All That You Wanted To Know About Chief Of Defence Staff

Intelligence Reforms: What India Needs To Do

India’s decision to create the Chief of Defence Staff will go a long way towards improving military planning as well as a higher degree of jointness in military operations. But many Intelligence Reform in India are yet to be started. These are:

  • Creation of integrated theatre commands
  • The Ministry of Defence should have more people with domain expertise
  • Military reforms alone do not guarantee victory against terrorism. Army needs to be provided with high quality intelligence.
  • Military operations and intelligence go hand in hand
  • Without taking concrete steps towards intelligence reforms, structure of national security will not be strengthened.

IDSA Report on Intelligence Reforms in India

In June 2012, IDSA released a report on intelligence Reforms in India. The report, titled ‘A Case for Intelligence Reforms in India’, made several key recommendations towards strengthening the Indian Intelligence System, enabling it to meet the myriad challenges the country faces in the new millennium.

The key recommendations made in the report are:

  • The intelligence agencies in India must be provided a legal-framework for their existence and functioning
  • Their functioning must be under Parliamentary oversight and scrutiny
  • Extensive reforms must be carried out in the recruitment and training processes of their personnel, their pay structures and career progression to attract the best talent available in the country.
  • Recruitment to these agencies should be broad-based so as experts from myriad fields, such as Science and Technology, IT, Communications etc could be brought, in rather than reserving these agencies exclusively for the Police Sector.
  • The vexed issue of the relationship between the civilian intelligence agencies and the Armed Forces should be put on an even keel so that there is greater interaction between the two segments of Government apparatus.
  • There should be a single authority exercising supervisory and other control over the intelligence agencies. He could be the National Security Advisor (NSA) in a modified role, Director of National Intelligence or even a minister for national Intelligence, answerable to the Parliament.

What Needs to be Done

  • Military reforms give more importance to structural changes. The creation of the CDS is a case in point.
  • Intelligence reforms, on the other hand, will focus on both structural changes and processes involved with them.
  • Although, police reforms should not be neglected, but heavy intelligence duty should never e entrusted with police officers. Global examples suggest against that nowhere in the world police officers oversee top intelligence apparatus.
  • In India, intelligence is police driven, while in our neighboring countries such as Pakistan or Myanmar, military is entrusted with task of gathering intelligence inputs. Hover, both cases are bad for creating an effective intelligence mechanism.
  • Intelligence structure needs to gather information from many fields. Neither police, nor military is effective to gather information from myriad fields.
  • The government should create a separate cadre like the Indian Secret Service.