Women Organizations and Movements

Women Organizations and Movements

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


  • Unlike the women’s movement in the West, the Indian women’s movement began in the shadow of colonial rule and the commitment to attain freedom from colonial rule. Thus , the Indian women’s movement transcended the limited gender framework unlike the women’s liberation struggles in the other parts of the world, especially in the West where the principal purpose was to address the relationship between women and men in the private and public spheres. Questions of independence and freedom from the colonial power were inextricably linked with the consciousness of the Indian women’s movement
  • Since the late 19th century Indian society, witnessed an active feminist movement. The early attempts at reforming the conditions under which Indian women lived were mainly carried out by western educated middle and high class men. Soon they were joined by the women of their families. These women along with the men began organized movements fighting against the oppressive social practices such as female infanticide, sati, child marriage, laws prohibiting widow remarriage, etc.
  • After Independence, many of the bourgeois women within the liberal section advocated for representation . During late 1960s and early 1970s , India witnessed the resurgence of women’s movement, mainly due to the repercussion of the problems that cropped up at the national front (such as price rise) and the women’s active mobilizations at the international front.

Pre-Independence Movements

Women’s Organizations Started by Men

1 . Brahmo Samaj

  • Founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1825 & attempted to abolish restrictions and prejudices against women, which included sati, child marriage, polygamy, limited rights to inherit property etc.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy played an important role in getting Sati abolished .

2. Prarthana Samaj

  • Founded by MG Ranade & RG Bhandarker in 1867.
  • Its objectives were more or less similar to that of Brahmo Samaj but remained confined to western India.

3. Arya Samaj

  • Founded by Dayanand Saraswati in 1875.
  • Unlike the above two, it was a religious revivalist movement , revitalising the ancient Hindu traditions. It advocated reforms in the caste system, compulsory education for men and women, prohibition of child marriage by law, remarriage of child widows.

While the men wanted the women to be educated and take part in public activities, but at the same time they regarded the home as the primary focus for women. Gender equality was never an agenda for any of the movements mentioned above. They had a very limited perspective of changing the position of women within the family .

Women’s Organization Started by Women

By the end of the nineteenth century, a few women emerged from within the reformed families who formed organizations of their own.

1 . Swarnakumari Devi

  • She was the daughter of Devendranath Tagore, a Brahmo leader, and sister of the poet Rabindranath Tagore, who formed the Ladies Society in Calcutta in 1882 for educating and imparting skills to widows and other poor women to make them economically self-reliant.
  • She edited a women journal named Bharati.

2 . Ramabai Saraswati

  • She formed the Arya Mahila Samaj in Pune in 1882 and Sharda Sadan in Bombay after few years.

Women in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and other smaller cities formed associations whose members were drawn from among a small group of urban educated families. They were useful in bringing women out of their homes, giving them an opportunity to meet other women, doing philanthropic work, encouraging them to take an interest in public affairs and thus broadening their horizon.

National Women’s Organizations

  • The early women’s organizations were been confined to a particular locality or city. In 1910, Sarala Devi Chaudhurani, daughter of Swarnakumari Devi formed the Bharat Stree Mandal  with the object of bringing together “women of all castes, creeds, classes and parties… on the basis of their common interest in the moral and material progress of the women of India.” Branches were started in different cities such as Lahore, Amritsar, Allahabad, Hyderabad, Delhi, Karachi and other cities.
  • The early 20th century saw the growth of women’s organisations at a national and local level. The Women’s India Association (WIA) (1917), All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) (1926) and National Council for Women in India (NCWI) (1925) were the prominent ones.

National Freedom Movement

  • Gandhian Movement : Women had been associated with the freedom struggle before arrival of Gandhi as well. They had attended sessions of the Indian National Congress and taken part in the Swadeshi movement in Bengal. But the involvement of really large number began when Gandhiji launched the Non Cooperation Movement and gave a special role to women.
  • Revolutionary Movements : While thousands of women joined freedom movement in response to Gandhi’s call, there were others who could not accept his creed of nonviolence and joined revolutionary or terrorist groups. Their hatred of the British was intense and their plan was to make attempts on European lives as widely as possible. 
  • Agrarian Movements : Women participated along with men in struggles and revolts in the colonial period. The Tebhaga movement originating in tribal and rural areas in Bengal, the Telangana arms struggle from the erstwhile Nizam’s rule, and the Warli Tribal Revolt are some of the examples.
  • Labour Movements : In 1917,  Anasuya Sarabhai had led the Ahmedabad textile workers’ strike and in 1920 under her leadership , the Ahmedabad textile mill workers union was established. By the late 1920s, the presence of women in the workers’ movement was noticeable. There were several prominent women unionists.

Post Independence Women’s Movements

During freedom movement, it was felt that with the nation’s Independence , many of the disabilities would disappear , and problems of women attributed to colonial rule. The national government undertook to remove the legal disabilities suffered by women and initiated major reforms in Hindu family laws. The legal reforms in the 1950s sought to provide greater rights to Hindu women in marriage, inheritance and guardianship. However, they failed to bridge the gap between legal and social realities. Similar changes in the family laws of other communities like Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews, have not yet come up due to political resistance despite the Directive Principle of State Policy clearly stating the need for uniform laws for all the communities.

Feminist Movements

Feminist activism in India gained momentum in the late 1970s.

  • Towards Equality Approach : United Nations declared 1975-85 as the International Decade of the Woman and organised the World Conference on Women in Mexico (1975). As a result, In India, the National Committee on the Status of Women had been set up to examine the status of women in the country and to investigate into the extent to which the constitutional and legal provisions had impacted on women’s status . The Committee came out with its findings in the form of a report, popularly known as the Towards Equality Report (1974) . The beginnings of the women’s movement in India, has often been traced back to this report. It showed that women far behind men in enjoying the equal rights conferred on them  by the constitution. This report led to change in ideology to ‘Women in Development’ rather than  ‘Women and Development’ .
  • New organisations such as Self-Employment Women’s Association (Gujarat), Working Women’s Forum (Tamil Nadu), Shramik Mahila Sangathna (Maharashtra) etc. concerned themselves with the plight of women workers in the unorganised sector. These organisations organised women labour and took up the issues of their wages, working conditions, exploitation and health hazards .
  • Mathura Rape Case : brought women’s groups together for first time. Reason was acquittal of policemen accused of raping a young girl in a police station leading to country-wide protests in 1979-1980 which forced Government to create a new offence of custodial rape.
  • Alcoholism (Anti Arak Movement)  : Alcoholism leads to violence against women . Women groups launched anti-liquor campaigns in Andhra , Himachal , Haryana, Odisha, MP etc .
  • Anti Dowry Movement : In the 1980s , several women’s and other progressive organisations formed a joint front in Delhi called “Dahej Virodhi Chetna Manch” and campaigned through protest, demonstrations, discussions, street theatre, posters etc.  After much deliberation, the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1984 was passed.
  • Deforestation and Ecological Movement : Women have direct contact with natural resources like fuel, food and fodder, forest, water and land especially in rural areas. Economic hardships faced by women in the Himalayan region due to cutting down of forests resulted in spontaneous mobilisation of women. They hugged the trees to prevent the contractors from felling them. This is popularly known as Chipko movement. It was just the beginning, which was followed by several other movements such as Green Belt movement in 1977 (planting trees), Appiko movement (hugging the trees) , Narmada Bachao Andolan etc. which saw significant participation of women at all levels.
  • Triple Talaq : Started in Shah Bano Case & culminated with Shyara Bano case in Supreme Court which has effectively banned the practice of Triple Talaq in Muslims.
  • Bhanwari Devi Gangrape Case (1992) : Bhanwari Devi was a Saathin in Rajasthan with job of raising consciousness in her village about child marriage, dowry etc. Her efforts wrt Child Marriage was resented by men of dominant caste and she was brutally gangraped . NGO named Vishakha filed Case in Supreme Court culminating in Vishakha Guidelines .

