Caste System

Caste System

This article deals with Caste System’ . This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here.

What is Caste System ?

Caste is system of social stratification which trace it’s origin from Varna system . In this, persons special privileges and ineligibilities  are decided by birth and  can’t be transformed in persons lifetime.

Caste System

Origin of Caste System

The meaning of word VARNA means colour. There are difference among social thinkers about the origin of castes, though three theories about castes origins are quite famous.

  1. Racial theory
  2. Occupational theory of caste system
  3. Political theory of caste system

1 . Racial theory 

  • It is supported by Herbert Risley and G.S.Ghurye.
  • Risley in his book, The Peoples of India, stated that origin of castes is linked to Racialism. According to him,
    • Aryans came from Middle Asia & were divided into 3 Varnas (Brahman, kshatriya and Vaishya) .
    • They defeated natives with their better warfare capabilities and merged them in Varna system giving them Shudra status . The new system was called chaturvarna .
    • Additionally they invented endogamy rules to maintain their racial purity 
  • Ghurye also supported Risley and accepted that caste system in India is product of Aryans that originated in Ganga Yamuna Doab and then spread to other parts .

2 . Occupational theory 

  • Nesfield is the proponent of this theory .
  • He believed that occupation is the basis of origin of caste.
  • According to him, occupation and only occupation is the basis of origin of caste system. All castes are products of division of labour which by time became hereditary . Additionally, to support vocational efficiency they started to marry within the occupational group which consolidated caste system.
  • Critics of this theory believe that occupational groups are present in various societies then why caste system didn’t originate there.

3 . Political theory

  • Abbé Dubois is the supporter of this theory.
  • He believed that caste system is the product of Brahmanical mind . According to him , to maintain their supremacy for long period they invented caste system .
  • But critics don’t support this theory. According to critics Brahmans were neither the leader of army nor the class which deals in wealth so how did they established this system.

The most accepted theory for caste system is MULTIFACTORIAL THEORY which believes that origin of caste system is due to many factors.

Salient features of Caste System

The caste system in India is mainly associated with Hinduism and has governed the Hindu society for thousands of years.  Salient features of caste system includes

  1. Ascribed status
  2. Endogamy
  3. Heredity of occupations
  4. Commensal restrictions
  5. Jati panchayat
  6. Jajmani system
Ascribed status  In caste system, person’s status is decided on his birth only  which he can’t change in his life time.  
Endogamy Caste is endogamous group where each  member of caste is expected to marry within his or her own caste group.  
Heredity of occupation Member of particular caste can adopt the occupation associated with that caste.
Purity Pollution basis Hierarchy of caste is decided according to the degree of purity and pollution.  Pure caste is ranked at the top and impure is ranked at the bottom.  
Commensal restrictions Person belonging to lower caste are not allowed to dine with people belonging to higher castes .  
Jati panchayat Every caste has its own Jati panchayat which enforces marriage, occupational and dietary rules via provisions like social boycott.  
Jajmani system – Economic aspect of caste system is called Jajmani  System. 
Jajmani  system  denotes the exchange of  services and objects among different caste groups.
Those castes which take services from other castes are called JAJMANS and those which give services are called Praja or Kamin.  

Western thinker William Wisser studied  caste system with functional perspective and believed that Jajmani system ensures egalitarianism by way of  dependence of different caste on each other.

However, French thinker Louis Dumont believed it to be oppressive system. According to him,
Many castes take services only but not give services .
Many castes give services only but not take services .
Many a times the value of  exchanged services or objects are not equivalent.  

Above mentioned caste system remained in force till British arrival. With and after British arrival many changes were seen in Caste system due to following reasons :-

  1. Advent of Industrialisation .
  2. Urbanisation : With increasing migration, city life is becoming anonymous where caste identities of co-habitants is seldom known.
  3. Rise of new occupations
  4. Exoteric Education System .
  5. Impact of rule of law and constitution
  6. Dalit consciousness due to efforts of stalwarts like BR Ambedkar.
  7. Herbert Risley’s attempt to assign  rank in social hierarchy to castes : The colonialists conducted methodical and, intensive surveys and reports on the ‘customs and manners’ of various tribes and castes all over the country so as to govern them effectively.  The 1901 Census sought to collect information on the social hierarchy of caste . This kind of direct attempt to count caste and to officially record caste status changed the institution itself. Before this, caste identities had been much more fluid and less rigid.
  8. British Administration took keen interest for welfare of downtrodden like Government of India Act of 1935 which gave legal recognition to Scheduled Castes marked out for special treatment.
  9. Breakdown of Jajmani system: Jajmani system involved exchange of goods and services, with each jati contributing its share based on occupational specialty. However, it is dissipating due to traditional breakdown of occupation and industrialization. 

Where as above mentioned causes weakened the caste system, on the other hand there are 3 main reasons which provided lifeline to caste system

  1. Democracy
  2. Caste based reservation
  3. Caste organisations

There is saying that after independence , though caste is diminishing but Casteism is increasing. Andre Beitelle has said that democracy and reservation will provide lifeline to caste system for next 100 years. Recent times show a paradoxical situation – as on the one hand, caste system has weakened, on the other, caste-based identities have strengthened due to political mobilization.

Ill effects  of Caste System on Indian Society

  • Hindered national unity by dividing people on the basis of caste.
  • Resulted in the creation of a class of idlers .
  • Stood against democracy as democracy works in equality. 
  • It has led to lower status of women in the society .
  • Resulted in religious conversion: Shudras converted to Islam and Christianity to get out of exploitative system .
  • It led to introduction  of Untouchability .
  • Caste System acts against Meritocracy .

Some Benefits

  • Caste system started as natural division of labour and was useful in its original form.
  • It helped in accommodating multiple communities including invading tribes in the Indian society.
  • It has helped in passing knowledge and skills from one generation to the next   .
  • Through subsystems like Jajmani system, caste system kept our villages self-sufficient and made village community in the words of Charles Metcalfe to be ‘Little Republics‘ .

Ways to eradicate Caste

  • Improve Education  and ensure good quality education to all.
  • Promote Inter-caste Marriage  .
  • Economic Stability and Job producing economy  .
  • Eradicate Timeless Reservation: According to sociologists like Andre Beittle , Reservation has provided 100 years lease period to Caste System .
  • Strengthen Section 123 of RoPA , 1951: To prevent parties from invoking votes solely on caste grounds.

India has been a signatory to Convention for  Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1969)   which places  country  in “anti-racism” camp .


  • M.N.Srinivas gave the concept  of Sanskritization  after studying village Rampura (Mysore)  in his book Caste and Religion among the Coorgs of South India .
  • It denotes the process by which caste or tribes placed lower in the caste hierarchy seek upward mobility by emulating the rituals and practices of the upper or dominant castes.
  • The lower castes tend to do following things to get upward mobility and social prestige
    • Renunciation of polluted vocations.
    • Renunciation of non vegetarianism and acceptance of vegetarianism .
    • Renunciation of alcoholism .
  • According to Srinivas , following Sanskritization there is not any structural change in caste hierarchy but only positional change.

Issues with Sanskritization

  • It doesn’t lead to structural change but only positional change of some individuals.
  • It exaggerates the scope of ‘lower castes’ to move up the social ladder.  In a highly unequal society such as India there were and still are obstacles to  taking over of the customs of the higher castes by the lower.  
  • It leads to practices of secluding girls and women, adopting dowry practices  


  • Due to the policy of positive discrimination (reservation in jobs and admission) adopted by the Indian government, now an increasing number of groups lay claim to backward status in state matters and a forward status in society. This trend is exactly opposite to Sanskritization , thus termed as De-Sanskritization.
  • The agitation of Gujjars in Rajasthan to claim the status of Scheduled Tribe and by Jats in north-western India to include them in backward caste list exemplifies this trend.

Side Topic : Dominant Castes

  • Concept given by M.N Srinivas holds that a caste is dominant when it is numerically higher than the other castes.
  • This can be seen as anomaly to Caste System .
  • Dominant caste may not be ritually highest but enjoy high status because of wealth, political power and numerical strength.
  • Examples include Jats in Haryana, Sikh Jatts in Punjab, Yadavs in UP & Bihar, Reddys in AP & Telangana etc . (mainly  agrarian communities) .
  • The power of the dominant caste is supported by a norm discouraging village from seeking justice from  court or police 
  • After Mandalisation of Politics, power of Dominant caste has increased very much.

Modern avatar of Caste

  • After Mandalization of politics , according to M.N. Srinivas  vertical hierarchical nature of caste has been replaced by horizontal arrangement of competing caste groups free from any stigma of purity & pollution  & this has been termed as the modern avatar of caste.
  • Elite substratum : Within backward caste , a class has been created which has taken the advantage of affirmative action and is now monopolising all new opportunities .
  • Caste system has become ‘invisible’ for the upper caste, urban middle and upper classes.  For the so called scheduled castes and tribes and the backward castes – the opposite has happened.  For them, caste has become all too visible, indeed their caste has tended to eclipse the other dimensions of their identities.  
  • Secular pattern of living has been emerging because of urbanisation  .
  • Trends for intercaste marriage: Due to economic and social necessities, inter-caste marriages on western lines are being performed at increased frequency .
  • New food habits: Due to frequent mixing of the people at meetings, conferences, seminars etc . , food habits have changed. People have started to eat at the same table, accept food prepared by low caste people etc.

Role of Caste in Politics (based on Rajni Kothari’s study)

Various phases in Dalit Movement in India are as follows :-

1 . Pre-Independence

  • These can be divided into two parts
    • Reformative : They never questioned the Caste System. All they wanted was  , discriminatory aspects of Caste System should be reformed . Eg : Harijan Movement of Gandhi .
    • Alternative : Create alternative socio-cultural system where there is no place for caste system . Eg : Religious Conversions etc.

