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Facts about Indian Intelligence agencies

Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 02:23 PM
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Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) are two main vigilance and spy agencies of India, that prepare the country's security men, when they sense danger to the country in the form of conspiracies by enemies, anti-establishment forces, terrorists or riots. These two are the most respected and key organisations as far as defence of the country is concerned. Let us learn some facts about these most useful institutions.


IB is one of the longest existing spy agency, in the world. It was established by the British, on December 23rd, 1887. This institution was set up to know about the Russian movements in Afghanistan. The British took this decision, fearing Russian invasion of British India. IB alone took up the responsibility of intelligence activities, inside as well as outside the country, in the beginning. Later, it was divided in to IB, for vigilance and spy activities inside India, and RAW for those outside the country. In 1965, IB failed to detect Pakistan aggression. Hence, a separate unit, RAW was given the responsibility of vigilance outside the country.

representational imageIn 1947, Intelligence Bureau was reshaped as Central Intelligence Bureau (CIB). This works under Central Home Ministry. IB officials work under cover. Utmost secrecy is maintained in their activities. Even their family members are not aware of where they are or what they are doing. Assistant Central Intelligence officials work at the ground level. The post is, on par with that of police sub inspectors. They have an opportunity to grow up to the position of Superintendent in their careers. In the ordinary police forces, this is absent. Officials of Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS) are recruited for key posts in IB. An IPS official is the director of this agency.

IB agents can move around in the society like common people. They are experts in building contacts and gathering information. They keep a secret vigil. They track the movements of suspects. But they will not arrest them. But if they sense danger, they inform police and defence forces, much before an aggression or attack takes place.

A computer, telephone and printer are given to them specifically for their use. These agents move around, secretly, in the borders of the country, internally as well as in sensitive areas, and carry out their duties. They also take up VIP security tasks. They get one month's salary as bonus, every year.
There are several allegations since long, that the governments in power use IB services for their own benefit. There are occasions, where IB services were used for spying on Opposition parties and for success of their own parties in elections. Even late Indira Gandhi is said to have misused IB services.

Research and Analysis Wing
representational imageThis wing started functioning from September 21st, 1968. RAW is not accountable to Parliament, on any issue. No one has the right to seek information from RAW through Right To Information (RTI) Act. RAW will have to report to Prime Minister (PM) and Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). Earlier, officials from IB and Indian Police Services (IPS) were appointed. Now recruitments are being made directly, through normal procedures.

RAW officials are sent to various regions of the world, for training in self-defence tactics. Countries like America, UK and Israel too are in this list. The training for RAW recruits takes place over a long duration. Two kinds of training, Basic and Advanced, are given. Basic training is for 10 days. During this time, awareness is created about spying. Training is given in analysis of economy and commerce, space science, protecting information, fuel efficiency and awareness of rules. 

A foreign lanrepresentational imageguage is taught to them. They are also sent for case study of the intelligence works of other nations. After basic training, the agents are made to work at ground level. Training goes on for a year or two. They are trained to survive in extreme cold conditions or while on secret operations. How to function at night times, how to move stealthily, care that should be taken so as to avoid being caught by security forces of other nations, how to face inquiry if caught -- these and similar skills are taught. Once these agents become competent at the ground level, they are taken back to school and given finishing touches of training.

It is part of the duty of RAW officials to keep observing the changes in politics, army, economy and science, of countries that could pose a threat to India's security. They influence foreign governments. They work towards limiting aid to Pakistan, internationally. During Kargil war, RAW was able to hear the conversation between Pakistan Army Chief Parvez Musharaf and Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Mohammed Aziz. It is notable that Mohd. Aziz confirmed the infiltration at Kargil, in this conversation. RAW also played a key role in creation of Bangladesh and in the merging of Sikkim in to India, as a state.
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