This article deals with the ‘UAVs.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


  • UAV is an aerial vehicle without a pilot on board.  
  • UAVs can be remote-controlled aircraft (e.g. flown by a pilot on the ground) or fly autonomously based on the program. 

Applications of UAVs

Applications of UAV
  • UAVs can be remotely controlled. Therefore, it saves any loss of soldiers. 
  • In modern warfare, Armies use them in operations to have a view from above and coordinate the movement of Soldiers. 
  • Police are using them during rioting and monitoring people’s assembly during Strikes. E.g., Chandigarh Police  
  • UAVs can be used for real-time surveillance of rugged terrain.
  • Companies like Facebook plan to use it for internet delivery (Aquila).
  • Logistic companies are making drones to deliver products. E.g., Zomato is working on a hybrid drone for food delivery. Earlier, Amazon too tested such drones. 
  • Healthcare: Drones can be used for improving the delivery of medicines. E.g., the Telangana government’s ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project under which medicines (especially vaccines) will be transported from district headquarters to PHCs using a drone named Marut.
  • Agriculture: Drones have application in agro-management, especially in spraying pesticides, crop nutrients etc. In an experiment conducted in Brazil, the use of drones helped in reducing the use of pesticides.


  • Regulatory loopholes: There are policy and legal loopholes wrt the regulation of drones in India.
  • Quality Control: Most of the drones are imported in India.
  • Privacy Issues: Drones can collect images and data of common citizens infringing their right to privacy.
  • Use by Terrorists: These drones can be easily procured and used by terrorists for carrying out their nefarious activities. For example, drones are to drop weapons and drugs along the Punjab border. 
  • Issue with Air Traffic Management: Drones cant be detected by conventional radars and puts conventional air traffic in danger.

UAVs as a threat to National Security

Drones have changed the ways wars are fought and have posed new challenges to security agencies.

Recent developments in this regard include

  1. In 2021, Kashmiri terrorists dropped IEDs over Indian Airforce Base using UAVs.
  2. Pakistan use drones to smuggle drugs to India.
  3. In 2021, Azerbaijan defeated Armenia’s much more potent force using drones, which have completely changed the ways warfare is fought.
  4. Iran supported Shia Houthi rebels attacked oil facilities of Saudi Aramco and oil refinery in UAE, bypassing sophisticated missile defence systems.
  5. The US killed Iranian General Qasim Soleimani in a drone attack.

Ways to defend drone attacks 

The best way to defend is the installation of Anti-Drone systems. These includes

  1. Foreign Anti-Drone systems such as Iron Dome (of Israel), S-400 (of Russia), DroneHunter (of USA) etc.
  2. India is also making indigenous anti-drone systems. These include
    • DRDO’s ‘Anti-Drone System” can neutralize detecting the drones in the range of 3 km and destroy using laser technology.
    • Grene Robotics of Hyderabad has developed Anti-Drone System named ‘Indrajaal’. 

Drones of India

#1. Indian Drones

1.1. Rustom

  • Rustom is developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of Bangalore under DRDO.
  • It comes in two versions – Rustom 1 and Rustom 2.
  • Use: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR

Features of Rustom

  Rustom-1 Rustom-2
Weight 95 Kg 350 Kg
Endurance 12-15 hour 24 hour
Range 250 km 250 km
Speed 125-175 km/hr 125-175 km/hr

1.2 Nishant

  • It is developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of Bangalore under DRDO.
  • Primary use: Intelligence gathering, surveillance, target designation and damage assessment.
  • Features
    1. Endurance: 4 hours and 30 minutes.
    2. It has a range of 100 Km.
    3. It can reach up to a speed of 216 km/h.
    4. It is launched using a catapult and doesn’t need a runway.
    5. It has day and night flying capability.

1.3 Panchi

  • It is the wheeled version of Nishant. 

1.4 Lakshya-I

  • Lakshya-1 is pilotless target aircraft.
  • It is manufactured by HAL.
  • Primary use: Used to perform discrete aerial reconnaissance of battlefield and target acquisition.
  • Features
    1. Maximum Speed: 0.7 Mach
    2. Range: 150 km
    3. Its launch is rocket-assisted, while recovery is made using a two-stage parachute.
  • Later, the Nirbhay missile was also made from its design.


