<< Prominent organisations, Assocham and Aviotech, recently carried out a research to assess Indian homeland security potential. GeoIntelligence presents some facts from their book, ‘Homeland Security Assessment – India’ >>
Homeland security is a relatively new concept in India, although internal peace was always a matter of concern in the country. It is only in the recent past that it has come in the limelight more prominently after 9/11 attacks in the US and 26/11 Mumbai attacks. It is now one of the most aggressively pursued sectors of the country with both government and industry investing heavily to provide the best technology to our security agencies – be it police, paramilitary or army.
“India finds itself in a ring of fire.” This is how Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram had described India’s situation vis-a-vis its neighbours. Infiltration from both east and west borders, illegal immigration, militancy in Kashmir and North East, factional rise owing to caste/ class rivalries, Maoist insurgency throughout central India are major challenges confronting the country.
In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is tasked with major homeland security-related functions. There are a multitude of agencies working under MHA in this direction.
Demand in India
The HLS (Homeland security) market which currently stands at about USD 8 bn and is likely to reach USD 16 bn per year by 2018.
Major areas of demand
Fencing: India has a land border of 15,107 km (spread over 17 states) and a coastline border of 7,517km (spread over 13 states and 5 union territories). It has already begun fencing 4,300 km long border with Bangladesh of which 800 km is still left to be fenced.
Floodlighting: With the success of pilot project on 277 km of border, government has decided to undertake floodlighting on 2,840 km along Indo- Bangladesh border.
Roads: Construction of 27 roads (about 804 km) along India-China border is already underway. The government proposes construction of 1,271 km and 294 km of road along India-Nepal and India-Bhutan border respectively.
Integrate check posts (ICP): ICPs have been earmarked for 13 locations along the borders at an estimated cost of INR 635 cr (USD 13 bn approx).
Mission Mode Project: It is meant to modernise and upgrade immigration services in the country. Likely cost of project – INR 1,011 cr (about USD 20 bn).
Border outposts (BOPS): There is a proposal for construction of additional 509 BOPS (383 and 126 along India- Bangladesh and India- Pakistan border respectively), in addition to existing 1,411.
National maritime domain awareness grid: It is expected to link up all intelligence agencies, Indian navy units, coastal police, ports, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Agriculture and Departments of Customs and Revenue.
Identification of boats: Boats of over 20m length will be fitted/ provided with navigational and communication equipments (AIS type B transponders) to facilitate vessel identification. ID cards too will be issued to fishermen.
Intelligence cyber technology
The intelligence framework in India comprises Defence Intelligence Agency, Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau.
NATGRID (National Intelligence Grid):
Set up under MHA, it is responsible for linking all databases for generating actionable intellignec. It is able to get access to 21 categories of data sources like income tax, railway and air travel, immigration records, etc.
Corporate security and private security agencies
This is one of the largest employer industries in India. It provides employment to about 60 million men and women. The total number of security guards is expected to touch 9.5 m over the next 3 years.
Unique identification (UID) project is meant to provide identification for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services and monitoring of various programmes and schemes of the government.
Critical infrastructure protection
The security of vital installations is the responsibility of the concerned ministry/ department/ state government. However, MHA advises them, from time to time, on security requirements. The business opportunity in this sector is expected to be about USD 10 bn over the next 4-5 years.
City surveillance project
Almost all major cities in the country have started work on installing CCTV cameras at key places/ buildings to enable better monitoring of the place.
Modernisation of forces
MHA is actively supporting states to successfully implement schemes for Modernisation of Police Forces (MFP). Under it, the government plans to modernise forces in terms of mobility, weaponry, communication systems, buildings and training.
Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) aims to create a nationwide database of crime and criminals and their biometric profiles, thus facilitating collection, storage, retrieval, analysis, transfer and sharing of data and information between police stations at both state and national level.
Encouraging industry participation
Post 26/11 attacks, law enforcement and private security partnerships are viewed as critical in preventing terrorism and terror-related acts. However, the possibility of sale of weapons and other equipment to anti-establishment forces has prompted government to put in place strict licensing restrictions, thus limiting entry of private players.
The article is based on the research carried out by Assocham and Aviotech and presented in the form of booklet titled, ‘Homeland Security Assessment – India’