Intelligence agencies of any country are considered as the backbone of the defense system. Although the war is always fought on the plains, there are different intelligence agencies who gather the required information for the soldiers. That’s why the intelligence agencies are regarded as backbone of defense system. Through this article, you will know about the top ten intelligence agencies in India. You will also read about their selection process, training and the major operations carried out by our intelligence agencies.
If I talk about the intelligence system then it is basically divided into two categories foreign intelligence and internal intelligence. Since we got independence, the intelligence agencies have been participated in different operations and made the operations successful. Its major contribution was during the formation of Bangladesh. You will be surprised to know that our intelligence agency comes under top 5 in the list of top intelligence agencies of the world.
List of top 10 Intelligence agencies of India
1. Research and analysis Wing(R&AW)
Research and analysis wing (R&AW) is the most popular intelligence agency of India. It is a foreign intelligence agency in our country. It was established in 1968. The main motto of this agency is to collect foreign intelligence, find out the information about the terrorist activities and give contribution and suggestions to the Indian policymakers.
R&AW is among the list of top intelligence agencies of the world. It’s headquarter is situated in New Delhi. The first person who served as R&AW chief was Rameshwar Nath Rao. AT present Mr. Anil Dhasmana is the chief of R&AW. The chief of the R&AW is designated as a secretary in the Indian secretariat.
Now need to know about the organizational structure of R&AW. Basically, it’s structure is based on the Central Intelligence agency (CIA) Of the United States. The head of R&AW is designated as cabinet secretary. The R&AW has trained under the guidance of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel intelligence agencies. The R&AW chief has to report to the cabinet secretary and the and National Security advisor.
In R&AW there is a post of an additional secretary whose work is to collect the intelligence from the different joint secretaries. Joint secretaries are the regional heads of any region or any country like Pakistan and China. After collecting the intelligence from the joint secretary, The additional secretary reports to the R&AW chief.
Mostly all the R&AW chief belong to Indian police service. All the R&AW chief are expertise in the intelligence of Pakistan and China.
Now come to the recruitment process of R&AW officers
In the earlier days, R&AW officers are recruited from the Group A civil services like Indian police service(IPS) and Indian revenue services(IRS). Later on, R&AW started picking the officers from universities. But after the allegation of nepotism in the recruitment process, R&AW started its own service cadre which is known as Research and analysis service(RAS)
Training of Raw officers
The training has been divided into two categories- 1. Basic training and 2. Advanced training
• Basic training
Under this training, they are taught the basic tactics of espionage and spying. They are also taught foreign languages. They are taught space technology, information security, energy security, and scientific knowledge. They are also taught the case studies of other famous agencies like CIA, MOSSAD, KGB, and ISI.
• Advanced Training
After completion of basic training, R&AW undergoes an advanced training. It can take 1 to 2 years. They are trained on how to avoid catching If they caught in that condition how to face interrogation and how to make new contacts, who should you believe or who should not.
Some of the major operations carried out by R&AW are-
• The major contribution of R&AW was seen at the time of the creation of Independent Bangladesh. R&AW collected different classified operations which was very much beneficial for the special frontier force in the war.
• It successfully participated in the ‘Operation smiling Buddha’. Operation Smiling Buddha was related to India’s nuclear program. On 18 May 1974, India became a member of the nuclear club.
• Capturing of Sikkim as 22nd Indian state is also in the list of major operations contributed by R&AW. Since 1947 India has only the control of external affairs matters, communication, and defense of Sikkim. But in 1975 a voting was held in that 97.5% of the voters cast their vote in support of India and eventually Sikkim became the 22nd state of India.
• Apart from these operations, there is a long list of operations carried out by R&AW like operation Meghadoot, Sri Lanka issue, Kargil war, Mumbai terror attack, etc.
2. Intelligence Bureau(IB)
Intelligence Bureau is the oldest Intelligence agency of India. Its area of work is to deal with the internal intelligence of our country. Initially, it was formed in 1887 and recast as Central Intelligence Bureau in 1947. Currently, Rajiv Jain is the director of the Intelligence Bureau. The employees of Intelligence Bureau are taken from Indian police service(IPS), Indian Revenue Service(IRS) and military services.