  • It is a Mini-UAV. 
  • It is developed by DRDO.
  • Its use includes following
    1. CRPF will use it to fight Naxals. 
    2. BSF in counter-insurgency. 
  • It has the following specifications
    1. Range of 4 to 5 km.
    2. Endurance of 40 to 60 minutes.
    3. It weighs around 6 kg.
Indian UAVs

#2. Foreign UAVs bought by India

2.1 Guardian Drone

  • India has bought  Guardian Drones (naval & unarmed version of Predator UAVs).
  • It has provided enhanced Indian capabilities in maritime defence.  
Guardian Drone

2.2 Heron TP

  • It is an Israeli Armed UAV.
  • India has bought this UAV.  
  • It is India’s first armed drone, significantly expanding the aerial offensive capabilities of the military.
Heron TP

2.3 Harpy and Harop

  • These UAVs are bought from Israel.

Indian Air Force

Indian Air Force

This article deals with the ‘Indian Air Force.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


  • Indian Airforce with 1.27 active personnel defends the Indian airspace.
  • At present, the Indian Airforce (IAF) has 34 fighter squadrons. But to be effective against China and Pakistan, India needs at-least 45 squadrons.
Indian Air Force

Aircrafts of India

Combat Aircraft

Dassault Rafale 26
Sukhoi Su-30 MKI 272
HAL Tejas 22
Mig-29 66
Mirage 2000 49
Jaguar 120
MiG-21 Bison 107 (retire in 2025)


Boeing 707 1
Global 5000 2
Gulfstream 2


Il-78 : 6


Ilyushin IL-76 17
Boeing C-17 Globemaster 11
C-130J Super Hercules 12
Antonov A-32 104
Dornier 228 50


HAL Light Combat Helicopter Attack Helicopters
HAL Rudra Armed
HAL Dhruv Utility
Boeing Apache Attack Helicopters
Mi-24 Attack Helicopters
Chinook Heavy Transport


Harop Loitering Munition
Heron Surveillance
Searcher Surveillance
DRDO Lakshya Target Drone

Side Topic: Generations of Aircrafts

  Period Features Examples
1st Gen Fighters 1940s-50s Turbojet Engines Mig-15 and Mystere-IV
2nd Gen Fighters 1950s-60s Delta Wings
Guided and Beyond Visual Range Missiles
Mig-21, Su-7 and F-104
3rd Gen Fighters 1960s-70s Improved Radars, Missiles and Avionics Mig-25 and F-4 Phantom
4th Gen Fighters 1970s-90s Fly by wire controls
Multi-role capabilities
Mirage-2000, Mig-29, Su-27, F-16 Fighting Falcon
4.5th Gen Fighters 1990s onwards Some stealth features
Advanced avionics
Su-30 MKI, Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16 Desert Falcon
5th Gen Fighters In development Advanced Stealth
Highly sophisticated avionics
Thrust Vectoring
Supersonic cruise without the use of afterburners
F/A-22 Raptor, F-35 and Sukhoi T-50

Detail of Combat Aircrafts in news

1. Rafale & MMRCA

Rafale is 4.5 generation Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) aircraft made by Dassault Aviation of France.

Rafale and India

Main features of Rafale

  • 4.5 generation Multirole combat aircraft, i.e. can be used for ground support, in-depth strike, and anti-ship strike.
  • Rafale is capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
  • Equipped with precision air to air and air to surface missiles.
  • Range: 3,700 Km
  • Max Speed: 1,389 Km/hr
  • Load Carrying Capacity: 9,500 Kg

Rafale Acquisition: Chronology of Events

2007 Tender for MMRCA was invited, and various bidders such as  Eurofighter (of British Aerospace), F-16 (of Lockheed Martin), MiG-35 (of Russia) and Rafale (of Dassault (France)) applied for the bids.  
2011 Rafale was shortlisted. It was decided that India would buy 126 Rafale. In this, 18  were to be purchased in fly-away condition, and the rest 108 were to be made by HAL under Transfer of Technology.  
2015 But the issue was Dassault was not prepared to guarantee the performance of aircraft manufactured in IndiaThe plan was changed, and the government decided to buy 36 Rafale in the ready-to-fly condition given to India in two years.
2018-19 The case went to Supreme Court to increase the cost per aircraft and give offset contract to Reliance instead of HAL.  
2020 Delivery of Rafales started. The first batch of 5 aircraft was delivered to India.


  • The stealth system of Rafale is outdated compared to other competitors in the same class.
  • Rafale doesn’t have STOVL (Short take-off and vertical landing) capability, present in other competitors.
  • Brazilian Airforce was earlier interested in buying Rafale but later changed to Swedish Gripen jet.

