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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Ghosts Who Walk

Long overdue, a taskforce report on how to reform our intel agencies

Ghosts Who Walk
AP
Ghosts Who Walk
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Spywork For Dummies

  • Lack of coordination: Turf battles have slowed down or completely blocked reform No financial accountability: Secret service funds steadily increasing, without unused funds being surrendered
  • Press reports as intelligence: Artfully cloaked news reports from international publications passed off as source reports
  • Poor recruitment policies: RAW suffers from the “tail-end syndrome” where UPSC bottom-rungers are offered jobs
  • Archaic training: The training curriculum in RAW remains archaic and too police-centric Drift in operational work: Breaches of national security due to poor analysis and inadequate follow-up action
  • Lack of cover: RAW operatives suffer from inadequate cover when posted abroad

***

Intelligence reforms in India have usually been an area that always sees a piecemeal approach, mostly crisis-driven and not based on a real assessment of need. Now, for the first time, a task force of the Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (idsa) has come up with a comprehensive set of recommendations by examining the processes that have plagued India’s intelligence community.

Making a strong pitch for greater accountability via a parliamentary oversight board, the task force has suggested the government also look at strengthening financial accountability as a measure to prepare Indian intelligence agencies for the challenges of the 21st century.

“About a year ago, vice-president Hamid Ansari pointed out that there is a need for statutory oversight of our intelligence agencies. That was the spark needed...for us at idsa,”...

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