2. Post Independence

2.1. 1950-60s

  • Congress was manipulating Dalits as vote bank but they were not given any leadership role. To challenge it ,
    • Republican party of India formed .
    • There was mass conversion of Dalits to Buddhism .
  • But Republican Party wasn’t able to sustain itself due to Marxist vs. Ambedkarite ideology . Ambedkarites were  in favour of gaining political power and use it for social upliftment of their community. But Marxist wanted to annihilate socio-political structure and create completely classless society.

2.2. 1970s

  • Dalit Panther Movement
    • It was inspired by ‘Black Panthers Movement of USA’ . 
    • It was aimed at generating awareness among people regarding the plight of the Dalits .
    • It was carried out by educated students and methodology included public debates, pamphlets , plays etc . Students of other sections of society apart from Dalits also participated in this.
    • They defined Dalits in holistic way consisting of  “all those who are exploited politically, economically and in the name of religion.”

2.3. 1980s

  • Rise of Bahujan Samaj Party
    • They were of the ideology that, ‘In democracy , majority should rule’ .
    • They wanted to take power out of the hands of elites especially Brahmins , Rajputs and Baniyas .

Salient features of Indian Society

Salient features of Indian Society

This article deals with Salient features of Indian Society’ . This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here.

What is Society ?

  • Society can be defined as network of social relationships due to interaction between it’s members .
  • There are 4 attributes of any society
    • Definite territory : there should be definite geographical territory .
    • Progeny : Source of membership through reproduction .
    • Composite Culture .
    • Independence : It can’t be sub entity of larger entity .
  • India is state with multiple societies / nations in it . Indian society is amalgamation of many societies
    • India is one state but multiple nations .
    • Sri Lanka is one state with two nations .
    • Japan is single state with single nation .
    • Korea is two states with one nation .
  • Change in society can be studied wrt following
    • Endogenous Changes : From within the system  like Buddhism, Jainism, Bhakti etc.
    • Exogenous Changes : From outside the system like  Islam, Christianity, British Rule , Globalisation etc .

Characteristics of Indian Society

  1. Multiethnic society : Indian society is multiethnic in nature due to co-existence of wide variety of racial groups.
  2. Multilingual society : Across the country, more than 1600 languages are spoken.
  3. Multi-class society : Indian society  is segmented into multiple classes. This division can be on the basis of birth as well as financial and social achievements .
  4. Patriarchal society : Indian society is largely a patriarchal society where men tend to enjoy greater status than women . However, some tribal societies are matriarchal as well.
  5. Unity in diversity : Various diversities exist in India . But beneath this diversity, there is fundamental unity  .
  6. Co-existence of traditionalism and modernity : Traditionalism is upholding  of core values. Whereas modernity refers to questioning the tradition and moving towards rational thinking, social and technological progress. Due to the spread of education, modern thinking among Indians has increased. However, the family life is still bound by traditional value and belief systems.
  7. Balance between Individualism and collectivism :  Individualism is an outlook that stresses human independence, self-reliance and liberty. Whereas collectivism is the practice of giving a group priority over each individual in it. 
  8. Blood and kinship ties : Blood relations and kinship ties enjoy a stronghold over other social relationships. 
  9. Caste System  is intrinsic part of Indian society.
  10. Joint Family : Since time immemorial, Indians prefer to live in Joint families.
  11. Marriage : Mostly monogamy is practiced , but at some places polygamy is also practiced .

Salient Features of Indian Society

Salient features of Indian Society

1 . Caste System

Refer separate Chapter – CLICK HERE.

2. Joint Family

  • A family in which
    • People live together with all family members up to 2nd generation,
    • Members  have no individual identity,
    • Decision making power lie exclusively with the eldest male member of the family .

is called a joint family.

  • Importance of Joint family is understood by the Indians since time immemorial.
  • What constitutes jointness in the family ?
    • Common residence
    • Commensality (inter dining)
    • Common ownership of property
    • Rights and obligations
    • Ritual bonds  : Periodic Propitiation of dead ancestors
    • Blood relations (filial (father-son) and fraternal (between siblings)) are more important than marriage (conjugal) relations .

Advantage of Joint Families

  • Provides Social insurance to the members .
  • Division of work: Workload either domestic or business is divided between the members.
  • Sharing resources with the cousins and sisters  minimize the expenses on children.
  • Development of feeling of camaraderie between cousins.
  • Social Security: weaker members of the family – such as the elders or children – are taken care off by  other members.
  • Joint Families are more disciplined because head of the big family becomes virtually its patriarch .
  • Women members can work too as grandparents and other members are there to look after children.
  • Agency of social control => members don’t indulge in antisocial activities .

Disadvantages of Joint Family

  • Creates parasites who love to feed on other’s income.
  • Low status of woman as blood relations are more important than conjugal relations .
  • Prostitution of personality : Children are forced not to show their real personality but behave according to expectations of others .
  • Joint families are ‘arena of contradiction and conflict.’
  • Agent of cultural reproduction : in Joint families, obsolete  values like patriarchy don’t change .
  • Joint families have high fertility rate as an extra child doesn’t become a financial liability .
  • It leads to encroachment on privacy as there is no privacy in Joint Family.

From Joint Families to Nuclear Families

But despite its many advantages , silent changes have been taking place => old joint family system have been disintegrating and  nuclear families are coming up .


  • Migration : Post LPG Reforms, people are migrating towards cosmopolitans for jobs  .
  • Spread of female education : educated girl cant reconcile with husband’s mother &  force to set up independent establishment.
  • Disparity in the income of brothers – brother with decent income usually separates .
  • Influence of urbanization  : Various sociologists have revealed that the city life is more favourable to small nuclear families than to big joint families
  • Western value system : Individualistic values have been inculcated .

We are moving towards Functional Joint Family

  • Many Sociologists are of the view that we are not moving towards nuclear family but  Functional Joint Family .
  • According to sociologist IP Desai , Functional Joint family is  family where although the members of family are living separately,  individual gives importance to fulfilment of obligation towards kin especially parents.   
  • Although person lives in city but he keeps on sending money to parents .

3. Marriage Systems

Marriage is a relationship, which is socially approved and sanctioned by custom and law. It is also a set of cultural mechanisms which ensure the continuation of the family.

Marriage has a large variety of forms

1 . Polygamy vs Monogamy

Monogamy Monogamy restricts the individual to one spouse at a time. Man can have only one wife .
Woman can have only one husband.  
Polygamy Polygamy denotes marriage to more than one mate at one time .
It takes various forms
1. Polygyny : One husband with two or more wives .
2. Polyandry : One wife with two or more husbands . Usually where economic conditions are harsh, polyandry may be one response of society, as single male cannot support a wife and children.
Even where polygamy is permitted, in actual practice, monogamy is more widely prevalent.

2 . Patrilocal vs Matrilocal vs Neolocal

Patrilocal The family in which after marriage wife comes to reside in the family of her husband is known as patrilocal family.
Matrilocal The family in which after marriage husband comes to reside in the family of her wife is known as matrilocal family
Neolocal After marriage newly married couple establish a new family independent of their parents and settled at a new place.

3 . Endogamy vs Exogamy

Endogamy Endogamy requires an individual to marry within a culturally defined group . Eg: caste, religion etc.
Exogamy Exogamy requires the individual to marry outside of his/her own group.

In India, village exogamy is practiced in certain parts of north India. Village exogamy ensured that daughters were married into families from villages far away from home. This arrangement ensured smooth transition and adjustment of the bride into the affinal home without interference of her kinsmen. The geographical distance plus the unequal relationship in the patrilineal system ensured that married daughters did not get to see their parents too often.

4. Patriarchy

  • Patriarchy is social system in which woman is suppressed .
  • It is not a constant concept since the nature of subjugation of woman varies  .  Brahmanical Patriarchy, Tribal Patriarchy and Dalit Patriarchy  are different from each other.

Structures of Patriarchy

  • Family : first lessons of Patriarchy are learned in a family  .
  • Patriarchal construction of the Knowledge System ( media , education institution etc. .)
  • Symbolism
  • Religion : Patriarchy is legitimized by religion . Eg : Manu Smriti .
  • Caste System : Caste purity needs controlling the sexuality of woman  .

Question UPSC : How is patriarchy impacting the position of middle class working woman ?

  • Dual Burden /Second Shift : Due to patriarchy, working women are facing double exploitation because they are forced to do the household work even after job.
  • Glass Ceiling Effect : Not promoted to higher positions .
  • Workplace Violence including sexual violence .
  • Wage Gap : Women including paid lesser for same work .

5. Cultural Lag

  • Term Cultural Lag was coined  by famous sociologist W.F. Ogburn .
  • Every group has two type of values
    • Core Value
    • Peripheral Values
  • According to the concept of Cultural Lag
    • Whenever change comes at peripheral values, it is accepted by the group.
    • But when change comes at Core Values, it is not easily accepted .
    • This phenomenon will create  anxiety because in such a situation group is neither traditional nor fully modern .
    • Eg : People have accepted educating the girl child but they have not given up Patriarchal Mindset  .

Changes in Indian Society

  • From Joint family to Nuclear and Functional Joint families : Already discussed above.
  • Change in marriage system
    1. Legislative measures like child marriage Restraint Act, 1929, and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 have increased the minimum age of marriage.
    2. Freedom in mate selection which was earlier selected by the family.
    3. To fulfil career and individual  ambitions , distance marriages” “delayed marriages” and  “long have become  a common feature.
    4. Cases of divorce and desertion have also increased.
  • Status of women in the family  has improved  as they have become more educated and started working, thus along with other male members in the family ,they also now have a say in family issues.
  • Women are given  right  in the  ancestral property and a legal right to share property along with male members,  after the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was amended in 2005 .

NCERT : Impact of colonisation  on Indian Society

History is full of examples of annexation . But, there is  difference between empires of pre-capitalist and  capitalist times.