2. Tejas / HAL’s LCA

  • HAL Tejas or Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is a 4th Generation fighter aircraft made by India.
  • It is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL).
  • The program to build indigenous Indian combat aircraft started way back in the 1980s. After long delays, the first Tejas was delivered to the Indian Airforce in 2015. In 2021, the Indian government announced to procure 83 Tejas.
  • Tejas is going to replace India’s ageing MiG 21 aircraft.
  • Features of HAL Tejas
    1. It has ~60% indigenous content.
    2. Maximum Speed: 1,350 Kmph.
    3. Its radius of action is 400 Km without refuelling.
    4. It can carry a weight of up to 12 tonnes. 
    5. Delta wing configuration 
    6. Numerous integrated technologies like Fly by wire flight control system, advanced digital cockpit, digital avionics, advanced composite material structure etc.
    7. It is equipped with operational capabilities like Beyond Visual Range Missile and Air to Air Refueling.
    8. It has STOBAR (Short Takeoff But Arrested Recovery) capability.

Side Topic: (LCA) Kaveri

  • Kaveri is the name of Tejas’s engine that was to be used, but India couldn’t make it on time to be used in the plane.
  • It would have been India’s first indigenous gas turbine engine.

3. Sukhoi T-50 (Fifth Generation)

Sukhoi T-50 is an Indo-Russian collaborative project to make 5th generation fighter aircraft. It is a joint venture of Russia’s Sukhoi and India’sIndia’s HAL.

It will have the following characteristics

  1. Stealth features like specially designed airframes, engines intakes, and radar absorbing material
  2. Thrust vectoring nozzles
  3. One or two seated
  4. 30 mm cannon
  5. Eight weapon internal points and eight external points.
  6. Max speed of 2 Mach.
  7. Fuel capacity of 10,300 kg.

But in 2018, India has conveyed its unwillingness to Russia to go ahead with this project due to the high costs involved. 

Sukhoi T-50

Detail of Transport Aircrafts in news

1. C-17 Globemaster

  • It is a large military transport aircraft of US origin developed by Boeing. 
  • Indian Airforce has 11 Globemasters.
  • It can be used for
    1. Transporting troops.
    2. Maintaining supplies and carrying equipment to small airfields in remote and harsh terrain (E.g., Ladakh)
  • Its main features include
    1. Ability to take off from very high altitudes
    2. Land on paved as well as unpaved airfields during day and night.
C-17 Globemaster


Important Made in India Helicopters

1. Dhruv (ALH)

Dhruv Helicopter

Dhruv features of this helicopter

  • Dhruv was designed for the military as well as civilian purposes.
  • It is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • It can play multiple roles: logistics, rescue and attack for Army, Navy, Airforce and Coast Guard.


  • The project was first announced in 1984 & was designed in assistance with MBB of Germany.
  • First flew in 1992 but developments prolonged due to budget restrictions and various restrictions placed on India after Pokhran 2 in 1998.
  • Entered into service in 2002. 
  • First exported to Nepal & Israel & is on order by several other countries.

2. Rudra

  • Rudra is an armed version of Dhruv. 
  • It is equipped with 
    1. Forward-Looking Infra Red and Thermal Imaging Sights Interface
    2. Turret gun
    3. Anti-tank missiles 

Foreign Helicopters bought by India

1. Chinook

  • Chinooks are the heavy-lift helicopters used by the US Army. 
  • India decided to buy 15 Chinook helicopters from the USA in 2016, and the first batch was delivered in 2019.
  •  Features of Chinook Helicopters
    1. Twin Engine with Tandem Rotor.
    2. Can carry up to 35 troops or 24 stretchers with 3 attendants or 10,500 kg payload.
    3. Advanced Avionics. 
    4. Advanced M240 Machine Gun

2. Apache

  • Apache is USA’s most advanced ‘attack helicopter’. 
  • India has bought 22 Apache Helicopters.
  • Features of Apache Helicopters
    1. Twin Turboshaft Engines
    2. Armed with missiles like Hellfire, Spike and Stinger missiles
    3. Armed with advanced M230 Chain Guns
    4. Night vision systems
    5. Advanced avionics

3. Mi-17

  • Mi-17 is a Russian origin transport helicopter manufactured by Kazan Helicopters.
  • It is one of the most advanced transport helicopters equipped with advanced features such as 
    1. Advanced self-defence system equipped with 23 mm cannon and heat-seeking missiles
    2. Twin-engine single rotor
    3. Highly sophisticated navigation and avionics system
    4. Maximum speed of 250 km/hr
    5. Range of 675 Km
    6. Payload capacity of 4,000Kg
    7. Capacity to transport up to 36 troops.
  • It is used for the transportation of VVIPs, including PM and army chiefs.

