Friday 24 June 2011

National Security Task Force Of India

National security issues are too important to be ignored. Indian government has also realised this truth and is planning to work properly in this regard. Till now we have no national security policy in India, cyber security policy in India, etc.

We need to formulate Indian national security policy that must cover crucial issues like cyber security, cyber forensics, critical infrastructure protection, etc. Further, reconciliation of the fundamental rights of India citizens and national security requirements of India is also missing.

The government has taken a step in these directions and it has constituted a task force to carry out a holistic review of national security and the country's preparedness to face the myriad challenges. The task force headed by former cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra comes a decade after the Kargil Review Committee carried out a similar assessment in the wake of the Indo-Pak conflict of 1999.

"The security challenges have changed. India has moved on, our security challenges have evolved. It is time to look at the national security situation in the light of challenges ranging from cyber security to energy security," official sources explained.

The task force headed by Chandra, who had been the Indian ambassador to the US and defence secretary, has several experts from various fields including the military, intelligence, nuclear and media. According to officials, the task force has been given six months to submit it report.

The task force comes almost a decade after Atal Behari Vajpayee government appointed the Kargil Review Committee headed by strategic affairs analyst, the late K Subrahmanyam. It recommended sweeping changes in several areas of security, from military to intelligence, border management to defence budgeting. Many of its recommendations were implemented, but some were left out. Some others were not implemented properly, such as the modernisation of infantry, border management etc. The government's decision to appoint a new task force comes at a time when there are widespread concerns about failures in defence integration, lack of a cohesive response to the rise of China, emergence of cyber threats, and the widening realities of India's national security. There are also concerns about protecting energy sources. The country's economic growth would significantly depend on protecting the cyber assets as much as the physical border.

Members of the task force include former Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash, former Air chief Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy, former chief of the Department of Atomic Energy Anil Kakodkar, former chief of RAW KC Verma, former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy and former home secretary VK Duggal. Sources said the task force would start work after Chandra, who is presently out of India, returns.

Of late, India is ignoring the human rights of Indian citizens in cyberspace. Many e-surveillance oriented projects have been launched by Indian government without any procedural safeguards and legal frameworks. The task force must also human rights protection in Indian cyberspace.