  • Change in land ownership – Impacted the old agrarian ties . Eg : In Permanent Settlement , Zamindars were made sole proprietors with no rights even to Khudkashts .
  • Forest Laws & Tribals : Tribals were exploited and their rights on minor produce taken away
  • Criminalisation of Tribes via Criminal Tribes Act .
  • Policy of Divide and Rule : Colonialists divided  Indian society based on Religion. 
  • Forced Movement of Population on large scale : Eg :
    • Workers from Bihar & Jharkhand moved to Assam to work on  tea plantations.
    • Indentured labourers send to   Africa and Americas  .
  • Deindustrialisation & Ruralisation led to movement of artisans to agriculture .
  • Exoteric Secular knowledge : Brahmin monopoly over education ended + Dalits also got access to knowledge
  • English replaced Persian as official language : Muslims suffered and Hindus who adapted to change rapidly increased their share in government jobs. 

Previous Year UPSC GS Mains Questions

  1. The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss.
  2. Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity.
  3. In the context of the diversity of India, can it be said that the regions form cultural units rather than the States? Give reasons with examples for your view point. 
  4. The spirit of tolerance and love is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Elaborate.

Security challenges and their management in border areas

In this article , we will deal with topic titled ‘Security challenges and their management in border areas.’


Note : This article is part of our series on Internal Security. You can check other articles on following links

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
  • Basics of cyber security
  • Money-laundering and its prevention
  • Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • Various Security Forces and Agencies and their mandate






  • Borders are the visible symbols of a country’s sovereignty, unity and integrity .
  • There are three distinct sets of borders at the international level
        • Land borders
        • Maritime boundaries
        • Airspace
  • Border management in the present world order is a complex proposition . The transgressor is always on the lookout for soft gaps on land, along the coast and if need be, from the air. It is therefore necessary to adopt a holistic approach to border management .
  • Indian Border
        • Land border = 15,000 km
        • Coastline = 7,500 km



Borders and issues

1. Bangladesh

States West Bengal, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram
Guarding force BSF
  • Illegal migration
  • Inadequate border fencing due to issues such as riverine areas . High degree of porosity
  • Trafficking of goods like jamdani sarees, rice salt etc. as well as Cattle smuggling.
  • North East Insurgents taking refuge in Bangladesh due to porous border
  • Water disputes such as sharing of Teesta river, construction of Dam by India on Barak river.


Recent Initiatives
  • Government has announced the establishment of Border Protection Grid (BPG) with BSF, State Police, Army etc
  • Installation of Border surveillance devices such as closed-circuit cameras, search-lights, thermal imaging devices and drones to keep a tight vigil.
  • 100th Constitutional Amendment to solve the issue to Adverse Possessions and Boundary Issue .





2. China

Guarding Force Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP)
  • Border dispute at Aksai Chin in J&K as well as in Arunachal Pradesh with sporadic aggression.
  • Large scale smuggling of Chinese electronic and other consumer goods take place
  • Inadequate infrastructure due to high altitude and thick habitation. However, China has undertaken a large-scale upgradation to air, roads and rail infrastructure
  • Multiple forces along Indian border (for e.g.-ITBP, Assam rifles, Special frontier force) as opposed to single PLA commander on Chinese side.
  • China is building dams on its side reducing water flows on our side + can use it to flood in case of future war.
Recent Initiatives
  • Creating infrastructure: India is also constructing some critical bridges to cut down time for troop movement such as Dhola-Sadiya bridge inaugurated in recent past.
  • India has joined hands with Japan to aggressively develop infrastructure projects in North east to contain China.
  • Army infrastructure projects within 100Km of LAC have been exempted from forest clearance.
  • To expedite border road construction, Ministry of Defence has decided to delegate administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).





3. Pakistan

States J&k, Punjab ,Rajasthan and Gujarat
Guarding BSF
  • Border dispute at Sir Creek and Kashmir.
  • Infiltration and Cross-border terrorism targeted to destabilise India.
  • Ceasefire violations and frequent shellings
  • Diverse terrain including desert, marshes, snow capped mountain and plains makes border guarding difficult.
  • Other issues include drug smuggling, fake currency, arms trafficking.
Recent Initiatives Following Pathankot terrorist attack, MHA sanctioned the implementation of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS)






4. Nepal

Guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB)
  • Highly porous border
  • Cross border crimes
  • Smuggling of essential items and fake Indian currency, gun-running, and drugs and human trafficking.
  • Terrorist infiltration through this route
  • Fear of spread of Maoist insurgency due to links of Nepal’s Maoists in India.


New Initiatives
  • Establishment of a new intelligence section in SSB
  • Government of India has approved construction of 1377 km of roads along Nepal border
  • Development aid to Nepal




4. Myanmar

States Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland
Guarding Assam Rifles
  • Highly porous border with Free Movement Regime upto 16 km
  • Weak borders due to no physical barrier . Exploited by Indian Insurgent Groups and provide safe havens to them (often Naga insurgents (NSCN-K especially use this)
  • Drug trafficking due to proximity to golden triangle.




Problem : Presently , Assam Rifle is having mandate to preserve peace in North East as well as to guard Indo-Myanmar Border as a result, they are not able to do both works professionally . Govt. should first strengthen the security of the border by either giving the Assam Rifles the single mandate of guarding the border or deploying another border guarding force such as the Border Security Force(BSF).

2017 : Parliamentry Committee on Home Affairs in its Report has suggested  transfer of Indo-Myanmar Border Management to Border Guard Forces (BGF) instead of Assam riffles for better management.



Side Topic : Free Movement Regime Issue

  • Tribal Naga and Mizo communities claim that boundary between India and Myanmar is inconsistent with the traditional limits of the region they inhabited and they still continue to have trans-border linkages with their kiths and kins.  FMR is thus an arrangement to alleviate insecurity of tribals living along India and Myanmar border.   It permits tribes residing along the border to travel 16 km across the boundary without visa restrictions.


Issues with FMR

      • Illegal activities in guise of FMR: FMR  is being misused by militants and criminals for infiltration, smuggling of weapons, narcotics etc.
      • Safe Havens for militants groups such as the NSCN-K, NSCN-IM, ULFA etc
      • Exodus of Rohingyas: using this route they entered India.




5. Bhutan

Guarding forces SSB
  • Border dispute such as recent Doklam issue which is dangerously close to Chicken’s neck
  • Insurgency– Many groups such as Bodo, ULFA etc sneak into Bhutan for sanctuary
  • Smuggling of goods such as Bhutanese cannabis, liquor and forest products.
  • Free movement of people and vehicle
  • Migration in each other countries trigger fear of change in demography. Migrants are also accused of deforestation, poaching, and wildlife smuggling.
New Initiatives
  • Cooperation with their army to prevent sanctuary to insurgents in their soil.
  • Establishing new border posts in Sikkim along the Bhutan frontier near Doklam
  • Establishment of a new intelligence section in SSB





Techniques of effective Land Border Management

  • Building fences and erecting floodlights
  • Creating effective Border Out Posts (BOPs)
  • Set up infra like roads for affective mobilisation during time of need.
  • Effective patrolling and building of observation post towers
  • Building of nakas
  • Equipping the security forces with night vision technologies
  • Installation of CCTV & thermal imaging equipment


Common Problems affecting affective management of borders

  • Lack of proper demarcation of our land and maritime borders.
  • Complex and different terrain on all borders makes it difficult to attain specialization in border management.
  • Lack of coordination among multiple agencies associated with border security.
  • Lack of infrastructure with border forces including shortage both in terms of manpower and infrastructure.
  • Inadequate attention to the concerns of local people in border areas which is exploited by hostile elements to create a feeling of ill will against the security forces & Government
  • Border conflicts- Violation of cease fire agreements .





Issues faced by Border Guarding Forces

(BSF, SSB, ITBP etc are all Border Guarding Forces)

  • Jawans are overworked and hence fatigued during patrolling duty.
  • Deployment of BGF Battalions to duties other than Border Guarding due to internal security reasons.
  • Deficiency of  surveillance equipment, like Hand-held Thermal Imagers, which are essential for surveillance during night.
  • Medical facilities for personnel posted on the border are severely inadequate. The personnel had to be transferred to Frontier Headquarters for even basic treatment.
  • Disparity in wages and allowances in comparison with the army.




Government response / steps taken by government 

1. Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS)

  • Madhukar Gupta Committee : Formed in backdrop of Pathankot attack by terrorists who infiltrated Indo-Pakistan Border
  • Came up with CIBMS and government has given nod. It is operational now at important points



Details of CIBMS

  • It is a five-layer elaborate plan to completely stop infiltration on  western border with Pakistan.
  • Five layers include
        1. CCTV cameras.
        2. Thermal image and night-vision devices.
        3. Battlefield surveillance radar.
        4. Underground monitoring sensors.
        5. Laser barriers.

The integrated set-up will ensure that if one device doesn’t work, another will alert control room in case of a transgression. It will work as ‘Smart Fence‘ .




Side Topic : Use of Technology in Border Management

  • Surveillance using CCTV, Thermal & radar imagry.
  • Drones
  • Satelllite Monitoring : GSAT 7A & Cartosat
  • IRNSS provide location services in difficult terrain in Himalayan borders


2. Governance : Border Management  Division

  • Under Home Ministry & setup in Jan,2004
  • Specifically look at border management + Implementation of Border Area Development Program (BADP)


3. Economic : Development of Integrated Check Posts(ICPs)

  • There are several places along border from where movement of people and goods take place
  • House all regulatory agencies like immigration,customs ,border security
  • Have facilities like warehouses ,hotels parking, banking etc


4. Development : Border Area Development Programme(BADP)

  • Started in 7th 5 year plan
  • 100% centrally funded
  • covers 111 border districts in 17 States
  • 2018 : Centre has increased its outlay to Rs. 1,100 crore from Rs. 990 crore


  • Objectives
        • to create infrastructure
        • provide economic opportunities to the border people
        • to instil a sense of security among them.