Self Help Groups (SHGs)

  • SHGs were key instruments in women’s empowerment .
  • 10-20 rural women from the same village , mostly poor , come together to contribute fortnightly or monthly dues as savings and provide group loans to the members .

Literary Movements

Journals devoted to promote women’s equality in various languages started to come up to raise women issues . These include

Feminist Network English Bombay
Ahalya Bengali Calcutta
Women’s Voice English Bangalore
Stree Sangarash Hindi Patna
Manushi Hindi Delhi

Present Movements

  • ‘Pinjra Tod’ : fighting against the discriminatory rules in colleges and university hostels against girls .
  • Temple Entry Movement : Women leaders like Trupati Desai (of Bhumata Brigade) raised voice for entry of women inside the sanctum sanctorum of Temples like  Shani Shignapur and Sabarimala etc.
  • #MeToo Movement :  MeToo Movement started in US and came to India where women named powerful men  who have sexually assaulted their colleagues at workplace. This movement showed  that Balance of Power at workplace is skewed in favour of perpetrators of sexual harassment.
Women Organizations and Movements

Caste System

Caste System

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

What is Caste System?

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

Caste System

Origin of Caste System

The meaning of the word VARNA means colour. There are differences 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. The political theory of the caste system

1. Racial theory 

  • It is supported by Herbert Risley and G.S.Ghurye.
  • In his book, The Peoples of India, Risley stated that castes’ origin 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 the 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 the caste system in India is a 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 the origin of caste.
  • According to him, occupation and only occupation is the basis of the origin of the caste system. All castes are products of division of labour which by time became hereditary. Additionally, they started to marry within the occupational group to support vocational efficiency, which consolidated the 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 a supporter of this theory.
  • He believed that the caste system was the product of the Brahmanical mind. According to him, to maintain their supremacy for an extended period, they invented the caste system. 
  • But critics don’t support this theory. According to critics, Brahmans were neither the leader of the army nor the class that dealt in wealth, so how did they establish this system.

The most accepted theory for the caste system is MULTIFACTORIAL THEORY which believes that the origin of the 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 Hindu society for thousands of years. Salient features of the caste system include

  • Ascribed status 
  • Endogamy
  • Heredity of occupations
  • Commensal restrictions 
  • Jati panchayat
  • Jajmani system

Ascribed status 

  • In the caste system, a person’s status is decided on his birth only, which he can’t change in his lifetime.


  • A caste is an endogamous group where each caste member is expected to marry within their caste group.

Heredity of occupation

  • Members of a particular caste can adopt the occupation associated with that caste.

Purity Pollution basis

  • The caste hierarchy 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

  • A person belonging to a lower caste are not allowed to dine with people belonging to a higher caste.

Jati panchayat

  • Every caste has its own Jati panchayat, which enforces marriage, occupational and dietary rules via provisions like a social boycott.

Jajmani system

  • The economic aspect of the 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 the caste system with a functional perspective and believed that the Jajmani system ensures egalitarianism by the dependence of different caste on each other.
  • However, French thinker Louis Dumont believed it to be an oppressive system. According to him,
    • Many castes take services only but do not give services.
    • Many castes give services only but do not take services.
    • Many 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 the Caste system due to the following reasons:-

  • The advent of industrialization.
  • Urbanization: With increasing migration, city life is becoming anonymous where caste identities of co-habitants are seldom known. 
  • Rise of new occupations
  • Exoteric Education System.
  • Impact of the rule of law and constitution
  • Dalit consciousness due to the efforts of stalwarts like BR Ambedkar. 
  • Herbert Risley’s attempt to assign rank in the 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 to govern them effectively. The 1901 Census sought to collect information on the social hierarchy of caste. This direct attempt to count caste and officially record caste status changed the institution itself. Before this, caste identities had been much more fluid and less rigid. 
  • British Administration took a keen interest in the welfare of the downtrodden like the Government of India Act of 1935, which gave legal recognition to Scheduled Castes marked out for special treatment.
  • Breakdown of Jajmani system: The Jajmani system involves exchanging goods and services, with each Jati contributing its share based on occupational speciality. However, it is dissipating due to the traditional breakdown of occupation and industrialization.  

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

  1. Democracy 
  2. Caste-based reservation 
  3. Caste organizations 

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

Manifestations of Caste System

The caste system is manifested at many levels and in many forms.

  • Endogamy: To sustain itself, the caste system relies on endogamy, i.e. marriage within the same caste. Those who dare to go against this norm have to suffer honour killings.
  • Social boycott of those who dare to go against the set norms of caste.
  • Resource deprivation as one goes down the caste hierarchy. E.g., Dalits have to suffer land alienation, bonded labour and indebtedness. 
  • Dalits are forced to take up jobs that are regarded as polluted and unhygienic.
  • SCs and STs have to face various atrocities.

Ill effects  of Caste System on Indian Society

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

Some Benefits

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

Ways to eradicate Caste

  • Improve Education and ensure good quality education to all.
  • Promote inter-caste marriage.
  • Economic stability and a job-producing economy will help resolve the need for a caste-based reservation.
  • Eradicate Timeless Reservation: According to sociologists like Andre Beittle, reservation has provided 100 years lease period to the caste system.
  • Strengthen Section 123 of Representation of People Act (RoPA), 1951: To prevent parties from invoking votes solely on caste grounds. 

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

Side Topic: Caste Mobility

Mobility in the caste system can be seen at two levels

Inter Caste Mobility

  • Sanskritization: The process whereby people emulate the ritual practices and customs of upper caste people.

Intra Caste Mobility

  • Elite sub-stratum: Sub Stratum of elites has formed within the lower castes. E.g., Meenas in STs.
  • Westernization 


  • 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 the 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, Sanskritization doesn’t lead to 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 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, an increasing number of groups now 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

  • The concept given by M.N Srinivas holds that a caste is dominant when it is numerically higher than the other castes. 
  • It can be seen as an 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 Andhra Pradesh & 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 the Mandalisation of politics, the power of the dominant caste has increased very much.

Modern avatar of Caste

  • According to M.N. Srinivas, after the Mandalization of politics, the vertical hierarchical nature of caste has been replaced by a horizontal arrangement of competing caste groups free from any stigma of purity & pollution & this has been termed as the modern avatar of caste. 
Modern avatar of Caste
  • Elite substratum: Within backward caste, a class has been created which has taken advantage of affirmative action and is now monopolizing all new opportunities. 
Elite substratum
  • The caste system has become ‘invisible’ for the upper caste, urban middle and upper classes. The opposite has happened for the so-called scheduled castes and tribes and the backward castes. For them, their caste has tended to eclipse the other dimensions of their identities.   
  • The secular pattern of living has been emerging because of urbanization. 
  • 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 the 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 the Caste System should be reformed. E.g., the Harijan Movement of Gandhi. 
  • Alternative: Create an alternative socio-cultural system where there was no caste system. E.g., Religious Conversions etc. 

2. Post Independence

2.1 1950-60s

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

2.2 1970s

Dalit Panther Movement 

  • It was inspired by the ‘Black Panthers Movement of USA’.  
  • It was aimed at generating awareness among people regarding the plight of the Dalits.
  • Educated students carried it out, and the methodology included public debates, pamphlets, plays etc. Students of other sections of society apart from Dalits also participated in this. 
  • They defined dalits in a 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 a democracy, the majority should rule. 
  • They wanted to take power out of the hands of elites, especially Brahmins, Rajputs and Baniyas. 

Caste Census

  • Caste Census is the caste-wise tabulation of the population in the census exercise. 
  • Caste was included as a category in the Census in 1931 for the last time. From 1951, although the population of SCs and STs is counted, caste is not included. 

Timeline of Caste Census

1872 The first population Census of India was conducted.
1881 The first synchronous census of India was conducted.
1931 The last census that counted the different castes of India.
1951 In the first census post-independence, the government decided to include SC and ST data but didn’t include data on other castes.
1979 Mandal Commission estimated that the OBC population in India is approximately 52%.
2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) was conducted, which studied the socioeconomic status of rural and urban households and ranking of households based on predefined parameters like the structure of the house (Kuccha or Pucca), ownership status, the main source of income etc.   