Indian Navy

Indian Navy

This article deals with the ‘Indian Navy.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Structure of Indian Navy

  • Indian Navy protects the territorial waters, coast and Indian geopolitical interests.
  • It has 58,000 active personnel.
  • It has 3 operational commands 
    1. Eastern Command – Vishakhapatnam
    2. Western Command – Mumbai
    3. Southern Command – Kochi

Side Topic: Blue Water navy

  • It is a mighty navy that can operate across the deep waters in open oceans. E.g. US Navy.
  • Indian Navy also wants to be a Bluewater navy. The purchase/induction of Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines, fifth-generation air crafts etc., are part of that strategy.

Naval Ships

How are naval ships named?

Different countries follow different conventions


  • Corvette is the smallest class of ships that can be considered a proper warship.
  • Their main use includes
    1. Coastal Patrol
    2. Fast Attack
  • In India, Corvettes are named after personal arms. Eg : INS Khukri, INS Kirpan and INS Khanjar. 


  • Frigates are warships with mixed armaments.
  • In India, they are named after mountains or rivers or weapons. E.g., INS Sahaydri, INS Shivalik, INS Satpura, INS Talwar, INS Teg etc.

Cruise or Destroyer

  • Destroyer is a fast, highly manoeuvrable ship with long -endurance. Generally, it escorts a fleet of vessels intending to protect them.
  • In India, they are named after a state capital, a large city, or a great king or warrior from India’s history. E.g., INS Delhi, INS Kolkata, INS Mysore, INS Mumbai, INS Rana and INS Ranjit.


  • In India, Submarines are named after a predatory fish or an abstract name associated with the ocean. 
  • INS Arihant and INS Chakra are nuclear submarines; the conventional ones have had names from INS Sindhughosh and INS Sindhukirti to INS Shalki and INS Shankul.

Aircraft Carriers

  • Aircraft Carrier is the highest class of warships whose presence can provide strategic advantage. They are used to carry aircraft to carry operations away from home shores.
  • These are very expensive and generally escorted by destroyers, frigates, submarines etc.
  • There is a special procedure to name such special ships. A committee is formed that invites the name and decides to name it. For Example, 
    1. INS Vikramaditya: It is named after Vikramaditya meaning Sun of Prowess, a name taken after many Indian sovereigns.
    2. INS Vikrant: It is named after India’s first Aircraft Carrier, which India bought from the UK in 1957.

Indian Aircraft Carriers

1. INS Vikramaditya

It is an Indian Aircraft carrier. It is of Soviet origin and was known as Admiral Gorshkov. India bought this from Russia in 2004, and it was finally delivered to India in 2013.

INS Vikramaditya

2. INS Vikrant or IAC-1

  • INS Vikrant is the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier. India has joined the elite club that can manufacture its aircraft carriers. It will join the Indian Navy on 15 August 2022, marking 75 years of Indian independence.
  • It is designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
  • Its features include
    1. Weight = 19,500 Kg
    2. Displacement of 40,000 tonnes.
    3. Speed of 28 knots
    4. It will carry 24 Russian MiG-29 aircraft and Kamov-31 helicopters, MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters and Advanced Light Helicopters.
    5. Two runways.
    6. It has STOBAR capability (i.e. Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery)
    7. Long-range surface to air missiles.

Note: It is named after decommissioned INS Vikrant, India’s first Aircraft carrier, and was bought from Britain in 1961. It played an essential role in the Indian victory over Pakistan in 1971.

INS Vikrant

3. INS Vishal

  • INS Vishal is the proposed name of India’s third aircraft carrier.
  • It is not yet approved by the Government of India. However, it will be India’s second indigenous aircraft carrier when approved. 

Other Warships

1. Kolkata Class (Project 15-A)

  • Kolkata class is a group of destroyers made under Project 15A. These are a class of guided-missile destroyers constructed for the Indian Navy. 
  • There are three ships built under the Kolkata class.  
    1. INS Kolkata
    2. INS Kochi 
    3. INS Chennai
  • These are built at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL) in India and are the largest destroyers to be operated by the Indian Navy. 

