Saturday, September 8, 2007

Indian Intelligence

What is the best Intelligence in world? Normally we say CIA, M16, KGB.....Well I say CIA and M16 are the brand names with multi-billion dollar funded.

The top agency is the Israel one "Massod" (ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim). But Massod always maintained a low profile and did great achievements. They are made stronger by their neighboring enemies.

The second best in the world really goes to India, don't be surprised when I said so. Yes, its true, we have a great intelligence agencies better than CIA and M16, we evaded many attacks, busted many plots, active in enemy lands. Every one will fail, that the example of recent blast in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. In the recent blast in Hyderabad, central intelligence had warned local police before the attack, but it was not handled well. We have some loop holes between the agencies, but its also good in some way not to dominate the local agencies with international/central agencies. Like CIA, which they always have hyper reports between their agencies (FBI) and lead to some ugly situations, and every one should know that CIA commits over 1,00,000 serious crimes per year. The best example I can say is the recent war in Iraq by Bush, who just relayed on baseless and untrue reports from CIA saying that Iraq is having WMD (Weapons of mass destructions), Nukes and planning attack on US. When the US army hit the pillars of Iraq, they found nothing...

The King "... should divide the day as well as the night into eight parts . . . During the fifth, he should hold consultations with the council of ministers through correspondence and also keep himself informed of the secret reports brought by spies.... During the first one-eighth part of the night, he should meet the officers of the secret service.... During the seventh, he should hold consultations and send out the officers of the secret service for their operations."
The Duties of a King The Arthasastra
Kautilya - Prime Minister to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya (4th Century BCE)

Here is the list of Indian Intelligences, I tried my best to cover all of them.

Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)

The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) of the government of India analyzes intelligence data from the Intelligence Bureau and the RAW, Directorate of Military Intelligence, Directorate of Naval Intelligence, Directorate of Air Intelligence. JIC has its own secretariat that is under the Cabinet Secretariat,

The National Security Council (NSC), established on 24 August 1990, includes the Prime Minister as Chairman, and the Home Minister, External Affairs Minister, Defence Minister and Finance Minister as members. Since its inception the Council has met just once, on 05 October 1990.

Research and Analysis Wing [RAW]

The Research and Analysis Wing [RAW] is India's foreign intelligence agency. RAW has become an effective instrument of Indian national power, and has assumed a significant role in carrying out India's domestic and foreign policies. RAW has engaged in espionage against Pakistan and other neighboring countries. It has enjoyed the backing of successive Indian governments in these efforts. Working directly under the Prime Minister, the structure and operations of the Research & Analysis Wing are kept secret from Parliament.

Founded in 1968, RAW focused largely on Pakistan. Its formation was initially motivated by reports of Pakistan supplying weapons to Sikh militants, and providing shelter and training to guerrillas in Pakistan.

Numerous missions were assigned to RAW upon its creation. These included monitoring political and military developments in neighboring countries that affects Indian national security. Consequently, considerable attention is paid by RAW to Pakistan and China, countries that are traditional rivals of India.

RAW has evolved from its origins as a part of the Intelligence Bureau to develop into India's predominant intelligence organization. In 1968, RAW had 250 agents and a budget of Rs. 2 crore. This has expanded to a 2000 total of an estimated eight to ten thousand agents and a budget that experts place at Rs. 1500 crore, alternately estimated at $145 million.

Pakistan has accused the Research and Analysis Wing of sponsoring sabotage in Punjab, where RAW is alleged to have supported the Seraiki movement, providing financial support to promote its activities in Pakistan and organizing an International Seraiki Conference in Delhi in November-December 1993. RAW has an extensive network of agents and anti-government elements within Pakistan, including dissident elements from various sectarian and ethnic groups of Sindh and Punjab. Published reports in Pakistan allege that as many as 35,000 RAW agents entered Pakistan between 1983-93, with 12,000 working in Sindh, 10,000 in Punjab, 8,000 in North West Frontier Province and 5000 in Balochistan.

RAW has a long history of activity in Bangladesh, supporting both secular forces and the area's Hindu minority. The involvement of RAW in East Pakistan is said to date from the 1960s, when RAW supported Mujibur Rahman, leading up to his general election victory in 1970. RAW also provided training and arms to the Bangladeshi freedom fighters known as Mukti Bahini. RAW's aid was instrumental in Bangladesh's gaining independence from Pakistan in 1971.

During the course of its investigation the Jain Commission received testimony on the official Indian support to the various Sri Lankan Tamil armed groups in Tamil Nadu. From 1981, RAW and the Intelligence Bureau established a network of as many as 30 training bases for these groups in India. Centers were also established at the high-security military installation of Chakrata, near Dehra Dun, and in the Ramakrishna Puram area of New Delhi. This clandestine support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), some of whom were on the payroll of RAW, was later suspended. Starting in late 1986 the Research and Analysis Wing focused surveillance on the LTTE which was expanding ties with Tamil Nadu separatist groups. Rajiv Gandhi sought to establish good relations with the LTTE, even after the Indian Peace Keeping Force [IPKF] experience in Sri Lanka. But the Indian intelligence community failed to accurately assess the character of the LTTE and its orientation India and its political leaders. The LTTE assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was apparently motivated by fears of a possible re-induction of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka and a crackdown on the LTTE network in Tamil Nadu.