But the data of SECC was never made public.
2021 There were demands of including Caste Data in the Census-2021. But PM has replied in the Lok Sabha that Caste data will not be enumerated in Census-2021.

Arguments against Caste Census

  • It will subvert India’s anti-caste struggle and make the castes more rigid by reinforcing caste identities. 
  • Identity Politics: Caste Census will strengthen the caste boundaries and force political parties to indulge in caste politics instead of focusing on development issues. 
  • Rise in demand for reservations: Caste census would lead to a clamour for higher quota in government jobs and admissions to educational institutions.
  • Estimates of caste are already available in surveys conducted by the NSSO and National Family and Health Survey (NFHS). 

Arguments favouring Caste Census

  • The collection of caste data will help better policymaking and understanding the effects of affirmative action and redistributive justice. It will help in rationalising reservation policy as per the needs of specific caste.
  • Further, Indra Sawhney’s judgment of the Supreme Court has also demanded that such evidence be collected every 10 years to bar privileged castes from cornering all the affirmative actions.
  • For OBC sub-categorization, the need of a new caste census is sine quo none.

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 an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

What is Society?

  • Society can be defined as the network of social relationships due to interaction between its 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 a sub-entity of a larger entity.
  • India is a state with multiple societies/nations in it. Indian society is an amalgamation of many societies 
    • India is one state with multiple nations.
    • Sri Lanka is one state with two nations.
    • Japan is a single state with a single nation.
    • Korea is two states with one nation.
Indian Society and 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, globalization etc. 

Characteristics of Indian Society

  1. Multiethnic society: Indian society is multiethnic due to the co-existence of many 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 based on birth as well as financial and social achievements. 
  4. Patriarchal society: Indian society is primarily a patriarchal society where men 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 core values. In contrast, 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, family life is still bound by traditional values and belief systems.
  7. The balance between individualism and collectivism: Individualism is an outlook that stresses human independence, self-reliance and liberty. In contrast, collectivism is 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 an intrinsic part of Indian society. 
  10. Joint Family: Since time immemorial, Indians have preferred to live in Joint families. 
  11. Marriage: Mostly, monogamy is practised, but polygamy is also practised at some places. 

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 lies exclusively with the eldest male member of the family. 

is called a joint family.

  • The Indians have understood the importance of the Joint family 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

  • It provides social insurance to the members.
  • Division of work: Workload, either domestic or business, is divided between the members.
  • Sharing resources with the cousins minimize the expenses on children.
  • It leads to the development of a feeling of camaraderie between cousins.
  • Social Security: Weaker family members – such as the elders or children – are taken care of by other members. 
  • Joint Families are more disciplined because the 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 doesn’t indulge in antisocial activities. 

Disadvantages of Joint Family

  • It creates parasites who love to feed on others’ income. 
  • The low status of women 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 the expectations of others.
  • Joint families are an ‘arena of contradiction and conflict.’
  • Agent of cultural reproduction: In Joint families, obsolete values like patriarchy don’t change. 
  • Joint families have a high fertility rate as an extra child doesn’t become a financial liability.
  • It leads to encroachment on privacy as a joint family has no privacy. 

From Joint Families to Nuclear Families

But despite its many advantages, silent changes have been taking place as old joint family systems 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 girls can’t reconcile with husbands’ mothers & are forced to set up independent establishments. 
  • Disparity in the income of brothers:  Brothers with decent income usually separate.
  • Influence of urbanization: Various sociologists have revealed that city life is more favourable to small nuclear families than 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, a Functional Joint family is a family where although the members of a family are living separately, the individual gives importance to the fulfilment of obligation towards kin, especially parents.   
  • Although a person lives in the city, he keeps sending money to his parents.

Side Topic: Female-Headed Households

Generally, in Indian Society, households are Male headed. But there are some situations when Females head the household

  1. Migration of males to the urban areas.
  2. Widowhood  
  3. Divorce

3. Marriage Systems

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

Marriage has a large variety of forms

1. Polygamy vs Monogamy

1.1 Monogamy

Monogamy restricts the individual to one spouse at a time

  • Man can have only one wife.
  • Woman can have only one husband.

1.2 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 a single male cannot support a wife and children.
  • Even where polygamy is permitted, monogamy is more widely prevalent in actual practice.

2. Patrilocal vs Matrilocal vs Neolocal

2.1 Patrilocal

After marriage, the wife comes to reside in the family of her husband is known as the patrilocal marriage.

2.2 Matrilocal

The family in which after marriage husband comes to reside in the family of her wife is known as matrilocal family.

2.3 Neolocal

After marriage newly married couple establish a new family independent of their parents and settled in a new place.

3. Endogamy vs Exogamy

3.1 Endogamy

  • Endogamy requires an individual to marry within a culturally defined group. E.g., caste, religion etc. 

3.2 Exogamy

  • Exogamy requires the individual to marry outside of their group.

In India, village exogamy is practised in most north India so that daughters are married in distant places to ensure that they can’t interfere in the matters of her parents’ home and settle in her affinal home without interference.

Side Topic: Live-In Relationships

The trend of Live-In Relationships is increasing in India.

Reasons for increasing Live-In relationships in India

  • Penetration of modern education and ideas emanating from it like freedom, equality, autonomy, individualism etc.
  • Patriarchy associated with institutionalized marriages (like patrilocal residency, gender inequality, unequal division of labour between sexes, lack of agency over reproduction, etc.) makes some educated women choose Live-In relationships instead of marriage.
  • Legal and financial complications associated with marriages in case of splitting or divorces.
  • Increased labour force participation has made women economically independent to take decisions affecting their lives.
  • Career oriented and highly aspirational youngsters view legal institutionalized marriages and children as impediments to their career growth.
  • Impact of globalisation and westernization.
  • Inter-caste and interreligious marriages are still not accepted by society, forcing youth to prefer live-in relations.

The legality of Live-In Relationships

  • S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal: Supreme court has accepted live-in relationships under Article 21.
  • Justice Malimath Committee has recommended that live-in partners should be included in the definition of a wife.

4. Patriarchy

  • Patriarchy is a social system in which woman is suppressed.
  • It is not a constant concept since the nature of the subjugation of women 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. E.g., Manu Smriti.
  • Caste System: Caste purity needs to control the sexuality of the woman. 

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

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

5. Cultural Lag

Famous sociologist W.F. Ogburn coined the term Cultural Lag

Every group has two types 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 creates anxiety because the group is neither traditional nor fully modern in such a situation. 
  • E.g., 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 the marriage system
    1. Legislative measures like the 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” and “delayed marriages” have become common features. 
    4. Cases of divorce and desertion have also increased. 
  • The 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 the right to ancestral property and a legal right to share the property with male members after the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was amended in 2005.

NCERT Topic: Impact of colonisation  on Indian Society

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

  • Change in land ownership: It impacted the old agrarian ties. E.g., 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 were taken away 
  • Criminalization of Tribes via Criminal Tribes Act.
  • The policy of Divide and Rule: Colonialists divided Indian society based on religion.  
  • Forced Movement of Population on a large scale: Eg : 
    • Workers from Bihar & Jharkhand moved to Assam to work on tea plantations. 
    • Indentured labourers send to Africa and the Americas.
    • Deindustrialization & ruralization led to the movement of artisans to agriculture.
  • Exoteric secular knowledge: Brahmin monopoly over education ended, and Dalits also got access to knowledge
  • English replaced Persian as the official language: Muslims suffered, and Hindus who adapted to change rapidly increased their 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

Security challenges and their management in border areas

This article deals with ‘Security challenges and their management in border areas.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’ which is an important pillar of the GS-2 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


  • Borders are the visible symbols of a country’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.
  • There are three distinct sets of borders at the international level i.e.
    • Land borders
    • Maritime boundaries
    • Airspace
  • Border security 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 security.
  • In this chapter, we will read about Border Management which is a broader term than Border Security. While Border Security Approach deals only with defending the borders, the Border management is a broader term which involves not only defending the borders but also the protection of interests of the country in aligning borders.
  • India has a huge land border of 15,106.7 km and a coastline of 7,516.6 km including island territories. 
  • India has specialised forces to guard the borders apart from the Indian army. Assam Rifle, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Shashatra Seema Bal are India’s Border Guarding Forces.