2. Vishakhapatnam Class (Project 15-B) 

  • It is the Indian Navy’s 1st stealth destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam.
  • The destroyers of this class are more advanced than the Vishakhapatnam class.
  • There are four ships built under this Vishakhapatnam Class
    1. INS Vishakhapatnam (undertrials)
    2. INS Mormugao (construction)
    3. INS Imphal (construction)
    4. INS Porbandar (construction)

3. Nilgiri Class (Project 17-A)

  • Nilgiri Class is a group of frigates made under Project 17A. 
  • There are seven frigates made under Nilgiri Class (all named after hills)
    1. INS Nilgiri
    2. INS Himgiri
    3. INS Udaygiri 
    4. INS Dunagiri
    5. INS Taragiri
    6. INS Vindhyagiri
    7. INS Mahendragiri 
  • These are built at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in India.

4. Talwar or Krivak Class

  • It is a class of Indian Stealth Frigates being built in Russia.
  • Total four frigates are to be built under the project, two of which have already been built
    1. INS Tushil
    2. INS Tamala 
    3. 2 more are under construction.
  • Features of this class include 
    • Stealth features with low radar and underwater noise signatures
    • Installed with Surface to Surface Missiles
    • Equipped with Surface Surveillance Radar and Sonars

5. Kamorta Class (Project 28)

  • Kamorta class is a group of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes built under Project 28 by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
  • There are four corvettes built under Kamorta Class. 
    1. INS Kamorta
    2. INS Kadmatt 
    3. INS Kiltan
    4. INS Kavaratti

6. INS Astradharini

  • India’s first indigenously designed (95%) and built torpedo launch and recovery vessel (TLRV). 
  • It is an advanced replacement for Astravahini. 

Side Topic: Decommissioned Ships

INS Vikrant

  • The warship was decommissioned in 2014.
  • Initially known as HMS Hercules, India purchased it from Britain in 1961. It played a strategic role in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
  • Now Bajaj is using its steel in making motorcycles.


 Submarines are of three types & India need the correct mix of all three  

1. Conventional Submarines (SSK)

  • They use the diesel-electric engine as their source of power & have to surface daily to get oxygen for fuel combustion.
  • India needs 20 SSKs but has only. 
    1. 9 Sindhughosh Class (Russian Kilo Class) 
    2. 4 Shishumar Class (German Type 209) 
    3. 5 Scorpene Class submarines inducted from Project 75

India had plans under Project 75 & Project 75(I), under which the intention is to build two production lines in collaboration with two foreign submarine builders to build 6 submarines each. In the meantime, the Navy would come up with indigenous designs to produce 6 submarines immediately, each on these production lines producing a total of 24 subs by 2030. Although the project is behind schedule, we have made 5 subs under Project 75.

Project 75

5 Subs (out of 6) under Project 75 has been made (Scorpene-Class Submarines made by French Maker DCNS ) 

1. INS Kalvari

  • It was inducted in 2017 (5 years behind schedule).
  • It is the first submarine constructed under Project 75. 
  • The literal meaning of “Kalvari” is ‘ Sea Tiger.’  

2. INS Khanderi

  • It was inducted in 2018.
  • Khanderi is the name of Maratha Island Fort.  

3. INS Karanj

  • It was inducted in 2019. 
  • The name ‘Karanj’ is derived from Karanja island, a town in the Raigad district. 

4. INS Vela

  • It was inducted in 2021.
  • The name ‘Vela’ is derived from the name of a predatory fish. It was also the name of one of India’s decommissioned submarines of Soviet origin. 

5. INS Vagir

  • Construction of INS Vagir has been completed and sea trials have been currently going on.
  • Vagir is the name of sandfish (a predatory variety of fish).

6. INS Vagsheer

  • It is the sixth submarine being developed under Project 75.
  • It is yet to be inducted into the Indian army.

2. Nuclear Submarines (SSN)

  • These are powered by nuclear reactors (but they can’t launch Ballistic Missiles). As a result, they can remain submerged for months.
  • Given the security needs of India, the Indian Navy needs 6 SSNs. 
  • MoU was signed with Russia to provide 2 Akula Class SSNs on lease for 10 years. India got one in 2012 (INS Chakra)  & the other one has still not reached India.

3. Nuclear Submarines with Ballistic Missiles (SSBN)

  • They are nuclear-powered submarines along with the capability to launch Ballistic Missiles with nuclear warheads.  
  • These Submarines act as the third leg of the nuclear triad. 
  • India needs 3 to 5 SSBN but don’t have any. 
  • India is building an SSBN class submarine known as INS Arihant indigenously. The submarine is almost ready.
Arihant Submarine
  • INS Aridhaman is the next in line after Arihant and is still in the development stage.

