The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India’s intelligence agency and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is the external intelligence agency. Read here to know more about the agencies.
The National Security of India is a topic of high importance- apart from the defense and paramilitary forces in India, various intelligence and investigation agencies too play their part in ensuring the security of the country.
Two of the important intelligence agencies are IB and RAW. While Intelligence Bureau (IB) is the internal intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is the external intelligence agency.
Intelligence Bureau (IB) – Internal Intelligence agency
Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India’s intelligence agency which gathers intelligence from within the country and also executes counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks.
It functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
It is headquartered in New Delhi.
The IB draws its employees from law enforcement agencies such as the Indian Police Service (IPS), the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), and the military.
The IB director is part of the Strategic Policy Group and the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) of the National Security Council, and reports directly to the Prime Minister.
History of IB
Intelligence Bureau was founded in 1887 as Central Special Branch by the British Indian government.
It is reputed to be the oldest such organization in the world.
In 1909, the Indian Political Intelligence Office was established in England in response to the development of Indian revolutionary activities.
By 1921, it came to be called Indian Political Intelligence (IPI) constituting a surveillance and monitoring agency.
- It was run jointly by the India Office and the Government of India and maintained close contact with Scotland Yard and MI5.
After Indian independence in 1947, IPI was renamed as the Intelligence Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Until 1968, it handled both domestic and foreign intelligence after which Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was formed specifically for foreign intelligence.
The establishment of RAW led to IB being primarily assigned the role of domestic intelligence and internal security.
Functions of IB
IB is used to garner intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks.
In addition to domestic intelligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly tasked with intelligence collection in border areas.
ll spheres of human activity within India and in the neighborhood are allocated to the charter of duties of the Intelligence Bureau.
Most of the activities of the IB are classified hence less information is available about its functioning and missions.
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) – External Intelligence agency
The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) is the foreign intelligence agency of India.
The agency’s primary function is gathering foreign intelligence, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, advising Indian policymakers, and advancing India’s foreign strategic interests.
It is headquartered in New Delhi.
The head of RAW is designated as the Secretary (Research) in the Cabinet Secretariat and is under the authority of the Prime Minister of India without parliamentary oversight.
On an administrative basis, the Director of RAW reports to the Cabinet Secretary, who reports to the Prime Minister.
History of RAW
Foreign intelligence was initially handled by the Intelligence Bureau (IB). But the intelligence failure in the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965, the need for a separate external intelligence agency was realized.
In 1968, India’s first foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing was established.
Other child agencies such as the Radio Research Center and the Electronics & Tech. Services were added to R&AW in the 1970s and 1990s.
In 1971, the Government set up the Aviation Research Centre (ARC). The ARC’s job was aerial reconnaissance. It replaced the Indian Air Force’s old reconnaissance aircraft.
In 2004 Government of India added yet another signal intelligence agency called the National Technical Facilities Organisation (NTFO), which was later renamed as National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).
Objectives of RAW
- Monitoring the political, military, economic, and scientific developments in countries that have a direct bearing on India’s national security and the formulation of its foreign policy.
- Molding international public opinion and influencing foreign governments.
- Covert Operations to safeguard India’s National interests.
- Anti-terror operations and neutralizing elements pose a threat to India.
- Monitors the political and military development in the neighboring countries, which have a direct bearing on India’s national security and in the genesis of its foreign policy.
Activities of RAW
RAW was instrumental during the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971 and was responsible for supplying information, providing training, and heavy ammunition to Mukti Bahini.
RAW has trained intelligence officers of many independent African countries. It has also assisted in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and Namibia.
RAW also provided intelligence for Operation Cactus for quelling the insurgency in the Maldives in 1988.