Borders and Issues

issues at different borders of India

Some general issues faced in the management of Indian borders include

  1. No proper demarcation of maritime and land borders at many places leading to conflicts.
  2. Artificial boundaries which are not based on natural borders are difficult to guard. Eg: In Punjab, an artificial line was created dividing the united Punjab and there is no river or mountain dividing the two countries.
  3. The multiplicity of forces on the same borders leads to problems of coordination, command and control.  
  4. Cross-border terrorism targeted to destabilise India.
  5. Border Guarding Forces like Border Security Force lack infrastructure including the latest guns, night vision glasses etc.
  6. Hostile elements have access to the latest technology and advanced weapons.
  7. Illegal migration in the north-eastern region causing demographic changes and social backlashes between the migrants and indigenous people.
  8. Smuggling of arms and explosives, narcotics and counterfeit currency.
  9. The unprecedented use of money power by the enemy states.
  10. A wide choice is available for selecting theatre of action for surprise strikes.

Task Force on border management under the Chairmanship of Madhav Godbole has also concluded that the country’s borders could not be effectively managed because of certain inherent problems such as their disputed status, artificiality and porosity.

Techniques of effective Land Border Management

Following are the techniques of effective land border management

  1. Building fences and erecting floodlights.
  2. Creating effective Border Out Posts (BOPs).
  3. Set up border infrastructure like roads for effective mobilisation during the time of need.
  4. Effective patrolling and building of observation post towers.
  5. Building of nakas and checkposts.
  6. Equipping the security forces with night vision technologies.
  7. Installation of CCTV & thermal imaging equipment on the border.

General Recommendations regarding better Border Management

  1. Use of advanced technology for surveillance particularly satellite and aerial imagery.
  2. The BSF should be responsible for all settled borders while the responsibility for unsettled and disputed borders should be that of the Indian Army.
  3. For effective accountability, the principle of ‘single point control’ or ‘one-force-one-border’ must be followed.
  4. Infrastructure along the border should be developed at an accelerated pace, especially to wean the border population from illegal activities.
  5. Upgradation of intelligence network along the border.
  6. Raising the issues of infiltration across the border during various meetings with the counterparts.
  7. Establishment of more Integrated Check Posts (ICP) at the land borders which house, under one roof all regulatory activities such as immigration, security and customs. It has to be noted that a Statutory Authority called ‘Land Ports Authority of India’ (LPAI) has been set up to oversee and regulate the construction, management and maintenance of the ICPs.


Issues at Indo-Bangladesh Border

General Information

Bordering states West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram
Guarding force Border Security Force (BSF)


  1. Illegal migration to West Bengal and Assam, changing the demographic profile of the region. 
  2. Inadequate border fencing due to issues such as the riverine nature of the border, pending land acquisition cases and protests by border population. Hence, there is a high degree of porosity.
  3. Smuggling of goods like jamdani sarees, rice salt and livestock (especially cattle) etc. According to the CBI investigation (2021), BSF officials take a bribe of ₹2000 per cattle to allow the smuggling of Indian cattle to Bangladesh. 
  4. North East Insurgents take refuge in Bangladesh due to the porous border.
  5. India and Bangladesh share 54 transboundary rivers. As a result, there are various water disputes such as sharing the waters of the Teesta river and construction of a dam on the Barak river by India.
  6. Radical groups like Harkat-al-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and Jamaat-e-Islami fuel Anti-India sentiments in Bangladesh. Their propaganda could spill across the border.
  7. The area is densely populated and people on both sides live in close proximity to the border.

Recent Initiatives

  1. The government has announced the establishment of Border Protection Grid (BPG) with BSF, State Police, Army etc.
  2. Installation of border surveillance devices such as closed-circuit cameras, searchlights, thermal imaging devices and drones to keep a tight vigil on the border.
  3. Parliament has passed the 100th Constitutional Amendment to solve the issue of Adverse Possessions and landlocked enclaves amidst other’s territory.
  4. Border Haats i.e. traditional markets of local produce that can be accessed by people from across the border have been established at the Indo-Bangladesh border. Trade can be carried here using Indian Rupee or Bangladeshi Taka.
  5. Project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) has been started to install a different kind of sensors in the unfenced riverine area of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries.
  6. Road construction: 3,585.53 km of border patrol roads have been constructed on Indo-Bangladesh Border.
  7. Integrated Check Posts (ICP) have been established at places like Sutarkandi in Assam and Ghojadanga in West Bengal along the Bangladesh border.
  8. Border forces of two countries also undertake joint exercise such as ‘Sundarbans Moitry’ (Sundarbans Alliance).


Issues at Indo-China Border

General Information

Bordering states UT of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh
Length 3,488 km
Guarding Force Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) together with the Indian Army.


  1. Border dispute at Aksai Chin in J&K as well as in Arunachal Pradesh with sporadic aggression by the Chinese Army (PLA).
  2. Large scale smuggling of Chinese electronic and other consumer goods takes place on the border.
  3. Inadequate infrastructure due to high altitude and thick habitation. However, China has undertaken a large-scale up-gradation to air, road and rail infrastructure.
  4. Multiple forces along the Indian border  (ITBP, Assam Rifles and Special Frontier Force) as opposed to a single commander on the Chinese side.
  5. China’s CPEC passes through parts of Jammu & Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan. China can use CPEC to mobilize troops in case of conflict.
  6. China is building a series of dams on the Brahmaputra river which is the lifeline of North-Eastern states as well as Bangladesh. Given the Chinese track record on the Mekong river where China virtually stopped the flow of the Mekong river in South-East Asian countries, this development is worrisome.

Recent Initiatives

  1. Creating infrastructure: India is constructing critical bridges to cut downtime for troop movement such as the Dhola-Sadiya bridge inaugurated in the recent past.
  2. India has joined hands with Japan to aggressively develop infrastructure projects in the North-East to contain China.
  3. Army infrastructure projects within 100Km of LAC have been exempted from forest clearance.
  4. To expedite border road construction, the Ministry of Defence has decided to delegate administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).


Issues at Indo-Pakistan Border

General Information

Bordering states J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat (Boundary between India and Pakistan is known as Radcliffe Line)
Length 3323 km
Guarding Force Border Security Force (BSF)


  1. Border dispute at Sir Creek and Kashmir.
  2. Infiltration and Cross-border terrorism targeted to destabilise India.  
  3. Ceasefire violations and frequent shelling.
  4. Diverse terrain including desert, marshes, snow-capped mountain and plains makes border guarding difficult.
  5. Illegal activities like smuggling, drugs and arms trafficking due to porous border.

Recent Initiatives

  • After Pathankot terrorist attack, the Ministry of Home Affairs sanctioned and installed a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) to safeguard and control the incidents of border infiltration.
  • Fencing: By 2011, almost all of the border– along with J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat – was double-row fenced.
  • Outposts: About 700 border outposts and one Integrated Check-Post at Attari (Amritsar) has been functional.


Issues at Indo-Nepal Border

General Information

Bordering states Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim
Length 1751 Km
Guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

It has to be noted that the border with Nepal is an open border and was virtually unattended till very recently.


  1. The highly porous nature of the Indo-Nepal border leads to cross border crimes. Insurgents, terrorists, many hard-core criminals pursued by Indian and Nepalese security forces escape across the open border.
  2. Smuggling of essential items and fake Indian currency, gun-running, and drugs and human trafficking.
  3. Pakistan is using the open borders to carry out anti-India activities including pushing terrorists and fake Indian currency.
  4. Fear of spread of Maoist insurgency due to links of Nepali Maoists in India.