  • Main programs
        • Construction of roads, water supply ,education and sports facilities& Organisation of early childhood care etc


Further Recommendation

1. Clear chain of Command

  • Presently , different agencies are responsible for management of same border. Eg : on Punjab Border, BSF, Indian Army and Punjab Police are involved in this. But this results in lack of accountability . In case of accident, every agency starts to blame other agency
  • Hence , there should be one nodal agency and clear chain of command



2. Resolving Governance Problems

MHA should be the nodal ministry for all borders . Presently, the resolution of border disputes is the responsibility of MEA. Low staffing levels and limited leverage of MEA with state governments, restricts its ability to effectively resolve border disputes.



3. Restructuring of border forces

  • Assam Rifles : Presently , Assam Riffles perform two functions ie guarding Myanmar Border and maintaining security and peace in North East. There should be separate Border Guarding Force .
  • BSF : BSF guard the Bangladesh border and  border with Pakistan. It is recommended that the BSF be constituted into two wings, East and West, for better management due to different nuances of each border.
  • Involvement of army – Responsibility for unsettled and disputed borders, such as the LoC in J&K and the LAC on the Indo-Tibetan border, should be that of the Indian Army while the BSF should be responsible for all settled borders.
  • The battalions deployed on border guarding duties should have a significant proportion of local youth in its ranks to exploit their knowledge of terrain, language etc


4. Involvement of the Stakeholders

Stakeholders in border areas are

      • People living in border areas
      • State administration
      • Border guarding forces and
      • Central agencies involved in border development.



5. Modernisation

  • At present, border guarding is excessively man power intensive.
  • Greater infusion of technology into border guarding must be done


Although , Madhukar Committee Report Recommendations and CIBMS is step towards that but lot more needs to be done. Like use of Drones etc




# Border Management : Coastal security 

Coast length 7500 km
States Total =9

Gujarat,Goa ,Maharashtra,Karnataka,Kerala,Tamil Nadu,Andhra Pradesh, odisha, WB


Strategic importance of Coastal Border

  • Maritime trade constitutes 90% by volume , 77% by value
  • Three metros along the coast including India’s financial centre – Mumbai
  • Ports, industrial units
  • Military installations
  • Oil refineries
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Offshore development areas

All these  are susceptible to attack


Present Security System

Three Tier Arrangement

  • Indian Navy
  • Coast Guard
  • Marine Police of States


Apart from that there is Sagar Prahari Bal , comprising of 1000 personnel raised by navy. Their mandate is protection of naval bases and co located vulnerable areas


Indian Maritime Security Strategy (IMSS) 2015 of Indian Navy: It envisages greater coordination between different maritime agencies


Coastal Surveillance network  – to provide near gapless electronic surveillance of the entire coastline and prevent the intrusion of undetected vessels.


Involving fishermen in surveillance & intelligence gathering: Fishermen groups, referred to as the ‘ears and eyes’ of coastal security, are created comprising of trained volunteers who monitor the seas and coastal waters.


Indian Ocean Naval Symposium to provide an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.




Maritime Security Challenges

  • Maritime Terrorism;
  • Piracy and Armed Robbery;
  • Smuggling and Trafficking;
  • Infiltration, Illegal Migration and Refugee Influx;
  • Straying of fishermen beyond the maritime boundary.
  • New : Chinese String of Pearls  


Of  these,  maritime terrorism features as  the most potent threat.


Note –

    • During 1993 Mumbai Serial Bomb Blasts , ammunition and bombs reached Mumbai via sea.
    • During Taj Attack in Mumbai, Terrorists reached Mumbai via Sea
    • India has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Pakistan – Sir Creek .
    • Kachathevu Issue : Tamil Fishrman go into Sri Lankan EEZ leading to firing and boat seizures
    • Bangladeshi Pirates in Sundarbans
    • Smuggling :  Gold, Drugs
    • Rohingya entered India via sea




Coastal Security Architecture Post  26/11

After Mumbai Attacks , Multilayered system of Marine Protection is at place


1. Multilayered Surveillance System

It involves  Indian navy,  coast guard,  marine police,  customs,  and  fishermen

Outer Layer (beyond 200 Nm) Navy
Intermediate Layer (12-200 Nm) Indian Coast Guard
Territorial Waters (12 Nm) Marine Police
Navy Bases Sagar Prahari Bal
Fisher Community Christened as Sagar Suraksha Dal (SSD)




2. Electronic Surveillance

    • It is network comprising of  coastal radar chain (cant detect very small vessels)



3. Monitoring,  Control and Surveillance of  Fishermen

    • For the identification of  fishermen at sea,  a scheme for issuing biometric identity cards


Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism

Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism

In this article , we will deal with topic titled ‘Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism.’


Note : This article is part of our series on Internal Security. You can check other articles on following links

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
  • Basics of cyber security
  • Money-laundering and its prevention
  • Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • Various Security Forces and Agencies and their mandate


Characteristics of Organised Crime Groups

  • Structured to survive leadership changes
  • Operates beyond the lifetime of individual
Structure Highly structured with properly defined hierarchy
Membership Restricted and based on common traits like ethnicity, background and common interest
Criminality Group specialises in more than one crime
Violence Use of violence against opposite groups and also to protect their commercial interests
  • Illegally obtained money is invested in legal economic activity
  • Public officials and legitimate businessmen have been corrupted or intimidated




Famous Organised Crime Groups of the World

Japan Yamaguchi Gumi Annual turnover of $6.6 billion


USA CRIPS African American Organised Criminal Group in USA with turnover of $8 billion


India D Company
  • Most powerful gang of Mumbai
  • Have networks abroad
  • Involved in extortion, narcotic drugs, smuggling and contract killing
  • Is in Dubai since 1985




Main activities carried by Organised Crime

Drug Trade Biggest Source of revenue




  • Large scale poaching
  • 50% of world species are facing fastest man made mass extinction
  • Timber poaching is also multi billion dollar avenue


Trafficking cultural


  • Important avenue for money laundering
  • Artefacts are stolen & sites destroyed.
  • No serious efforts to combat this at world level


  • Across Horn of Africa , Malacca and Sundarbans  has become headache


Organ trafficking
  • Organ transplant can save life but heavy demand supply gap
  • Desperate situation of recipient and donor make avenue ready
  • Unlike other crimes in this professional like doctors etc involved




Organised Crime and Terrorism

Intersection between terrorism and organised crime can be divided into three categories

Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism
Intersection between terrorism and organised crime

Co – existence Refers when both (Organised Crime Gangs & Terrorist Organisations) operate in same theatre but remain separate entities


  • Generally don’t cooperate with each other as their motives are different
        • Terrorists – change in political status quo
        • Organised Crime – change in status quo only when it threatens them
  • But when benefit outweighs risk they cooperate and these include specific operational supports which can be acquired in cost effective manner from each other
International drug trade and terrorism Columbia : Medellian Drug Cartel hired ELN to implant car bombs in 1993 because they didn’t had expertise in bombs
Smuggling and Terrorism Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan allied with Afghan drug mafia so that movement can occur safely to soviet union



Confluence When both activities are done by single entity

Organised crime Use terror tactics to safeguard their business interest

    • D Company’s terrorist activities
Terrorist group Use organised crime to gather funds for carrying out activities

    • Al Qaeda using credit card fraud proceedings






Differences between Terrorism and Organised Crime

Terrorism Organised Crime
Wants to overthrow existing government by changing the present order Don’t want to overthrow the state => Only wants to form parallel government
Use violent means Generally remains non violent . Violence is used  as last resort
Driven by political objectives Driven by economic objectives
Tries to seek media attention They don’t




UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime

When Adopted in 2000

Came to force in 2003

    • States committed to have legislations and criminal offences of participation in organised crime group ,money laundering ,corruption and obstruction of justice
    • Committed to have training and tech assistance to tackle organised crime
Benefit States would have access to new framework for mutual legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation


# Organised crime in India

Legal position in India on organised crime

There is no national law specifically dealing with Organised Crime in India. Various provisions of IPC deal with it .


Various states have enacted special legislations for Organised Crime like Maharasthra (1999 – first) , Delhi, UP, Gujarat , Karanataka & Haryana (2019) etc


Organised crime in India is predominantly an urban phenomenon

Criminal conspiracy
  • Defined by Section 120A of IPC
  • When two or more person agree to do or cause to be done an illegal act or an act which is not illegal by illegal means


  • Oldest form of crime in india
  • Section 391 of IPC deals with it
  • If 5 or more persons commit robbery it is termed as dacoity
  • Punishable offence with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment   Upto 10 yrs


Law on Gangster
  • No central legislation
  • State of UP enacted UP Gangster and Anti Social Activities Prevention Act,1986



No single act to deal with it and government is planning to make Organised Crime Control Act.



Problems in controlling Organised Crime in India

  • Inadequate Legal Structure : India does not have a special law to control/suppress organised crime. The existing law is inadequate as it targets individuals and not the criminal groups or criminal enterprises


  • Difficulties in Obtaining Proof: criminal groups are structured  in a hierarchical manner, the higher echelons of leadership are insulated as there is  hardly any documentary evidence.


  • Dual Criminality: Certain crimes, particularly drug trafficking, are planned in one part of the world and executed in another. Different nations have different legal structures and extradition of criminals from one country to other is very difficult.


  • Criminal, Political & Bureaucratic Nexus: Due to this, the investigating and prosecuting agencies are finding it extremely difficult to deal effectively with them


  • Lack of Resources & Training:  Police comes under the State’s subject. Most of the States face a resources crunch and there is hardly any training facilities  for  investigation of organised crime


  • Criminalisation of Justice .

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

In this article , we will look deal with topic titled ‘Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.’


