located right next door (between Pakistan and Afghanistan).

    Then there's India's unique geographical orientation. With a landmass of sub-continental proportions, India occupies a vital strategic position in South Asia with a gargantuan 7,683 kilometer-long coastline and an exclusive economic zone that is over two million square kilometers in size. The country also shares its 15,000-kilometer border with seven countries.

    Such sensitive geographical contouring endows India with daunting security challenges. This was demonstrated amply last year during the November Mumbai terror attacks when just a handful of terrorists were able to penetrate the borders with impunity to hold the financial capital ransom for over 60 hours.

    The Mumbai incident held the deficient security apparatus up to world scrutiny. Intelligence networks failed to follow up on leads to prevent the attack, ill-equipped police were rudderless to take on the well-armed terrorists and anti-terrorist squads failed miserably to respond to the city's cry for help.

    The justified outpouring of anger across the country in the wake of the attacks led to several heads rolling in the government, including that of Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Though Patil's dismissal may well be a token, the government was forced to do a rethink on security measures across the country.

    A similar scenario unfolded following the Kargil war in 1999, when Pakistani terrorists exploited the lacunae in the country's Intelligence to their advantage. Even at that time, the N N Vohra Committee report on internal security had painted a disturbing picture of the intelligence apparatus and called for a radical revamp. It also called for restoring the primacy of the Home secretary and IB, a review mechanism within the IB and an end to political interference. But not much was achieved on any of these fronts.

    Unfortunately, despite the experience of several border conflicts and wars, even today India's borders continue to be guarded by military, paramilitary and police forces which fail to function cohesively. Each force reports to a different ministry in New Delhi, as a result of which there's an utter lack of co-ordination in managing the borders.

    Post Kargil, the government identified the poor coastal security infrastructure as part of the overlap between internal security and border management and the utility of a unified maritime agency was mooted. But like many other specific policy recommendations, this idea fell through due to political and bureaucratic indifference.

    "The rot in the Indian intelligence system runs so deep that cosmetic changes will simply not work. It needs a complete overhaul," said a retired Indian intelligence officer. The official added that intelligence officers were deficient in training, even as inter-agency feuds have resulted in far too much politics.

    "Plus, there's a dearth of intelligence operatives and intelligence agencies are woefully understaffed," he said.

    To be take more seriously in the international arena, India could leverage technology, for one thing. Britain's effective embrace of video surveillance in the 1990s, in response to Irish Republican Army attacks, proved just how successful this can be. Today, London has over 10,000 cameras, and Britain over four million (one for every 14 people), the highest in the world.

    India's defense budget - that old bugbear - also needs to be reconsidered. New Delhi's annual budget on policing a country of over a billion people is US$3 billion. Compared to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which alone has an annual budget of $7.1 billion for 300 million people, it is a pittance.

    The US is the largest military spender in the world and puts 4.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) towards defense, while India spends less than 2% of its GDP on defense. Even China spends an estimated 4.3% of GDP on defense and Pakistan 3.5%.

    Neeta Lal is a widely published writer/commentator who contributes to many reputed national and international print and Internet publications.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  4. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    A large part of the problem stems from the fact that policing by and large, except under certain circumstances,remains a state subject.Police and internal security reforms have become victim to bureaucratic logjam emanating from the center-state divergence on understanding the nature of the security challenges the nation faces and the response required at governmental level.Most state govts mere pay lip service to police and state intelligence reforms.

    The specter of terrorism and the sophistication with which terrorist groups operate clearly have brought home the fact we cannot fall back on old style of incident based crisis management.In the aftermath of the 26/11 PC was talking about how he was now exclusively dedicated himself to dealing with home ministries security related responsibilities(with the minister of state for home taking charge of other on security related responsibilities).This in my opinion needs to be institutionalized,we need a Ministry of Home Security headed by senior ranking minister exclusively dedicated to internal security.Immediate steps must rendered to coalesce various para military groups into a single force,constitutionally enabled to be deployed in areas facing internal disturbance,coming under this Ministry for Home security.

    While terrorist groups have targeted various parts of the country,its clear that because of the nature of their objectives,terror groups exclusively target metropolitan cities or major state capitals.This is where state center dichotomy becomes in itself a challenge to effectively combat such threats.I think most state govts also understand that dimension of the threat they face makes it difficult for the state govts alone to face such crisis.The country should give serious thought about unifying law enforcement agencies of all major metropolitan cities and all state capitals under a single central agency(like a National metropolitan police force).The functioning ,the staffing and administration of the agency must be exclusive from the state law enforcement agencies and it must come under the proposed Ministry for Home security.

    In all the major terrorist incident from the past many years its clear thee have some intelligence inputs,there is never going to be a case of clear and specific actionable intelligence,however a unified law enforcement agency has a better chance of acting upon any intelligence input and thwart future attacks.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    What india need is the revamping of police force and police reforms along with judicial reforms.Make police free of political influnce and allow it to do its duties.
     