RAW was heavily criticized in 1999, following the Pakistani incursions at Kargil. Critics accused RAW of failing to provide intelligence that could have prevented the ensuing ten-week conflict that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of full-scale war. While the army has been critical of the lack of information they received, RAW has pointed the finger at the politicians, claiming they had provided all the necessary information. Most Indian officials believe that in order to prevent another such occurrence, communication needs to be increased between the intelligence agencies, which would require structural reform.

Most recently, RAW has gained attention for providing the US with intelligence on Al-Qaeda and Taliban targets for the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. Maps and photographs of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with other evidence implicating Osama bin Laden in terrorist attacks, were given to US intelligence officials.

The objectives of RAW include:

To monitor the political and military developments in adjoining countries, which have direct bearing on India's national security and in the formulation of its foreign policy.

To seek the control and limitation of the supply of military hardware to Pakistan, mostly from European countries, the USA and China.

The chief of the RAW is designated Secretary (Research) in the Cabinet Secretariat, which is part of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Most of the position's occupants have been experts on either Pakistan or China. The head of the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), the external intelligence agency, enjoys greater autonomy of functioning than their counterparts in the UK and US and has the same privileged direct access to the Prime Minister as their UK counterparts. The control of the Cabinet Secretary over the RAW is limited to administrative and financial matters, with very little say in operational and policy matters.

They also have the benefit of training in either US or the UK, and more recently in Israel. The Secretary (R) reports on an administrative basis to the Cabinet Secretary, who reports to the Prime Minister (PM). However, on a daily basis the Secretary (R) reports to the National Security Advisor. Reporting to the Secretary (R) are: Two Special Secretaries and one Special Director of the ARC, the Aviation Research Centre; Four Additional Secretaries, responsible for different geographical regions; A large number (above 40) Joint Secretaries, who are the functional heads of various desks.

The structure of the RAW is a matter of speculation, but brief overviews of the same are present in the public domain. Attached to the HQ of RAW at Lodhi Road, New Delhi are different regional headquarters, which have direct links to overseas stations and are headed by a controlling officer who keeps records of different projects assigned to field officers who are posted abroad. Intelligence is usually collected from a variety of sources by field officers and deputy field officers; it is either pre-processed (vetted) by a senior field officer or by a desk officer. The desk officer then passes the information to the Joint Secretary and then on to the Additional Secretary and from there it is disseminated to the concerned end user. The Director RAW is a member of the JIC Steering Committee and is authorized to brief the Prime Minister should the need arise.

Some officers of the RAW are members of a specialized service, the Research and Analysis Service (RAS), but several officers also serve on deputation from other services. The RAW has sub-organizations like the Aviation Research Center (ARC), the Radio Research Center (RRC) or the Electronics and Technical Service (ETS), which have considerable capacity for technical intelligence gathering. Another important branch under the operational control of the RAW is the Directorate General of Security (DGS). This agency has oversight over organizations like the Special Frontier Force (SFF), the Special Services Bureau (SSB) etc... Liaison with the military is maintained through the Military Intelligence Advisory Group and the Military Advisor to the Director RAW.

Though the RAW is primarily intended for collecting intelligence beyond India's national borders, it has over time come to have a strong presence in all fields of intelligence gathering. The RAW was brought into internal security issues during the Sikkim situation, it played a role in the events of the emergency of 1977-79, it was asked to operate in Punjab to counter-balance the presence of the ISI (and so also in Kashmir), and the RAW has provided the security for the India's nuclear program. Right from its formation in 18 September, 1968, R N Kao, the founding father of RAW, picked up the best men from within government and from outside for RAW. A combination of military, academicians, bureaucrats and policemen was a fine start for RAW which modeled itself on the lines of CIA.

Intelligence Bureau (IB)

The Central Intelligence Bureau (IB) is reputed to be the oldest intelligence agency in the world. In the past it was tasked with all intelligence targeting but in recent times it has focused on internal security. The IB is officially under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), but in practice the Director IB (DIB) is a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and Steering Committee and has the authority to brief the Prime Minister should the need arise, but intelligence inputs (at least in theory) go through the regular channels in the MHA to the JIC.

The collection mechanisms of the IB vary depending on the region, but the IB operates both at the state level and the national level. The bulk of the intelligence collection is carried out by `Grade II' employees of the IB, i.e. in increasing order of seniority; the Security Assistants (Constable), the Junior Intelligence Officers (Head Constable), the Asst. (Central) Intelligence Officer (Sub-Inspector), Deputy Central Intelligence Officers (Inspector), and Joint Central Intelligence Officers (Superintendent of Police). The `Class I'(gazette) officers carry out coordination and higher-level management the IB. These officers are (again in increasing order of seniority) Asst. Director, the Deputy Director, Joint Director, Addl. Director, Special Director or Special Secretary and finally the Director IB. Grade II officers are in part direct recruitment and officer deputed from state police forces, but Class I officers are mostly deputed from state services.