New Initiatives

  1. Establishment of a new intelligence section in SSB.
  2. A total of 25 battalions of Sashastra Seema Bal has been deployed on Indo-Nepal Border.
  3. Border District Coordination Committee at the level of the district of two countries have been established.
  4. The government of India has approved the construction of 1377 km of road along the Nepal border.
  5. India is giving development aid to Nepal.


Issues at Indo-Myanmar Border

General Information

Bordering States Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland
Length 1,643 km
Guarding Assam Rifles


  1. Presently, Assam Rifle is having the mandate to preserve peace in the North East as well as to guard Indo-Myanmar Border. As a result, they are not able to do both works professionally. Government 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).  In 2017, Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs in its report has suggested the transfer of Indo-Myanmar Border Management to Border Guard Forces (BGF) instead of Assam riffles for better management.
  2. The highly porous border with Free Movement Regime up to 16 km.
  3. About 170 km border is not properly demarcated.
  4. Porous border due to no physical barrier. It is exploited by Indian insurgent groups which use it as safe havens (Naga insurgents especially NSCN-K use this).
  5. Drug trafficking due to proximity to the golden triangle. The bulk of heroin enters India through the border town of Moreh in Manipur.
  6. China’s interest in Myanmar is also a threat to India as it is building Kyaukpyu port in Myanmar as part of String of Pearls strategy to encircle India.
  7. During the 2021 coup d’etat by Myanmar Military, a large number of people crossed over to India in fear of political persecution. This created a large rift between the Union Government which wanted to stop the refugees from entering India and Mizos who share ethnic similarities with the Chins (living on the next side of the border in Chin state) who wanted to give them safe havens.

Free Movement Regime (FMR) Issue

Tribal Naga and Mizo communities claim that the 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 the insecurity of tribals living along the India and Myanmar border. It permits tribes residing along the border to travel 16 km across the boundary without visa restrictions.

Issues with FMR

While the FMR has helped the tribes to continue to maintain their age-old ties, it has also become a cause of concern for the security establishment.

  • FMR  is being misused by militants and criminals for infiltration, smuggling of weapons, narcotics, trafficking of women and children etc.
  • Militants groups such as the NSCN-K, NSCN-IM, ULFA etc. exploit this to get safe havens in Myanmar.
  • The exodus of Rohingyas: Rohingyas also entered India using this route.

Note: In 2015, India carried out surgical strikes against NSCN-K in Myanmar by crossing the border in response to the killing of a troop contingent by the insurgents. But this raises the issue of Sovereignty versus National Security and the question that whether the national security of one country can be given precedence over the sovereignty of the other country.


General Information

Guarding forces Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB)
Bordering States Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal


  1. The border between Bhutan and China is not demarcated at the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China. There is a border dispute over Doklam which is dangerously close to Chicken’s neck and can jeopardise the security of the whole of Northeast.
  2. Insurgent groups such as Bodos, ULFA etc. sneak into Bhutan for sanctuary.
  3. Smuggling of goods such as Bhutanese cannabis, liquor and forest products from Bhutan to India and livestock, grocery items and fruits from India to Bhutan.
  4. Free movement of people and vehicles.
  5. Migration trigger fear of change in demography. Migrants are also accused of deforestation, poaching, and wildlife smuggling.

New Initiatives

  1. Cooperation with Bhutanese army to prevent sanctuary to insurgents on their soil. Operation All Clear was undertaken by Bhutan and Indian forces in this regard.
  2. India-Bhutan Group on Border Management and Security has been established.
  3. The government of India has approved the construction of a 313 km road in Assam along the Indo-Bhutan border.
  4. The union environment ministry has given “general approval” for the diversion of forest land for major border infrastructure projects along the eastern border with Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal.
  5. Establishing new border posts in Sikkim along the Bhutan frontier near Doklam.
  6. Establishment of a new intelligence section in SSB.


General Information

  • Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India.
  • Tamil Nadu is situated just across the Palk Strait and is the most important determinant in Indo-Sri Lankan relations.


  1. Katchatheevu Island Issue: India ceded the uninhabited island to its southern neighbour in 1974 under a conditional accord. However, Tamil Nadu and the fisherman community still argue it to be their traditional fishing area.
  2. Trespassing by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters takes place regularly. Here, the issue is not of an unsettled maritime boundary but the refusal of Indian fishermen to recognise the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka, especially in Palk Bay.
  3. Although LTTE and Tamil insurgency in Sri Lanka has been completely eliminated. But supporters of the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka are still active in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

New Initiatives

  1. All big trawlers (20 meters and above) are being installed with AIS transponders.
  2. Distress Alert Transmitters (DATs) are being provided to fishermen so that they can alert the ICG if they are in distress at sea.

Side Topic: Issues faced by Border Guarding Forces (BGF)

BSF, SSB, ITBP etc. are the  Border Guarding Forces. These forces face various issues as mentioned below

  1. Jawans are overworked and hence fatigued during patrolling duty.
  2. Deployment of BGF Battalions to duties other than guarding the borders.
  3. Deficiency of surveillance equipment, like hand-held Thermal Imagers, which are essential for surveillance during the night.
  4. Medical facilities for personnel posted on the border are severely inadequate. The personnel had to be transferred to Frontier Headquarters for even basic treatment.
  5. The disparity in wages and allowances in comparison with the army.

Government response/Steps taken by the government 

1. Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS)

Madhukar Gupta Committee was constituted in the backdrop of the Pathankot attack by terrorists after infiltrating Indo-Pakistan Border. It recommended the installation of CIBMS to avoid such misadventures of Pakistan based terrorists. Presently, the system is operational at important points.

Details of CIBMS

  • It is a five-layer elaborate plan to completely stop infiltration on the 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 the control room in case of a transgression. It will work as a ‘Smart Fence’.
  • Its cost is estimated to be Rs. 1 crore per km

Side Topic: Use of Technology in Border Management

  • Technology can be used for border surveillance using CCTV, thermal & radar imagery.
  • Drones are used by the border guarding forces for aerial surveillance.
  • Satellite Monitoring is also used for this. Eg: India is using GSAT-7A & Cartosat for this purpose.
  • IRNSS/NAVIC (Indian GPS) provides location services in difficult terrain in the Himalayan borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal and Myanmar.

2. Department of Border Management  Division

  • Department of Border Management works under Home Ministry.
  • It was set up in Jan 2004 on the recommendation of the Godbole Report (formed in the backdrop of the Kargil war to strengthen border management).
  • It specifically looks at border management and implementation of the Border Area Development Program (BADP).

3. Development of Integrated Check Posts (ICPs)

  • Integrated Check Posts have been set up at places along the border from where the movement of people and goods take place.
  • ICPs house all regulatory agencies like immigration, customs, border security etc.
  • They have facilities like warehouses, hotels parking, banking etc.

4. Border Area Development Programme(BADP)

  • It was started in the 7th five-year plan.
  • It is a 100% centrally funded program. Along with that, all the allocated funds are fully non-lapsable.
  • Department of Border Management under the Home Ministry is the nodal agency.
  • It covers 111 border districts in 17 States.
  • BADP covers all the villages which are located within 0-10 Km of the International Border.


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

Main programs

  • Construction of roads.
  • Ensure water supply, education and sports facilities.
  • The organisation of early childhood care etc.

5. Border Out Posts (BOPs)

  • Border Out Posts (BOPs) are designated entry and exit points on the international border of the country through which cross border movement of persons, goods and traffic takes place.
  • BOPs are also meant to provide an appropriate show of force to deter trans-border criminals, infiltrators and hostile elements from indulging in the activities of encroachment and border violations.
  • Each BOP is provided with the necessary infrastructure for accommodation, logistic supports and combat functions. It also facilitates trade & commerce.