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    More than police reforms and other related legislation, IMO there is a big need to ramp up spending on internal security. The CRPF, CISF, BSF e.t.c. are all under the Centre's purview. And all these forces are fighting highly complex and assymetric conflicts in naxal areas, NE e.t.c. It is because of the failure of these forces that Army has to be brought in for these problems that takes more of their time and effort.

    The ratio of spending on internal security vs external security(defence) is 1:6 as comapred to 1:1 for China. This shows that there is an enormous need for India to catch up on this. Bassic things like salary for CRPF personnel, bullet proof vests, night vision goggles, proper logistics and food as well as tents and medical care are woefully inadequate. Not to forget that the training on COIN, population-centric war and other basics on fighting insurgencies is woefully inadequate as was shown by the naxal operations. This is just catch up. Then you want to innovate and get things like CRPF manning UAVs or maybe getting their own choppers for logistics in the long run. At present Centre is just sending CRPF personnel to their death by hiring people and sending them to the battle zone.

    Ofcourse states also have to up the spending on police as well. You can't expect a hawildar to not take bribes and respect HR issues if his pay is still stuck in the 80s and INR 15,000 a month. And you can expect bright people to take a career in the police force which such low salaries. Maybe its time to legislate, atleast in most states if not all that a minimum 3% of annual budget shouldbe spent on police, and a hike of pay packets along with with that.
     
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    We must marry technology and police to tackle crime: Chidambaram

    Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday stressed the need for capacity building by providing adequate police personnel to man the police stations in the country, and said adequate funds should be provided with matching technology to tackle crime rates in the country.

    To confront crime, every police force requires adequate number of police personnel. By March this year, there were 400,000 vacancies in all police stations in the country. It is not as if we cannot find 400,000 personnel. The reason is not far to see, Chidambaram said after inaugurating the three day International conference on 'Global Community Policing conclave' here being attended by police personnel from 42 countries.

    The reason is in many states, finance ministers are loathe to allocate funds to police and it is the residue which is allocated to the police, he said. There is need to make up deficiencies in the police force, he said.

    'Unless we marry technology and police, the police personnel will remain far behind law breakers', he said. There is so much intelligence information pouring in and there is need to analyse the same to keep pace with time, he said adding unfortunately this area is neglected.

    In the name of innovation, the concept of community policing should not be trivialised, he said adding there were good and bad examples of community policing.

    Cautioning the Community police personnel to be on guard against 'self styled' leaders he said they should not abdicate their responsibility. Giving examples he said the 'Salwa Judum' movement in Chattisgarh where young men of the community were given arms to counter serious internal threats and in West Bengal where political party cadres had been armed to counter the threat of Maoists are two bad examples of community policing. Police cannot abdicate their responsibility for private militia, he said.

    The 'Janamaitriyi Suraksha Project (JSEP) in Kerala and Delhi's 'Eyes and Ears' were good examples of community policing which had helped in crushing crime rates, he said.

    Community Policing is an exercise in trust which can be build only through partners who are equal. Police today is required by community as much as community requires police.

    The community is more than the elected representatives in municipalities, Legislatures and Parliament. Beware of 'self appointed leaders', he said adding usually they are the ones who have gained a place in the system and they work the system to their personal advantage.

    Community Policing should look to authentic leaders, he said.

    Chidambaram said community policing is an exercise in trust which can be build only among partners who are equal. It is important for community policing to address the requirements of neighbourhood and beyond the neighbourhood.

    If there is a feeling among the Islamic community in India that police is trying to be anti-muslim, if that sense is being led by an incident here or there, whatever you do in your local community cannot ease that, he said.

    'We know the great danger done when centuries old mosque was demolished. It has taken many years to heal that wound and it has not healed even now'.

    The Gay community in India the way they are being treated, the community of sex workers they all harbour a sense of being victims against police.

    In a plural society, there is need to reopen new dimensions of community policing and expand the definition of community.

    For too long the police department adopted law and order approach. Job of police is to maintain law and order and sometimes other considerations like human rights were ignored. The other approach was legal approach when everything is done by letter of law ignoring the spirit of law which means helping the poor and the down trodden.

    Today it is increasingly been realised that policing is a service. It is like any other service, but is more important as it deals with the security of the people and security of the state.

    'It is a matter of concern and regret that people regard police in most parts as 'us and them'. There is a divide between the police and the people which must be overcome, he said.

    Union minister of state for Agriculture, K V Thomas, also spoke.

    Kerala Home minister, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the community policing project will be extended to 100 more police stations in the state this year. The crime rates have reduced by 50 per cent, he said.

    K Jaykumar, Additional chief secretary, said 33 papers would be presented during the three day session in which DGP's from Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Uttrakhand and top police personnel from India and abroad are taking part. CBI Director, Ashwani Kumar, also attended the inaugural function.

    DGP Jacob Punnose welcomed the gathering.
     

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