At the state level all IB officers are part of the State Special Bureau report to a Central Intelligence Officer (the intelligence advisor to the Governor). The IB maintains a large number of field units and headquarters (which are under the control of Joint or Deputy Directors). It is through these offices and the intricate process of deputation that a very `organic' linkage between the state police agencies and the IB is maintained. In addition to these at the national level the IB has several units (in some cases Subsidiary Intelligence Bureaus) to keep track of issues like terrorism, counter-intelligence, VIP security and threat assessment, and sensitive areas (i.e. J&K, North East Region (NER) etc...).

Ministry of External Affairs

National Technical Facilities Organization

A highly specialised technical intelligence gathering agency, National Technical Facilities Organisation [NTFO], has been created by the government. While the agency would not affect the working of technical wings of various intelligence agencies, including those of armed forces, it will act as a super-feeder agency for providing technical intelligence to other agencies on internal and external security.

Defense Ministry

Joint Cipher Bureau


Air Force


Minister of State for Home Affairs

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India's premier investigating agency, responsible for a wide variety of criminal and national security matters. The was established on 01 April 1963, and evolved from the Special Police Establishment established in 1941. The Central Bureau of Investigation is controlled by the Department of Personnel of the Union Government headed by a Minister of State who reports to the Prime Minister, although it is administratively part of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs headed by a Cabinet Minister.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has been responsible for the inquiry into into the Bofors Case. Associates of the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi were linked to alleged pay-offs made in the mid-1980s by the Swedish arms form AB Bofors, with $40 million in kickbacks moved from Britain and Panama to secret Swiss banks. The $1,300 million arms purchase of 410 howitzer field guns involved in the sale were reported to be inferior to those offered by a French competitor.

In 1994 two scientists with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and two Indian businessmen were arrested for allegedly conspiring to sell space secrets to two Maldivian women, who were originally described by newspapers as agents of Pakistani intelligence, for money and sex. The CBI investigation did not reveal the existence of a spy ring, and by early 1995 it was clear that the case was more a product of inexperience and over exuberation on the part of the police and Intelligence Bureau.

Department of Internal Security

Ministry of Finance

Economic Intelligence Council

Department of Revenue

Indian security threat environment

The intelligence apparatus in India faces challenges on four main fronts (being the world largest democracy and that too in a region where there no other single stable democracy comes with a price):

1) There has been a sea change in the perception of what constitutes Indian "national space." The definition is much broader now and issues such as economics, media, and science that were for some time considered removed from the realm of intelligence targeting are now indivisible parts of it. At the very least concepts such as Economic-Warfare, Cyber-warfare, and Media-Offensive, etc... have served to increase intelligence targeting needs.

2) There is a change in the tenor of revisionist sentiment within the country. Revisionists today are able to use sophisticated resources to aggressively project their views. In some cases this leads to advanced forms of terrorism. It can also exacerbate the existing fissures and divisions in society i.e. caste, religion, ethnicity, and economic disparity. Intelligence agencies today are under a lot of pressure to predict and thus help contain revisionism.

3) The nature of organized crime has changed and its infiltration into society is growing. The merger of the local crime syndicates with narcotics distributors and arms smugglers has increased their destabilizing influence on society. This element often interacts with the elements mentioned in point 2, and produces extremely serious threats to national security. Intelligence targeting of these elusive and dangerous criminals is a difficult task especially as it involves crossing national borders.

4) Increased nuclear and missile technology proliferation to India's hostile neighbors has imposed more demanding requirements on all three aspects of intelligence targeting, i.e. collection, collation and dissemination. The need in this case to provide accurate and actionable intelligence assessments regarding these threats is paramount.

The [Kargil Review Committee] task force on Intelligence Apparatus raises such issues in the chapter titled `The role of intelligence in the changing security environment'. The changed environment clearly places great strain on the intelligence services, so severe are the demands that in the case of the Central Intelligence Bureau that the task force on Internal Security has gone so far as to recommend that the charter of the IB be re-written. It is also quite clear that an emphasis is needed on the use of technical means of handling intelligence and the task force on Intelligence Apparatus was asked to look into ways of merging TECHINT into the entire intelligence collection system.


  • China

  • Pakistan


  • Jammu and Kashmir

  • Sri Lanka / Tamil


  • Andhra Pradesh / Naxalite

  • Assam

  • Northeast / Nagaland

  • Punjab

For brief laws and regulation click on Laws and Regulations

FYI: There are many external links (text with blue color) in the post, please use them for more information and to check for terminologies.

Say Cheese!!!


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