Note : This article is part of our series on Internal Security. You can check other articles on following links

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
  • Basics of cyber security
  • Money-laundering and its prevention
  • Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • Various Security Forces and Agencies and their mandate




Definition : State actors vs Non-State actors

State Actors (SAs)

  • Based on premise of sovereignty , recognition of statehood & control of territory & population
  • Eg : India, US, Micronesia (irrespective of size)



Non State Actors (NSAs)

  • In Post-Cold War Era & with Globalisation , concept of Nation-State has experienced erosion
  • NSA are not always sympathetic to national interests but their loyalty lies with group’s| corporation’s | community’s interests
  • Traditional hierarchy which used to exist earlier with military & security dominating economic & social ones doesn’t exist anymore because of NSAs
  • Examples include
International Government Organisation NATO, UNO
NGO Amnesty International, Greenpeace
Multinational Corporations Operating in multiple sovereign states eg Shell(oil)
International Media BBC, Al Jazira ,CNN
Violent Non State Actors Al Qaeda , Drug Cartels
Religious Groups Roman Catholic Church
Transnational Diasporic Communities Indian Diaspora affect policies back home



Challenges to India’s Internal Security from NSAs & SAs

Challenges to India’s Internal Security from NSAs & SAs
Challenges to India’s Internal Security from NSAs & SAs

1. Terrorism

State Actors
  • Pakistan is using state sponsored & state supported terrorism as instrument of its state policy
  • China also provided shelter to NE ethnic separatist militancy(eg : ULFA)
  • Myanmar & Bangladesh too are safehouse to these terrorists


  • Non-State Actors are  mainly terrorist groups who execute terror attacks
  • These are declared Terrorist Organisations under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967
Babbar Khalsa International Khalistan Commando Force
Lashkar e Taiba Jaish e Mohammad
Harkat ul Mujahideen Hizb ul Mujahideen
United Libration Front Of Assam National Demo Front of Bodoland
LTTE CPI(Maoist) etc

All organisations listed in Schedule of UN  Prevention & Suppression of Terrorism



2. Naxalism

  • Was started as movement for land reforms
  • Took violent & dangerous turn aiming at overpowering democratic structure of India via violent armed struggle
  • Financial, ideological, technological & ammunition support from external SA & NSAs
  • Maoist groups getting financial and ideological support from China



3. Insurgency

  • Large number of insurgent groups in NE with demands ranging from separate state to regional autonomy to even complete independence
  • Wide range of disputes
        • Centre vs State
        • Tribals vs Non Tribals
        • Migrants (mainly Bangladeshis & even from other states) vs Natives
  • Difficult to handle because of difficult terrain, porous border & external support of adjoining states & NSAs
  • Unemployment in this region . Hence, lot of unemployed youth which provide easy target for recruiters


External support

Naga Insurgents
  • Received Patronage from Chinese
  • Had safe houses in Bhutan, Bangladesh & Myanmar
  • ISI has trained its cadres
  • Have major say in their activities in Assam
  • ULFA waged international struggle by attending meetings of Unrepresented Nations Peoples Organisation
  • There are inter linkages between outfits which ensure smooth transfer of military hardware & technology .  Even the weakest outfit has access to sophisticated technology , even sophisticated than Indian Army



4. Cyber Attacks

  • Growth of internet technology & cloud based systems created room for cyber espionage & warfare
  • 2010 Commonwealth Games – Cyber attacks from Pakistan & China to damage information Systems
  • Most of cyber attacks on India originate from US, China, Russia, East European nations & Iran



5. Counterfeit Currency

  • Very difficult to distinguish between fake & real currency now because fake is printed with state of art  technology using security paper supplied by state actors
  • Sub conventional warfare strategy pursued by Pakistan against India . Mainly brought to India through porous borders of Nepal & Bangladesh
  • Terrorist organisation like Hizb ul Mujahideen using fake currency  to fund their programmes .
  • To tackle this, Government did Demonetisation .



6. Communalism

  • Reports that domestic extremist organisations get financial & ideological support from external religious organisations (NSAs) and Foreign States (Pakistan, China etc)
  • Eg :
        • Kashmiri Terrorists funded by Pakistan
        • Islamic terrorists getting ideological support from Pakistan
        • Zakir Naik‘s Islamic Research Foundation and Peace TV radicalising Muslim Youth in India, Bangladesh etc funded by Saudi Petro Dollars
  • Become problem for internal security now a days



7. Drug & Human Trafficking

  • India has become transit hub & destination for GOLDEN TRIANGLE & GOLDEN CRESCENT
  • There is nexus between drug traffickers, organised criminal networks & terrorists which is powerful enough to destabilise even whole nation . Money generated by this trade is also used to fund insurgents & terrorists



# Drug Trafficking

Important Topic. Hence doing in detail


Data : As per home ministry report = 40 lakh drug addicts in India.

How India is used as Transit for Drug Trafficking

India Pakistan Border
  • Largest producer of opium & cannabis ie Golden Crescent is on foots of Indo-Pakistan Border
  • Traditional Route via Iran was closed due to Iran Iraq war (1980-88) . With the outbreak of Sikh militancy + Kashmir militancy, routes diverted  to India

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent


India Nepal & India Bhutan Border
  • Two way Smuggling here
        • Heroin + Marijuana/Ganja through this route coming to India
        • Low cost Codeine based pharma preparation from India going to Nepal & Bhutan
  • Well developed road + porous border also facilitate this


India Myanmar Border
  • India – Myanmar border on foot of Golden Triangle
  • Growing demand in NE+ insurgency in NE + Porous Border facilitate this


Sea Routes
  • Both East & West coast used for this
  • During 90s, civil war in SL . Drugs from Af-Pak came to India & Exited thru SL
  • Tuticorin & Kochi also  emerged as top drug trafficking ports

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent


Air Routes
  • Both major & minor airports used thru personal carriers & post service
  • Delhi & Mumbai most important + Amritsar, Hyderabad ,Bangalore also used
  • From here trafficked to Lagos & Addis Ababa for African drug Cartels





Why India is vulnerable

  • In vicinity  of Golden Triangle and Golden Cresent + act as transit point
  • Further cannabis (ganja) also grows  in many parts of the country and marijuana is cultivated in hilly terrains


  • India has Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act 1985, which provides minimum punishment of 10 years for offences under this Act. But its Implementation by the states has been tardy. 


  • Porous Borders + Issues with Border Guarding Infrastructure 


  • Drug Trafficking used to fund terrorist activities by insurgents in North East


  • Religious angle


  • Unemployment + Underdevelopment


  • Rise of Virtual Currencies like Bitcoin has also increased funding avenues for smugglers and drug traffickers.


  • Breakage of joint family system and traditional societal milieu and emergence of individualistic life style and more engagement with peers has been another reason for people falling in drug trap.


  • Role of media: Glorification of drug abuse in media such as in series and movies



  • Individual : Diseases, such as  HIV, and cancer  Development of mental illnesses, suicides etc
  • Family  : Domestic violence- adverse effect on women and children


  • Socio-Political Impact: Threatens social stability as crime rate increases rapidly


  • Threat to achieve Demographic Dividend : Significant toll on valuable human lives  and loss of productive years of many persons


  • Ever-growing prevalence of HIV/AIDS among North eastern states people


  • Threat to National Security : Involvement of various terrorist groups and syndicates in drug trafficking to fund their activities


Steps taken
  • Passed Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) with minimum punishment of 10 years


  • Strengthened border security infrastructure (BSF especially) and Coast Guard to stop their entry


  • India is signatory of International Conventions namely
        • UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs
        • UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances


  • MOUs : India has entered into various arrangements like Bi-lateral Agreements and Memorandum of Understandings with Nepal, Thailand and Myanmar on Drug Trafficking


  • According to Article 47, state is duty bound to prevent the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs


  • New guidelines for grant of rewards to be paid to officers, informers and other persons in case of seizures of Narcotics drugs, Psychotropic substances




Various ways to stop this

    • Cutting of the supply lines by law enforcement agencies
    • Strict enforcement of the provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances act, which provides strict punishment for drug peddlers.
    • Creating mass awareness programme by using educational system, media – print, electronic, social etc, religious figures and institutions etc. As younger ones are more vulnerable to drug abuse it is important that teachers educate students about the ill effects of drugs.
    • Sports facilities and opportunities for growth, other facilities which keeps youth engaged in constructive work like NCC, NSS, youth parliaments should be promoted.
    • Many drugs in India have religious sanctions because they are associated with Hindu deities so religious organizations must be roped in.
    • Number of rehab centres and healthcare professionals for addicts are very few. These facilities should be increased.
    • Counselling facilities should be provided by big corporate houses for their employees as employment related stress is emerging as major factor leading to drug addiction.

Basics of Cyber Security

Basics of Cyber Security

In this article, we shall deal with topic titled Basics of Cyber Security.


Note : This article is part of our series on Internal Security. You can check other articles on following links

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
  • Basics of cyber security
  • Money-laundering and its prevention
  • Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • Various Security Forces and Agencies and their mandate



  • Today ,  all strategically  important departments are connected through internet . Hence, there are rising threats to cyber security through cyber crimes ,cyber attacks and cyber war
  • The architecture of the Internet was designed to promote connectivity, not security. Cyber experts warn that the more technologically advanced and wired a nation is, the more vulnerable it is to a cyber-attack.
  • After land, sea, air and space, cyberspace has been officially declared as the 5th dimension of warfare.