6. Land Port Authority of India

  • It is a Statutory Authority set up to oversee and regulate the construction, management and maintenance of the ICPs.
  • LPAI has been envisaged as a lean, oversight body aimed at providing better administration and cohesive management of the cross-border movement of people and goods.
  • It would be vested with powers on the lines of similar bodies like the Airports Authority of India.

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. 
  • Hence, there should be one nodal agency and clear chain of command. 

2. Resolving Governance Problems

  • Ministry of Home Affairs should be the nodal ministry for all borders. Presently, the resolution of border disputes is the responsibility of Ministry of External Affairs (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 i.e. guarding Myanmar Border and maintaining security and peace in North East. There should be separate Border Guarding Force .
  • BSF: BSF guards 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

  1. People living in border areas
  2. State administration
  3. Border guarding forces
  4. Central agencies involved in border development.

5. Modernisation

  • At present, border guarding work is excessively manpower intensive. There should be greater infusion of technology into border guarding functions.
  • Madhukar Committee Report has also recommended this and installation of CIBMS is step in that direction. Going further, drones and satellite data should also be used for guarding the borders.

6. Upgrading infrastructure

  • Areas especially along the Chinese region needs proper infrastructure especially in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism

Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism

This article deals with ‘Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Like terrorism, there is no single uniformly accepted definition of organized crime. Even UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime does not define organized crime

According to Interpol, an Organised Crime Group can be defined as ‘any group having a corporate structure & whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities, often surviving on fear and corruption.’

Characteristics of Organised Crime Groups

Continuity These groups are structured to survive leadership changes. Due to their structured nature, they operate beyond the lifetime of an individual.
Structure These groups are highly structured with a properly defined hierarchy. The ranks are based on power and authority.
Membership Their membership is restricted and based on common traits like ethnicity, background, common interest or proximity with the leader. Scrutiny and probation are crucial parts of member recruitment.
Criminality Such groups rely on criminal activities to generate income. These groups are engaged in criminal activities like smuggling, murder, intimidation, drug trafficking, human trafficking etc.
Violence These groups use violence against opposition groups and also to protect their commercial interests.
Intimidation To get their job done criminal gangs indulge in intimidation against people or public officials.
Corruption Crime thrives in a corrupt atmosphere. Organised Crime Groups buy off law enforcement officers so that they can carry out their illegal activities without resistance.
Power & Profit Motives All the actions of the Organised Crime Group are aimed at maximising the power and profits of the group. For this, the group bribes the officials and leaders and even indulge in intimidation and violence.
Protectors These groups have protectors in form of public officials, attorneys and businessmen who collectively protect the criminal group.
Specialist support These groups are assisted by the specialists on an ad-hoc basis including chemists (in drug business), shooters (for murder), pilots (in smuggling) etc. who are nonetheless considered part of the group.

The degree of these characteristics may vary from group to group. The quintessential element of organized crime is continuing illegal activities for generating illegal proceeds.

Famous Organised Crime Groups of the World

Country Organised Group Important Points
Japan Yakuza Transnational Crime Syndicate with more than 28,000 members and a turnover of around $50 billion. It further has three more clans i.e. Yamaguchi Gumi,  Sumiyoshi-kai and  Inagawa-kai.
Italy Ndrangheta group – It has an annual turnover of €53 billion.
– It is engaged in wide-ranging activities like murder, extortion, drug trafficking and money laundering.
– Supply of cocaine in the whole of Europe is controlled by them. Membership relies on blood ties in the Calabria region of South Italy.
USA CRIPS African-American Organised Criminal Group in the USA with a turnover of $8 billion 
India D Company D Company is named after its leader Dawood Ibrahim.
It is the most powerful gang of Mumbai with abroad networks.
It is involved in extortion, narcotics, drugs, smuggling and contract killing.
Russian  Mafia  
Hong Kong Triads  
Famous Organised Crime Groups of the World

Main activities carried by Organised Crime

1 . Drug Trade

  • It is the biggest source of revenue for most the organised crime groups. 
  • It is quite widespread in India due to India’s geographical location between the golden triangle and golden crescent, the world’s leading producers of narcotics.
  • Apart from that, Opium is cultivated in India legally under licensing for medicinal purposes. Organised Criminal Groups siphon off this opium to be sold in the illicit market.
Go dem 
Golden Crescent & Triangle

Side Topic: Narco-Terrorism

  • According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), narco-terrorism is “a subset of terrorism,” where groups or individuals participate directly or indirectly in the cultivation, manufacture, transportation or distribution of controlled substances and the money derived from these activities”.

2. Smuggling

  • Goods are smuggled in and out of the country by Organised Crime Groups without paying the required taxes and dodging the customs.
  • The nature of smuggled goods depends on the fiscal policies adopted by the government. Eg: Textile items and electronic items were smuggled in the 1970s. Presently, gold is the major item that is smuggled into India.

3. Cyber Crimes

  • With increased dependence on computers, cyber-crimes have emerged as the main activity of Organised Crime Groups. They indulge in hacking, copyright piracy, software piracy, credit card frauds etc.

4. EnvironmentalCrime

  • There is a large scale poaching of animals due to organised crime. 50% of world species are facing the fastest man-made mass extinction because of animal poaching.
  • Timber poaching is also a multi-billion dollar avenue and organised crime groups.

5. Trafficking cultural property

  • Trafficking of cultural property is an important avenue for money laundering. Ancient Artefacts are stolen and sites are destroyed by the organised crime groups to erase the trails of theft.

6. Piracy

  • Piracy is widespread across the Horn of Africa, Malacca and Sundarbans.
  • Organised crime groups indulge in attacking the merchant ships to take crew hostage and then demand money for releasing the hostages. They earn millions of dollars through this route.

7. Prostitution

  • Trading in sex and girl-running is a very profitable business. Underworld is closely connected to brothels and call girl rackets. According to the WHO,  Bombay & Kolkata has 1 million and Pune & Delhi has 40,000 prostitutes.
  • It has to be noted that prostitution per se is not an offence in India. However, running brothels, inducing girls for the sake of prostitution, detaining girls in brothels or running brothels in the vicinity of public places is a criminal offence.

8. Contract Killing

  • Organised Crime Groups like D-Company and Yamaguchi Gumi are involved in contract killing as well. They are ready to kill anybody in return for certain fees.  It is also the preferred mode of killing as the conviction rate in contract killing is negligible.
  • Under the contract, the part amount is paid in advance called ‘supari’. The rest of the payment is made after the commission of the crime.

9. Money Laundering

  • Money laundering means the conversion of illegal and ill-gotten money into legal money. Organised Crime Groups provide services in this regard via placement, layering and integration of black money in return for fees.

10. Kidnapping

  • It is a highly organised crime. Crime groups kidnap children or adults and demand huge sums in return for releasing them.
  • This activity is mainly carried out in urban areas.

11. Organ trafficking

  • An organ transplant can save a life but there is a heavy demand-supply mismatch. Due to the desperate situation of the recipient, they are ready to pay the heavy amount. Organised Crime groups exploit this situation by indulging in organ trafficking.
  • Unlike other crimes, professionals like doctors, nurses etc. are also involved in this.

12. Light Arms Proliferation

  • Light arms proliferation is a global phenomenon. It has extracted a heavy toll in terms of human lives and socio-economic development of entire regions.
  • Organised Crime Groups are the main suppliers of illegal light arms like pistols, guns etc.

13. Intellectual Property Crime

  • Intellectual Property Crime (IPC) includes the manufacturing, storage and sale of counterfeit or pirated goods where the consent of the rights holder has not been obtained.
  • Some scholars argue that it constitutes the largest black-market economy, even surpassing the global narcotics trade.