Until the Soviet Union collapsed, the officers of IB were trained by the Soviet KGB. Initially, it holds the responsibility of both internal and external intelligence. But due to the intelligence failure in 1962(Sino-Indian war) and 1965 war against Pakistan it was only given the responsibility of the Internal intelligence.
However, if we talk about its recent activities it warned our Police service prior to the Hyderabad blast and also the Mumbai attacks 2008. Recently it is seen that this organization is facing a problem of shortage of field agents. The Intelligence Bureau has been depicted in several films like Mukhbiir, Kahaani, etc.
3. National Technical Research Organization(NTRO)
NTRO was established in 2004. It is a technical intelligence agency. Its work is to provide required technical information to the other intelligence agencies. The technical information could be either about Internal Intelligence or External Intelligence. Recently after the air strike in the Balakot of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK) it is claimed by the NTRO that there was approx 300 active mobile phones at the time of the assassination.
NTRO deals with hi-tech Surveillance by the help of Satellite monitoring, terrestrial monitoring, and internet monitoring. According to the sources, it is said that the structure of this organization was designed by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam in October 2001 when he was the principal scientific adviser. NTRO has developed its technical capability in Cybersecurity, aviation, and remote sensing, data gathering, and processing and hardware & Software development. In upcoming days NTRO will deploy a Spy ship after the completion of sea trials in Vishakhapatnam.
4. Defense Intelligence Agency(DIY)
Defence Intelligence Agency was established in 2002 and it comes under the Ministry of Defence. Its prime duty is to provide and coordinate military intelligence. Its operations are highly classified and it has successfully completed the different mission but they never reveal. At the time of its creation, the United States Military also provided guidance to the Indian officers.
5. Narcotics Control Bureau(NCB)
Narcotics Control Bureau was formed on 17 March 1986. Its prime duty is to look out the drug activities and drug trafficking. The Director General of the NCB is selected from the Indian Police Services(IPS) and Indian Revenue Services(IRS). NCB headquarter is situated in Delhi. Its field unit has been divided into several zones. These Zones are located in Mumbai, Indore, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, Jodhpur, Chandigarh, Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Patna. Officers are picked from the Indian police service(IPS), Indian Revenue Service(IRS) and other Paramilitary services.
6. Joint Cipher Bureau
Joint Cipher Bureau was established in 2002. Its prime duty is to look after the signal intelligence and Cryptanalysis. Its duty is to maintain the encryption of sensitive data. It comes under the Indian Armed Forces. They work closely with the R&AW and IB.
7. Directorate Of Air Intelligence
The Directorate of Air Intelligence is a wing of Indian Air Force. They gather the information related to the air space of India that could be either the internal or external extent. Its successful contribution was during the India and Pakistan war 1965 and 1971.
8. Directorate Of Military Intelligence
The Directorate of Military Intelligence is the military intelligence wing of Indian Armed Forces. This is of the oldest agency of India. Initially, it was established by the British in 1941. During the Kargil war, this agency gathered different classified information which was very much helpful for the platoon.
9. Directorate Of Naval Intelligence
The Directorate of Naval Intelligence is the intelligence wing of the Indian Navy. They gather the information related to sea space of internal and external extent. Recently they changed the conventional method of patrolling and they are using the Radars and Drones for gathering information.
10. National Intelligence agency(NIA)
National Intelligence agency was established in 2009 to combat terror activities in India. The conviction rate of this agency is 95% which is a remarkable thing. The Agency has given the power to conduct investigation and prosecution of offenses. Officers of the NIA are picked from Indian police service(IPS), Indian Revenue Service(IRS), state police, Income Tax Department and central armed Police force.
The biggest achievement of NIA was the arrest of Yaseen Bhatkal who belongs to Indian Mujahideen. He was arrested at the Indo-Nepal Border in the state of Bihar on 29 August 2013.NIA has also been active in the Jammu and Kashmir to combat terrorist activities.