Cyber Security

As per Clause 2(b) of IT Act, 2000, Cyber security is defined as protecting information, devices , equipment, computer resources and information stored in them from unauthorised access , use , disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction


Cyber Crime

  • There is no fixed definition of cyber crime . It refers to all the criminal activities done using medium of computers , internet and cyber space . Even the Indian IT Act doesn’t define cyber crime .
  • Generally speaking, it can be divided into two categories
        1. Crimes that target computer and devices directly. Eg : Hacking, Computer viruses , Data theft, Denial of Service(DoS) attack etc.
        2. Crimes facilitated by computer networks . Eg : Phishing, Spam, Offensive Content, Cyber Stalking etc


  • The most prominent form of Cybercrime is identity theft, in which criminals use the Internet to steal personal information from other users. Two of the most common ways this is done is through phishing and pharming.
  • Cyber Crime (is a broader term) = Cyber Attacks + Cyber Terrorism+ Cyber Warfare



Cyber Attack

  • Attack from one computer to another deliberately to alter, disrupt , deny , degrade or destroy the data hosted on the attacked system or network
  • Mostly done using malicious code



Cyber Terrorism

  • It is the premeditated use of disruptive activities or threat by clandestine groups in cyber space with the intention to further the political objectives or intimidate any person or group. It has clear political objectives . Terrorists induce fear by indulging in large scale disruption of computer systems and networks. This can also be called as the traditional way of defining cyber terrorism.
  • If one tries to look beyond the traditional definition of cyber terrorism, it even leads to violence . Eg : the rumour that led to the mass exodus of North-Eastern people from Bangalore in 2012 .
  • It also refers to the use of cyber space as a backend support to the traditional forms of terrorism.


  • Some incidents of cyber terrorism in India
        1. Muzzafarnagar riots
        2. Creating misinformation about certain things



Cyber Warfare

  • Cyber warfare is Internet-based conflict involving politically motivated attacks on information and information systems
  • Cyber warfare attacks can disable official websites and networks, disrupt or disable essential services, steal or alter classified data, and cripple financial systems among many other possibilities
  • Any country can wage Cyberwar on any other country, irrespective of resources, because most military forces are network-centric and connected to the Internet, which is not secure. For the same reason, Non-Governmental Groups and Individuals could also launch cyberwarfare attacks.



  • Stuxnet in 2010 in which Iranian Nuclear Plant were attacked by US and Israel.
  • In 1998, the United States hacked into Serbia’s Air Defence System to compromise air traffic control and facilitate the bombing of Serbian targets.
  • in 2007, an unknown foreign party hacked into high tech and military agencies in the United States and downloaded terabytes of information.
  • In 2012, large-scale cyber attacks targeted at the Iranian government were uncovered, and in return, Iran is believed to have launched massive attacks aimed at U.S. banks and Saudi oil companies.




Cyber warfare cases in India

      • 2012 : High profile cyber attack breached the email accounts of around 12,000 people including tge officails of MHA, MEA & ITBP etc
      • Hackers from Algeria carried attack on website run by DRDO
      • When violence broke in 2012 between residents of Assam and Bangladeshi migrants , a nationwide hate messages spread by Pakistan



Cyber Espionage

  • Cyber Espionage, is the act or practice of obtaining secrets without the permission of the holder of the information, from individuals, competitors, rivals, groups, governments and enemies for personal, economic, political or military advantage using methods on the Internet, networks or individual computers through malicious software including Trojan Horses and Spyware
  • These acts are between state nations, but they may include non-state actors too


New : Crypto Jacking

Cryptojacking is process in which unauthorised crypto-coin miners siphon the resources of personal computers to mine crypto currencies like Bitcoin without the knowledge of owner  .


According to latest Symantec Report, this is the latest major threat in cyber security.



Side Topic : Malware and  Ransomware

Malware – “Malware” is short for “malicious software” computer programs designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the users consent



Ransomware, as the name suggests  locks computers, encrypts the data on it and  prevents users from accessing their devices and data  until a certain ransom is paid to its creator



Wannacry (2017)
  • Extensive Ransomware attack (Wannacry) infected more than 1 Lakh Companies and Services
  • Most important target – National Health Services (NHS) of Britain, where doctors were blocked from patient files.
  • Demanding $300 to decrypt files in Bitcoins


Petya (2017)
  • Petya is more advanced ransomware
  • Hit chiefly Ukraine and Russia.
  • Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust was also hit



Benefits over conventional attack / Challenge for security

  • Cheaper to execute
  • Less risky , no physical harm can be done to attacker
  • Anonymity : Technology permits attacker to conceal its origin making it more lucrative for the state and non-state actors.
  • Unconstrained by distance
  • Several people can use same program
  • Traditional security concepts like deterrence and retaliation are difficult to apply
  • Even normal person can have a access over such programs




India’s Vulnerability on Cyber Space

India remains vulnerable to digital intrusions such as cyber-espionage, cybercrime, digital disruption and Distributed Denial of Service

      • India is the 3rd most vulnerable country in the world in terms of cybersecurity breaches followed by US & China(2018 Report by Symantec )
      • Indian IT Act , 2000 is weak with large lacunae (explained below).  
      • There is no data protection law in India (Committee, led by Justice B.N. Srikrishna constituted to formulate it)
      • Data Colonization : India data is exported abroad and stored outside . No data localisation law
      • Multiplicity of agencies (more than dozen) including MHA, CERT-IN , NCIIPC, state police etc deal with cyber crime. The lack of coordination hinders smooth functioning.
      • Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is woefully understaffed.
      • Chinese are increasing their military capacity for cyber attack which is cause of concern for India .
      • Most of the mobile devices are made in China which heighten risk of Cyber Espionage
      • Numbers of attacks from Pakistan has increased.
      • Indians don’t use paid original versions of operating systems and softwares. As a result, they don’t get frequent updates from the system (like Windows update which plugged loophole used by Wannacry)



Current Attacks on India
      • Cyber-espionage group called Suckfly targeted financial institutions
      • Cyber-espionage group, called Danti, penetrated Indian government systems


  • Pakistani Hackers under group named “Pakistani Cheetahs” hacking government websites



Why India need  Cyber Security

  • India is betting big on digital sector. Government has started programmes like Digital India &  Smart Cities and has started Payment Banks which will do most of their operations on internet. Hence, ultra secure cyber network is required in India
  • Government’s digital push : Promoting programs like Aadhar, Digilocker, e-Market etc
  • Large number of transactions through digital means
  • Highly sophisticated cyber attacks like Wannacry and Petya on rise
  • To protect our Critical Infrastructure
  • To protect the private sector especially IT sector
  • To protect the citizens of nation from hacking & fraud attacks
  • Most of countries are going for militarisation of cyber space. We need to secure our cyber space to deal with future threats


India’s Cyber Security Architecture

Basics of Cyber Security
Cyber Security Architecture of India

1. IT Act ,2000

Information Technology Act, 2000 was originally passed to facilitate the e-commerce transactions. However, it has been amended from time to time to tackle the various threats that emanate from Cyberspace.

  • Section 70A : NCIIPC (National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre) to protect Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) (12 sectors like banking, defense, aviation etc.
  • Section 70B :  ‘Computer Emergency Response Team India ‘ (CERT-IN) modelled on a similar force in USA to deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing and strengthens defense
  • Section 66 F : Defines Cyber Terrorism



However, the bill is weak on data protection

  • Does not protect the privacy. Hence, it does not prevent companies from selling or sharing consumer data 
  • The bill also does not define cyber terrorism in comprehensive way  
  • IT act does not contain a coherent strategy which can leverage synchronized efforts of public and private sector.


The government has tried to update the bill to deal with the challenges of cyberspace, the dynamic nature of the sector means that the government is always playing catch up.


2. CERT-In

  • CERT-In (Cyber Emergency Response Team – India) made under IT Act, 2000
  • Aim : provide early security warning and effective incident response.  



  • National  Critical  Information  Infrastructure  Protection  Centre(NCIIPC)
  • To protect critical infrastructure of the country eg Banking , Defence


4. I-4C

  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I-4C)
  • On the basis of the recommendations of the Gulshan Rai committee.
  • Under Home Ministry
  • I-4C will help in monitoring cyber-crimes, and will help law enforcement agencies in curtailing these crimes.



CyCord Centre

  • Formed in Dec 2018
  • Platform for Law Enforcement Agencies to collaborate and coordinate their efforts to resolve cyber crime




National Cyber Security Policy , 2013 

Need for Cyber Security Policy

The lack of coherent Cyber Security Policy seriously interfered with India’s national and economic development. India’s approach to cyber security was adhoc and piecemeal in nature. A number of organisations has been created but their precise role wasn’t defined not there was any synergy between them.   There was no institutional structure without a comprehensive national level policy and neither the private nor the government was able to build the system that could be called robust . The Cyber Security Policy of 2013 is an important step in this direction.



Salient features of Policy

  • To create a cyber ecosystem in the country and to generate adequate trust and enhanced adoption of IT in all the sectors of economy
  • Tp strengthen the regulatory framework for ensuring a secured cyber-space ecosystem
  • Set  up  a  24×7  NCIIPC for protecting critical infrastructure of the country
  • Create a taskforce of 5 lakh cyber security professionals in 5 years 
  • Provide fiscal  benefits to businesses for adoption of standard cyber security practices.
  • Designate CERT-In as incharge of cyber security related matters and have the local (state) CERT bodies to co-ordinate at the respective levels.
  • Develop dynamic Legal Framework to deal with Cyber Security .
  • Setup testing labs to regularly check safety of equipment


Cyber Swatchchta Kendra 

  • Launched by Government of India in 2017
  • Part of Digital India Initiative



What it will do ?

      • Systems will be scanned by CERT-in for free
      • It will provide free tools for keeping your devices secure (refer below)
      • This Kendra will  enhance awareness among citizens regarding botnet and malware infection


Tools provided for free in CSK

      • M Kavachantivirus  for smartphones
      • USB Pratirodh : USB protector .
      • Browser JSGuard : block malicious JavaScript and HTML files 
      • Free Bot Removal Tool


State Example : Maharashtra

Maharashtra has become first state in the country to have a cyber-police station in each district


Other states need to learn from this


Steps India should take

      • Individual Level : Individuals should be educated to create backups & also understand the need for it. They must be educated not to reveal their sensitive personal information indiscreetly.


      • Amendment of IT Act 2008
      • Government should consider the merits of China’s cybersecurity law that requires
        • Data Localisation  .
        • ‘Security certification’ for important network equipment and software companies



      • Using Cloud Computing : Since small firms , startups and all government departments cant buy expensive firewall systems individually, government can go for Cloud Computing (IaaS)  Mechanism to provide high end and most secure firewall to them . It will reduce the price and increase affordability.