Organised Crime and Terrorism

The intersection between terrorism and organised crime can be divided into three categories

1. Co – existence

  • It refers to a situation when both (Organised Crime Gangs & Terrorist Organisations) operate in the same theatre but remain separate entities.
Co-existence in Organised Crime and Terror

2. Cooperation

  • Generally Organised Crime Groups and Terrorist organisations don’t cooperate with each other as their motives are different. While Terrorists want a change in the political status quo, Organised Crime Groups want to change in the 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 a cost-effective manner from each other. Eg:
    1. In Columbia, Medellin Drug Cartel hired ELN to implant car bombs because they didn’t have the expertise in bombs.
    2. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan allied with the Afghan drug mafia so that movement of drugs can occur safely to the Soviet Union.
    3. Terrorist Organisations frequently take the help of Organised Crime Groups for creating fake passports, smuggling terrorists into countries. Terrorist groups / Insurgents active in the North-Eastern States take the services of crime syndicates active in Cox Bazaar for such activities.
Cooperation in Organised Crime and Terror

3. Confluence

When both activities are done by a single entity

Organised crime When Organised Crime Group uses terror tactics to safeguard their business interest. Eg: D-Company’s terrorist activities.
Terrorist group When Terrorist Group uses organised crime to gather funds. Eg: Al Qaeda using drug trafficking and ISIS using women trafficking to fund their activities.
Confluence in Organised Crime and Terror

It is also known as ‘Black Hole Syndrome‘  where the terrorist groups and transnational organized crime group completely converge into each other. The black hole syndrome is thus described as the natural progression of these two criminal groups gaining economic and political control over the territory (Tamara Makarenko, 2005, p.129)

Black Hole Syndrome

Indian examples of Black Hole Syndrome

  • In the Northeast, extortion, drug trafficking and gun-running are the fundamental basis for funding all forms of terrorism.
  • D Company of Mumbai (as discussed above).

Similarities between Terrorism and Organised Crime

Similarities between Terrorism and Organised Crime
  • There is a similarity in the personality traits of members belonging to both terrorist organisations and Organised Crime Groups. Members of both the organisations are
    • From the marginal social groups exposed to and burdened by social or political frustrations.
    • They are the persons attracted by excitement and thrill.
    • They have the risk taking ability.
  • Terrorist Organisations and Organised Crime Groups have similarities in their modus operandi which involves
    • Secrecy and confidentiality.
    • Use of violence for the purpose of accomplishing certain goals or interests.
    • Detailed planning and preparation.
    • Respect for strict discipline.
    • Intimidating the surroundings.
  • Activities carried out by both i.e. Terrorists and Organised Crime Groups are punishable by law.

Differences between Terrorism and Organised Crime

Terrorist Organisations Organised Crime Groups
They want to overthrow the existing government by changing the present order. They don’t want to overthrow the state => Only wants to form a parallel government.
They use violent means. These groups generally remain non-violent. Violence is used as a last resort.
Terrorists are driven by political objectives. Organised Crime Groups are driven by economic objectives, devoid of any political dimension.
Terrorist organisations claim responsibility for terrorist attacks. Organised Crime Groups never claim responsibility for their criminal acts.
They try to seek media attention. They don’t seek media attention and remain low profile.
They attack government and law enforcement agencies. They generally don’t indulge in such activities.
They want to influence public opinion. They aren’t concerned with public opinion.

UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime

  • It was adopted in 2000 and came to force in 2003.
  • The Convention is supplemented by three supplementary protocols i.e.
    1. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children
    2. Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air
    3. Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms and Ammunition
  • As a signatory, the country is committed for
    1. Creation of domestic criminal offences for participation in an organised criminal group.
    2. Adoption of frameworks for extradition, mutual legal assistance and law-enforcement cooperation.
    3. Promotion of training and technical assistance for building or upgrading the necessary capacity of national authorities.

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. But Government of India is planning to make Organised Crime Control Act.
  • Various states have enacted special legislation to tackle Organised Crime like Maharashtra (first to pass in 1999), Delhi, UP, Gujarat, Karnataka & Haryana (2019) etc.
  • Organised crime in India is predominantly an urban phenomenon.

Provisions of IPC

Criminal conspiracy It is defined by Section 120A of IPC.
When two or more person agrees to do or cause to be done an illegal act or an act which is not illegal by illegal means.
Dacoity Section 391 of IPC deals with it.
If 5 or more persons commit a robbery, it is termed as dacoity.
It is a punishable offence with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment upto 10 years.

Provisions to tackle Human Trafficking (by Organised Crime Groups)

  • Anti-Trafficking Nodal Cell has been set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs to act as a focal point for tackling Human Trafficking in the country.
  • The government of India has also signed agreements with Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bahrain etc. to curb Human Trafficking. 

Provisions to tackle Drug Trafficking (by Organised Crime Groups)

  • Acts: India has enacted the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking of Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.
  • International Conventions: India is a signatory to all three UN Conventions namely
    1. Convention on Narcotics Drugs, 1962
    2. UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971
    3. UN Convention against Illicit Trafficking  of Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988

State Acts

  • Various states have passed State laws for the control of organised crime, notorious gangsters and crime syndicates in the state. Most notable among them is the Maharashtra Control of organized Crime Act (MCOCA), 1999.

Suggestions of Supreme Court

  • Supreme Court has recently directed the Centre to set up Organized Crime Investigating Agency (OCIA). This can be a positive step in combating organized crime

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 criminal groups or criminal enterprises.
  • Difficulties in Obtaining Proof: Organised Criminal groups are structured in a hierarchical manner and the higher echelons of leadership are insulated as there is hardly any documentary evidence against them.
  • 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 another 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 resource crunch and there is hardly any training facilities for  investigation of organised crime.
  • The police force in India is not trained to deal with organised crime. Their training involves dealing with conventional crime, and organised crime is neglected.
  • The technological sophistication of organized crimes due to new technologies like cryptocurrencies have opened up many possibilities for criminals to carry out traditional crimes without leaving a trail.
  • Weakness of financial system due to the prevalence of cash economy, parallel transactions through hawala, money laundering etc.

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

This article deals with ‘Security challenges and their management in border areas.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’ which is an important pillar of the GS-2 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Definition: State Actors vs Non-State Actors

State Actors (SA)

  • These are based on the premise of sovereignty, recognition of statehood and control of territory & population.
  • Eg: India, the US, Micronesia (irrespective of size).

Non-State Actors (NSA)

  • In Post-Cold War Era and with the advent of Globalisation, the concept of Nation-State has experienced erosion and Non-State Actors have become the force to reckon with.
  • Non-State Actors are not always sympathetic to national interests but their loyalty lies with group, corporation or community interests.
  • The traditional hierarchy which used to exist earlier with the military dominating economic & social interests doesn’t exist anymore because of the rise of NSAs.
  • Examples of NSAs include
International Government Organisation NATO, UNO etc.
NGO Amnesty International, Greenpeace
Multinational Corporations Operating in multiple sovereign states like Shell (oil), Coke, Amazon, Google etc.
International Media BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN etc.
Violent Non-State Actors Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba etc.
Religious Groups Roman Catholic Church, Vishav Hindu Parishad etc.
Transnational Diasporic Communities Indian Diaspora affects the policies back home.

Challenges to India’s Internal Security from NSAs 

Challenges to India's Internal Security from NSAs

1 . Terrorism

  • Non-State Actors are mainly terrorist groups who execute terror attacks.
  • In the case of India, these terrorist groups are either secessionist or Islamic fundamentalists.
  • These Terrorist Organisations have been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967.
  • These include
Lashkar-e-Taiba Jaish e Mohammad
Harkat ul Mujahideen Hizb ul Mujahideen
United Liberation Front Of Assam National Demo Front of Bodoland
LTTE CPI (Maoist)
Babbar Khalsa International Khalistan Commando Force

2. Naxalism

  • Naxalism was started as a movement for land reforms. Later, it took a violent & dangerous turn aiming at the overpowering democratic structure of India via violent armed struggle.
  • Naxalists get financial, ideological and technological support from external  NSAs (especially foreign leftist organisations from the Philippines, Turkey and China.)

