Intelligence agencies all over the world engage in reform and introspection usually after a setback or crisis. In India too reforms in intelligence agencies occurred primarily after the 1999 Kargil war. Further impetus also came from developments in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Reforms proposed by the Group of Ministers in 2001 resulted in the creation of the Defence Intelligence Agency and the National Technical Facilities Organisation, later called the National Technical Research Organisation. To deal with terrorism, it also recommended the creation of the Multi-Agency Centre, a clearing house. However bureaucratic resistance ensured that many of these recommendations were put on the back burner till the Mumbai attack of 2008.
Despite these changes however there are still many weaknesses in India’s intelligence agencies. Bureaucratic rivalries between different agencies have traditionally stifled reforms. In addition there is excessive secrecy that suits stakeholders and prevents a well-informed dialogue. In this seminar Dr. Manoj Joshi, who served on what is known as the Naresh Chandra Committee on Defence Reforms, will focus on the challenges that confront India’s intelligence services and what needs to be done to address them.
About the Speaker:
Manoj Joshi is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, looking after its National Security Initiative. He has been a journalist, commentator and columnist specialising on national and international politics. As a reporter, he has written extensively on internal security issues as well as relations with Pakistan, China and the United States. He was most recently a member of the Task Force on National Security chaired by Mr Naresh Chandra to propose reforms in the security apparatus of the country. He has been the political editor of The Times of India and has worked with other major newspaper groups in India. He has been a member of the National Security Council’s Advisory Board and is the author of two books on the Kashmir issue and several papers in professional journals. He has also been a participant in several track 1.5 and track 2 dialogues. He is a graduate of St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, and obtained his PhD from the School of International Studies (SIS), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He has been a Visiting Professor at the SIS, JNU, as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.
Organised by IDSS South Asia Programme and RSIS Events Unit.