      • Cyber Offensive   Policy  :India should have its own Cyber Offensive  policy to give clear idea to the world that what would be India’s response if it is hit by any nation sponsored Cyber Attack. In new world when Cyber Space has become 5th Arena of Warfare (other being Land, water, air and space)  , it is very much required to be prepared for such attacks .


      • Signing MoUs with other advanced nations – India is already working on this and has done following
        • MoU between India and UK
        • India and USA
        • Japan & Singapore



      • Sign Budapest Convention – Budapest Convention is the first & only international treaty that addresses Internet and computer crime .


      • Air gapping: Air gapping = isolating computer or network and preventing it from establishing an external connection.



      • Using Quantum Cryptography -Cryptography is  process of encoding and decoding information  so that it is sent securely over communication network.  Present Systems of Cryptography use Mathematical Algorithms which  can be cracked .  Quantum cryptography uses spin of photons as key. Hence, there is little chance it can be cracked


      • More Summits like GROUND ZERO SUMMIT should be organised
        • Ground Zero Summit is the largest collaborative platform in Asia for Cyber security experts  to address emerging cyber security challenges + provides platform  to establish and strengthen relationships between corporate, public sector undertakings (PSUs), government departments, security and defense establishments.








Came into force 1 July 2004
  • Crimes committed via Internet
  • Infringement of copyrights
  • Computer related frauds
  • Child pornography
  • Violation of network security
  • Pursue common criminal policy aimed at protection of society against cyber crime by adopting legislation
  • Declare any publication of racist or xenophobic propaganda via computer network an offence


Developing countries including India have not signed it stating that the developed countries led by the US drafted it without consulting them.


Government vs Privacy : PRISM / NeTRA

  • Right to privacy is a human right . But recent developments in mobile technologies have made these digital devices as storehouse of private content 


  • Governments always like Orwellian Levels of Surveillance. Hence, security agencies have been demanding unfettered access to information and  running programmes like PRISM (USA) and NETRA (India) to have access



  • WhatsApp  uses end-to-end encryption that ensures only you and the person or group you are communicating with can read and see what is sent, and nobody in between — not even WhatsApp have access to messages.
        • Investigators argue, they’re creating warrant-proof spaces for criminals.
        • When no such absolute privacy exists in the physical world, how can such exist in virtual world?



Security Issues in North East

Security Issues in North East

In this article , we will discuss Security Issues in North East .

8 Sister States ie Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya , Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh are known as North Eastren States of India.

This region is the most insurgency affected region of India and in this article , we will look into insurgencies and security issues in various North-Eastern states

Reasons for   lack  of  development  in  North-East

Centralized Governance  Indigenous people have little share in political and economic structures at central level. This centralized approach has deprived the locals from determining the nature and context of the problem thereby frustrating their aspirations of autonomy.
Economy controlled by outsiders Indigenous people have little role to play in the economy of the region. Eg : most of the plantation industry is dominated  by the immigrant labor force.
Connectivity issue
  • Due to partition of India , North East turned to landlocked country.
  • After 1962 war, Union didn’t built high grade roads and other infra in fear that it can lead to faster movement of Chinese troops.
Lack of infrastructure Lack  of  infrastructure  in  the  region  which  has  subsequently  culminated  into  lack  of industrialization  in  the  region.
Ethnic issues
  • North East has large number of Tribal Ethnicities and they usually rose against each other
  • Ethnic discord marked by some communities being branded “outsiders”
        • Chakma issue in Mizoram,
        • Hill versus valley disturbances in Manipur
        • longstanding NRC issue in Assam
        • Attacks on Sikh residents in Meghalaya
        • Chakma/Hajong citizenship issue in Arunachal Pradesh itself.
AFSPA Imposition of AFSPA has led to the feeling of discontentment
Land acquisition problems The  land  records  are  not  digitized,  and  land  surveys  are  not  done  and  land  records are  not  updated  at  regular  intervals.
Political representation One  of  the  key  reasons  for  not  giving  the  North-East  a  high  priority,  many  argue, is  the  fact  that  it  only  sends  24  Members  of  Parliament  to  the  Lok  Sabha,  out  of which  Assam  alone  sends  14.

Reasons for Insurgencies in North East

Pre Independence Reasons
  • Tribes were not brought under a strict political control and rigid regulations.
  • British tribal policy and Christian education are believed to be the genesis of demands of Independence from India
Post Independence
  • Ethnic and cultural  specificities were ignored during the process of delineation of state boundaries in the 1950s, giving rise to discontentment and assertion of one’s identity
  • Underdevelopment, Poverty, unemployment, lack of connectivity, inadequate health care and educational facilities
  • Governance deficit
  • Migration of people from the plains posing economic, cultural and political threat to the tribals.
  • Hostile neighbours extending moral and material support owing to porous international borders
  • Deep sense of alienation due to human right violation and excesses by security forces.
  • Imposition of AFSPA has led to the feeling of discontentment
  • Difficult terrain and weak infrastructure facilitating insurgents involved in conflict.

Impact of Insurgencies on North East

  • Lack of investment in the region especially in untapped potential for hydro-electric power due to lack of security
  • Economy severely affected due to extortion of “taxes” by various factions on local people, businesses, officials etc
  • Narcotic trade due to its position in vicinity of Golden Triangle impacting young generation


Mix  of  development , military power, governance , dialogue and ceasefireSecurity Challenges in North East

  • Act East Policy : Kaladan Multimodal Project , IMT highway , BCIM etc
  • Infra development . Japan also interested to fund
  • Seven  States  of  the  region  enjoy  special  category  status  to  develop  backward  areas.
  • Development of tourism
  • Job promotion in BPO sector => North East BPO Promotion Scheme
  • Promotion of Organic food
  • Governance – North East Council, Schedule 6 etc
  • Ratio in assistance from Central Government in Core Scheme =   90:10
  • Decentralisation of powers among the tribes
Military Power
  • AFSPA in place in insurgency hit areas
  • Eg : Indian Government in dialogue with NSCN and other Naga groups and is on verge of signing accord .

Topic : Assam Issue


  1. British developed the tea industry in Assam. They imported labour from Bihar & other provinces to work in tea gardens.
  2. Assamese people living mostly in Upper Assam and cultivating one crop per year, were not interested in working as labour in the tea gardens nor in increasing or expanding land cultivation .Therefore, British encouraged Bengali Muslim peasants from present Bangladesh to move into Lower Assam for putting virgin land under cultivation.
  3. Later during 1971 crisis, large number of Bangladeshi Muslims (+ Hindus) too came in Assam. This pattern is going on even after that

Socio-political movement started by  Assamese people in 1979 to evict illegal Bangladeshis ended in Assam Accord in 1985.

Reason for Migration from Bangladesh

  • Increasing pressure on land and mounting unemployment in Bangladesh due to rise in population. Large segments of population in Bangladesh uprooted by severe floods and cyclones
  • Porous India Bangladesh border
  • Better economic conditions in India

Security Challenge

  • Lead to agitations in which public property is damaged : failure of government to respond the issue of illegal migration led to the agitation by Assamese (culminating in Assam Accord)
  • Illegal Voters : Most of the illegal Bangladeshis have got their names enlisted in the voting list illegally, thereby claiming themselves as citizens of the state. The immigrant’s population act s as a vote bank for the political parties in Assam.
  • Issue of terrorism:  Pakistan’s ISI has been active in Bangladesh supporting militant movements in Assam.  Among the illegal migrants there are also militants

Way Out

  • Diplomatic Effort: India has to make diplomatic effort to get Bangladesh to cooperate as illegal migration cannot be solved unless sending country cooperates. Sharing of digital database of its citizens will make it easier.
  • Better Border Management: Fencing, construction of border roads and proper management of border will make a difference
  • Bar from Voting rights: Illegal migrants should not be allowed to vote and this will diminish their ability to influence government decisions by being a political force

Side Topic : ULFA

  • Demand = Separate country of Assam
  • Formed in 1979 against the backdrop of All Assam Student Union’s agitation against foreigners. It established close relationship with organisations such as NSCN of Nagaland . Their objective is to create independent Assam through armed struggle. It conducted several terrorist activities throughout 1990s
  •  ULFA claims that Assam was never a part of India as the Treaty of Yandabu was signed between two imperial powers without the consent of Assamese people.
  • 2011 : Tripartite Agreement between Union Government, State of Assam and ULFA for suspension of operations of ULFA .
  • At present , ULFA is divided into two factions – ULFA (PTF) and ULFA (ATF) ie Pro and Anti Talk Faction .

Topic : Manipur

  • Most insurgent state of North-East
  • More than 15 violent insurgent groups are present


  • There is clear divide between hill and valley people
  1. Meiteis : Valley people
  2. Nagas and Kukis : Hill people
  • Hill areas are affected by the actions of Nagas and Kukis . The people of hill areas feel that Meitis are an  influential group thereby compromising their interest . Meiteis on the other hand feels threatened due to powers and status given to Kuki and Naga people after the independence .

Groups active here

  • United National Liberation Front
  • Oldest Meitei insurgent group which seeks to create an independent and socialist Manipur
  • People’s Liberation Army
  • It is a Meitei organisation that aims to organise the entire North-East into a revolutionary front and bring together all the ethnic groups under a single umbrella
  • People’s Liberation Army of Kanglipak
  • Their aim is to expel the outsiders from Manipur
  • Another Meitei insurgent group
  • Their aim is to cleanise Manipuri society of evils like drugs
KNA Kuki National Army (demanding Zalengam consisting of areas of India & Myanmar)


  • Mass migration since 1947 altered the demography of Tripura from a tribal area to Bengali speaking majority area. Tribals were deprieved of their agricultural land which led to the emergence of Tripura National Volunteers .
  • In 1990, All Tripura National Force was formed which carried out periodic terrorist attacks . Their objective is expulsion of Bengali immigrants and removal of their names from the electoral rolls
  • National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) whose objective is to create independent of Tripura through armed struggle

Topic: Nagaland

Terms involved

Naga Naga people are a conglomeration of several tribes inhabiting the North Eastern part of India and north-western Burma. As of 2012, the state of Nagaland  officially recognises 17 Naga tribes.