3. Insurgency

  • A large number of insurgent groups are active in North-East with demands ranging from separate state to regional autonomy to even complete independence.
  • It is difficult to handle these insurgents because of difficult terrain, porous border & external support of adjoining states.
  • There is huge unemployment in this region. Hence, unemployed youth provide an easy target for the recruiters.
  • There are interlinkages between outfits that ensure a smooth transfer of military hardware & technology.  Even the weakest outfit has access to sophisticated technology.
  • State and Non-State Actors help them in various ways. The examples mentioned below will help in understanding this
Naga Insurgents They received patronage from the Chinese regime.
They enjoy safe havens in Bhutan, Bangladesh & Myanmar.
Naga outfits like NSCN (IM) have close links with NDFB, Naxalists etc. They even have links with Burmese groups like United Wa Army and Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
ULFA ULFA waged an international struggle by attending meetings of the Unrepresented Nations Peoples Organisation.

4. Cyber Attacks

  • Cyber attacks are carried out by cybercriminals, cyber terrorists and other foreign states.
  • While cybercriminals indulge in such activities for monetary gains but cyber terrorists want to further their political objectives.
  • India’s exponential growth in the IT sector and various e-governance measures make it extra vulnerable to such attacks. Eg: the 2010 Commonwealth Games hosted by India witnessed Cyber attacks from Pakistan & China to damage information systems.
  • It has been noticed that most of the cyber attacks on India originate from the US, China, Russia, East-Europe & Iran.

5. Counterfeit Currency / Economic 

  • It is very difficult to distinguish between fake & real currency nowadays because the fake currency is printed with state of art technology using security paper supplied by state actors.
  • It is a sub-conventional warfare strategy pursued by Pakistan against India.
  • Fake currency is mainly brought to India through the porous borders of Nepal & Bangladesh.
  • A terrorist organisation like Hizb ul Mujahideen also use the fake currency to fund their programmes. 
  • To tackle this, Government has taken various measures like
    1. Demonetisation of Indian currency notes.
    2. New notes have more security features. Hence, they are difficult to counterfeit.
    3. A special cell under NIA has been formed to counter terror funding and fake currency.

6. Communalism

  • Various reports point towards the fact that domestic extremist organisations get financial & ideological support from external religious organisations (NSAs) and Foreign States (Pakistan, China etc.).
  • Eg :
    • Kashmiri Terrorists are funded by Pakistan.
    • Islamic terrorists are getting ideological support from ISIS.
    • Saudi Arabia is promoting and funding radical Wahhabism in the world.
    • Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation and Peace TV are radicalising Muslim Youth in India and Bangladesh. 

7. Drug  Trafficking

  • Due to its location, India has become a transit hub & destination for drugs originating from GOLDEN TRIANGLE (Myanmar, Thailand and Laos) & GOLDEN CRESCENT (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran).
  • There is nexus between drug traffickers, organised criminal networks & terrorists which is powerful enough to destabilise even a whole nation. Money generated by this trade is also used to fund insurgents & terrorists.
Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle

8. Human Trafficking

  • Human trafficking in major part involves abduction, buying and selling of women and children for prostitution, forced marriages and bonded labour.
  • India has been both the source and destination of human trafficking
    1. Women and children are trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh to be sold inside the country for prostitution.
    2. Women are trafficked from India to the Middle East and other European countries where they are employed as low-skilled labourers, domestic workers and sexual exploitation.

9. Piracy

  • Piracy is a serious threat to India because the Indian economy is heavily dependent on the export and import of goods. Securing the Sea Lane of Commerce is important for India.
  • In the Indian Ocean, Somalian pirates are active around the Horn of Africa which pose a great threat to the energy security of India as oil tankers also pass through this region.
  • To tackle this, the Indian government has taken various measures including escort vessels in the Gulf of Aden.

10. Security threats posed by Indian Diaspora

  • Indian (Sikh) diaspora in countries like  UK, Canada, USA, Australia etc. supports the Khalistan issue.
  • Indian (Muslim) diaspora in Gulf nations is indoctrinated during their stay and used for carrying out terrorist activities and propaganda on their return to India.
  • A large number of Sri Lankan Tamils were forced to take refuge in Tamil Nadu during the Civil War in Sri Lanka between Sri Lankan Army and LTTE. They along with the people of Tamil Nadu exert pressure on Tamil Nadu and the Indian government to take a stand against Sri Lankan government, causing strain in Indo-Lanka relations.

11. Threats posed by Multi-National Corporations (MNCs)

  • In today’s globalised world, MNCs are influencing the global economy and have become more powerful than nation-states.
  • The actions of powerful mining MNCs like Vedanta and POSCO and subsequent encroachment of the lands of Adivasis results in the emergence of Naxal / Maoist movements in these areas.
  • Powerful seed companies like Monsanto and Bayer can pose a great threat to the food security of the nation by patenting the technology used in the manufacturing of GM and HYV seeds.
  • MNCs shatter the faith of the common public in the government. Government loses its legitimacy and people tend to believe that the government is working for these MNCs and big corporates.

12. Threats posed by NGOs

  • NGOs have a soft glove and apologist attitude towards Naxalites, Insurgents & Terrorists.
  • NGOs like Amnesty International force the government to repeal some acts like AFSPA which can prove dangerous in some situations.
  • Intelligence Bureau (2014) also brought to the forefront the obstructionist role played by Foreign Funded NGOs and loss of GDP to the tune of 2% happening due to their protests.
  • To counter this, Parliament has passed  Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) in 2010 to regulate the flow of foreign funds to NGOs

Part 2: Role of External State Actors in creating threats to Internal Security of India

1 . Internal Security threats posed by China

  • India and China have long-standing border dispute which leads to frequent Chinese intrusions into Indian territories. In recent times, China is following an assertive policy as evident from the Galwan clashes (2020).
  • China is supporting the insurgents in the North-East States corroborated by the fact that counter-insurgency operations in the North East have resulted in the recovery of dozens of made in China rifles, pistols, grenades and other ammunition. NIA has found evidence that the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) are buying weapons from Norinco (a state-owned weapon manufacture in China).
  • China  also provides shelter to North Eastern ethnic separatist militants (eg: NSCN, ULFA etc.)
  • Maoist/ Naxalism movement has got its philosophical, moral, financial and intellectual support from China since the beginning.
  • China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which connects Xinxiang with Gwadar port passes through Pakistani Occupied Kashmir and undermines Indian sovereignty over the region.
  • China is building a large number of naval bases in the Indian Ocean in order to encircle India through its String of Pearl strategy.
String of Pearls
  • Cheap Chinese mobiles sold in the Indian market manufactured by companies like Xiaomi poses a threat of surveillance and leakage of data by the Chinese state. The Indian military has barred its employees from using Chinese mobiles.

2. Internal Security threats posed by Pakistan

Internal Security threats posed by Pakistan
  • Terrorism in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is the direct manifestation of Pakistan’s policy of bleeding India through a thousand cuts.
  • ISI of Pakistan also supports Naxal groups in order to foment disturbance and law and order problem in India.
  • In the North-East, Pakistan’s ISI has trained and financially supported groups such as ULFA.
  • Pakistan is encouraging non-state actors like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) with active funding, logistical and military support to foment unrest in India.
  • Pakistan is trying to flood India with fake currency so as it impact the Indian economy and weaken the trust of the public in the Indian currency.
  • Flooding the border states with drugs so as to destroy the youth of India and produce unrest in the country.
  • Indulge in complex cyber attacks on Indian companies, government websites and databases.

3. Internal Security threats posed by Bangladesh

Cattle Smuggling 
Iluman Trafficking 
Illegal Migration 
  • Bangladesh acts as a safe house to terrorists. During the Khalida Zia regime, DGFI (Bangladesh’s intelligence agency) also used to support insurgent groups in the North-East.
  • Illegal Migration from Bangladesh to North-Eastern states has been the source of communal and ethnic tension in India, resulting in large scale demographic changes in the North-East region
  • Due to the porous nature of the border, there is a rampant drug, human and cattle trafficking. While there is no evidence of direct state involvement, in this case, it is its inactivity to resolve the issue that is concerning.

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