Prominent Naga tribes include Poumai, Sumi, Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Liangmai, Lotha, Pochury, Rongmei,Zeme, Mao.

Greater Nagalim Region carved out by integrating all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella .It includes several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar. The map of “Greater Nagalim” has about 1,20,000sq km, while the state of Nagaland consists of 16,527 sq km .
AFSPA An act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in what the act terms “disturbed areas”.

Timeline in Naga Struggle

1826 Assam annexed by Britishers
1881 Naga hill too became a part of British India
  • Root of conflict started in 1918
  • Formation of the Naga Club by 20 members of the Naga French Labour Corp, who had served in World War I. The wartime knowledge motivated the few who had come in contact with the European battlefield to politically organise themselves as a distinct ethnic political entity.
1929 Club had submitted a memorandum to the Simon Commission in 1929, in which it stated that the people of Naga areas and that of mainland India had nothing in common between them. Therefore, it would benefit both to stay separate and form their own political entity as and when the British left India.
  • Club was further reinforced with the formation of the Naga National Council (NNC) under the leadership of A.Z Phizo, a charismatic leader belonging to the Angami tribe.
  • Phizo had been trained by the British, especially Major General Wingate during World War II on the Burma Front against Japanese forces & he utilised knowledge to impart training in guerrilla warfare to NNC members.
  • Nine Point Agreement known as  Akbar Hydari Agreement was signed between NNC leaders T. Sakhrie, Imkonglba Ao and the Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Hydari on 29 June 1947.
  • The Agreement gave the Nagas rights over their land as well as executive and legislative powers, but within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Agreement was rejected by Phizo. On 14 August 1947, the NNC led by Phizo declared independence.
1952 Formation of Naga Federal Government and Naga Federal Army which involved in violent clashes.
  1950s, 1960s and 1970s were a tumultuous period in Naga history with militancy on the rise coupled by the state’s military response propelled by acts like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, amended in 1972.
1962 Efforts for peace were made by the Union Government with the grant of statehood to Nagaland in 1963 and the establishment of a peace mission in 1964.
  • It was the loss of bases in East Pakistan in 1972, with the emergence of a new nation-Bangladesh, as well as the constant pressure from Indian security forces that motivated the NNC under Z. Huire to sign  Shillong Accord.
  • The Shillong Accord however repeated the tragic story of the 9 Point Agreement, in that it split the Naga rebel movement.
  • The Shillong Accord was the proximate cause for the formation of the original unified National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN).
1980 Thuingaleng Muivah rejected the accord and formed Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (NSCN).
  • Due to intense differences with existing leadership Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah formed NSCN (IM) on 31 January 1988.
  • Followed by the further spilt of S. S. Khaplang led faction and formation of the NSCN (Khaplang) another National Socialist Council of Nagaland, named after its leader came to dominate in Naga inhabited areas.
1990s NSCN(IM)  becomes the largest insurgent outfit in Nagaland demanding Greater Nagalim.
1997 NSCN(IM) signs cease fire
2001 NSCN (K) (Khaplang) signs cease fire
2012 New NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) group was formed as a breakaway faction of the NSCN (K).
March 2015 NSCN (K) breaks cease fire
Aug 2015 Naga Peace Accord Signed with NSCN (IM)

      • NSCN has vowed allegiance to the constitution of India. The details of the accord are yet to come in public domain.
      • Issue : NSCN-IM has been insistent on the integration of Naga-inhabited areas into a greater Nagaland, which they call Nagalim and would involve the partition of three states — Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and inclusion of areas in Myanmar.

NSCN (IM), which views itself as the sole representative of the Naga people in peace dialogue , is being increasingly threatened on its home turf by the NSCN (Khole and Kitovi) faction.

  • While NSCN (Khaplang) is a major threat to the NSCN (IM) as a rival armed actor, its influence in terms of social legitimacy in Naga inhabited areas in India has been limited at best, due to the fact that its Chairman Khaplang belongs to Myanmar .
  • The Khole-Kitovi faction is however, a real challenge to the NSCN (IM)’s sphere of influence given the fact that both leaders are from Nagaland.

Money Laundering

In this article , we will look into Money Laundering as per the needs of UPSC examination.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is the process of taking money earned from illicit activities, such as drug trafficking or tax evasion, and making the money appear to be earnings from legal business activity.

Money laundering is a way to conceal illegal funds and works by transferring money in an elaborate and complicated manner and to mislead anyone who may seek to trace the transaction. The objective is to make difficult to trace the original party to the transaction also referred to as the launderer.


Money Laundering
Process of Money Laundering
  1. Placement
  • It refers to moving the funds from a direct association with the crime .
  • It involves the initial entry of dirty cash into financial system.
  • The aim at this stage is to remove the cash from its location of acquisition to avoid detection by legal authorities
  • This is the most vulnerable stage in the money laundering

Done through

  1. Currency exchange
  2. Gambling
  3. Purchasing assets
  4. Repayment of loans Etc

2. Layering

  • This is the second and the most complex stage in the process of money laundering .
  • It often involves international movement of funds
  • During this stage , launderers may begin by moving money electronically from one country to another and then investing them back into the markets abroad. This is especially prevalent in those countries that don’t cooperate on anti-money laundering investigations

3. Integration

  • The final stage involves integration of the money into the legitimate economic and financial system. By this stage , it is extremely difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal wealth.
  • Some of the ways it is carried out includes :-
    • Creating front companies and false loans . Such companies are incorporated in countries wth corporate secracy laws in which criminals lend themselves their laundered proceeds in legitimate transactions .
    • Property dealing
    • Generation of false import and export invoices
    • Complicity with foreign banks

Causes why India has high levels of money laundering

  • Poor tax administration 
  • For a long time , India didn’t have any specific law for dealing with money laundering
  • Level of corruption is very high in India
  • Secrecy clauses in DTAAAs (Direct Tax Avoidance Treaties)
  • Nexus between bureaucrats , political leaders and criminals

Hawala & Money Laundering

  • Hawala works by transferring money without actually moving it.
  • It is an alternative or parallel remittance system, which works outside the circle of banks and formal financial systems. 
  • It is frequently used by criminals to launder money for their illicit acts like terrorism, drug trafficking etc
  • As hawala transactions are not routed through banks, the government agencies and the RBI cannot regulate them.

Status of Hawala in India

  • Hawala is illegal in India, as it is seen to be a form of money laundering
  • FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) 2000 and PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) 2002 are the two major legislations which make such transactions illegal.

Cryptocurrency: The New Hawala

  • Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin provides  anonymity & facilitates terror financing which was evident in 2015 Paris terrorist attack.
  • FATF reported in 2015 that some terrorist websites encouraged sympathisers to donate in bitcoins.
  • After, demonetisation action by the Government of India in 2016, there was noticed a flood of such digital transactions.

Impacts of Money Laundering

  • Social Impact
    • Transfers the economic power from the right people to the wrong 
    • Increases income inequality
    • Loss of morality and ethical standards leading to weakening of social institutions

  •  Economic Impact
    • Volatility in exchange rates and interest rates due to unanticipated transfers of funds
    • Discourages foreign investors
    • Policy distortion occurs because of measurement error
    • Legitimate businesses lose , as there is no fair competition involved 

  • Political Impact
    •  Affects the Government’s capability to spend on development schemes thereby affecting a large section of populations who could have benefitted from such spending

  • Security impacts
    • Laundered money is used to fund terrorist organisations

Steps Taken

  • Statutory : Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002

  • Institutional framework: Two bodies:
    • Enforcement Directorate  : Enforce certain provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PML)
    • Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) : International coordination in Money Laundering cases

  • International :
    • Financial Action Task Force (FATF) :
    • Asia – Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) : India is member

Other International Steps

  • Vienna Convention :  1988| To combat money laundering in Drug Trafficking 
  • Basel Statement of Principles in 1989
  • Financial Action Task Force : Integovernmental body sponsored by OECD & based in Paris . India is member
  • UNCTOC (UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crimes)

Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)

  • Defines offence of money laundering
  • Impose obligation on financial institutions and intermediaries to verify identity of  clients , maintain records and furnish informations to Financial Intelligence unit -India (FIU-Ind)
  • Brought certain offences under  IPC, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,  Arms Act,  Wild Life (Protection) Act, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and  Prevention of Corruption Act,  proceeds of which would be covered under this Act
  • Tackles Cross border money Laundering: It allows Central Government to enter into an agreement with Government of any country  for enforcing the provisions of the PMLA
  • Confiscate the illegal property
  • An officer not below the rank of a joint secretary would be appointed for management of properties confiscated under this.
  • Punishment shall not be less than 3 years & can be extended to 7 years . May be extended to 10 years in case it is under Narcotics & Psychotropic Substances Act , 1985
  • Special Courts set-up in a number of States  to conduct the trial of the offences of money laundering. 


  • Rapid advancements in digital technology : The enforcement agencies are not able to match up with the speed of growing technologies. Eg : Bitcoins etc used by money-launderers
  • Tax Haven Countries : Their strict financial secrecy laws  prohibit the disclosure of financial information. 
  • Involvement of employee of financial institution : usually employees of the financial institution are involved in money laundering
  • Lack of comprehensive enforcement agencies : In India, there are separate wings of law enforcement agencies dealing with money laundering, terrorist crimes, economic offences etc. and they lack convergence among themselves.
  • Low Financial Education and use of Jan Dhan Account holders as money mules .
  • Failure of Banks to effectively implement KYC norms as stipulated by the RBI

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