Side Topic: Nuclear Triad

Nuclear Triad means the 3-pronged capability to launch a nuclear strike

  1. Land-launched nuclear missiles (e.g., Agni Missiles of India).
  2. Nuclear-missile-armed submarines (INS Arihant is SSBN).
  3. Strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs and missiles (Su 30 MKI can be integrated with Brahmos).
Indian Navy


Torpedoes are underwater weapons fitted in warships and submarines with the aim to destroy enemy ships.

How Torpedoes Work
How Torpedoes Work?

List of Indian Torpedoes

Varunastra Anti-Submarine Torpedo (India’s first indigenous torpedo)
Shyena Anti-Submarine Torpedo
SMART Long Range Torpedo

Navy Aircrafts

Indian Navy has aircraft for reconnaissance and attack purposes.

List of Naval Aircrafts

1. Reconnaissance

P-8I US Aircraft manufactured by Boeing
Dornier 228 German origin reconnaissance aircraft
IL 38 Russian origin reconnaissance aircraft

2. Attack

MiG 29: Russian origin attack planes posted on INS Vikramaditya    


  • P-8I is the maritime surveillance, coastline defence, search and rescue and anti-submarine aircraft.
  • Manufacturer: Boeing
  • India has been using these since the delivery of the first aircraft in 2013.

Tanks, Artillery and Guns

Tanks, Artillery and Guns

This article deals with the ‘Tanks, Artillery and Guns.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Tanks and Artillery

1. Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1)

  • Arjun or MK-1A is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured tank.
  • Manufacturers: DRDO & CVRDE (Combat vehicle research & development establishment).
  • The latest batch of Arjun tanks, delivered to the Indian Army in 2021, has ~55% indigenous content. 


1972 Arjun Main Battle Tank Project initiated by DRDO
1996 Mass production began
2004 The first batch of 16 Arjun tanks was delivered to the Indian Army.
2009 Arjun Regiment consisting of 45 tanks was made.
2011 The number of in-service Arjuns crossed 100.
2021 118 more Arjuns inducted into the Indian Army.

Features of Arjun Tank

  • All-terrain mobility.
  • 120 mm calibre gun.
  • Computer-controlled integrated fire control system with 360 degrees and day and night view.
  • Machine gun and an anti-aircraft gun.
  • Missile firing capability.

2. Bhishma (T-90)

  • T-90 is the ‘third generation’ Russian main battle tank. Bhishma is the Indian version of Soviet T-90 tanks.
  • India has 310 Bhishma tanks, of which almost half are Russian made, and half were manufactured in India. 
  • They are the improved version of T-72 and have been used by the Indian Army since 2001.
  • Features of Bhishma tank
    1. 125 mm gun
    2. Range of 6 km
    3. Automatic loader
    4. Day and night sighting system
    5. Thermal imaging device.

3. Ajeya (T-72)

  • Ajeya or T-72 are the Soviet main battle tanks.
  • India has ~2,000 Ajeya Tanks in the Indian Army, and they are the backbone of the armoured division of the Indian Army.
  • Initially, they were ordered from the Soviet Union, but since 1980, India has been manufacturing it at Avadi (Tamil Nadu).

Tanks, Artillery and Guns

4. Pinaka

  • Pinaka is India’s indigenous multiple rocket launcher.
  • It is developed by DRDO. 
  • It has a maximum range of 40 km and can launch 12 rockets in 44 seconds. 
  • It can be mounted on Tatra Truck for mobility.  
  • Pinaka rockets played a vital role in the Kargil war, where they successfully neutralized enemy positions on the mountain tops. 
  • Pinaka-Extended Range (Pinaka-ER), successfully tested in 2021, has a range of 70 km.

5. Pinaka Mark – II

  • The earlier version of Pinaka was an unguided rocket system. It has now been transformed into a guided version- Pinaka Mark-II, with a navigation, guidance and control kit. 
  • Pinaka-II has a range of more than 70 km (compared with Pinaka-I, which has a range of 40 km). 
  • It can fire 12 rockets within 40 seconds. 

6. Bofors

  • It is a 155mm Howitzer gun.  
  • India has bought it from Sweden.
  • Bofors has played an essential role in Indian victory during Kargil War.
  • Note: Howitzers are important in hilly terrain because Tanks can’t be used there. 
Bofors 155mm Howitzer

7. Dhanush

  • It is an indigenous Howitzer of India with 81% local components. In 2019, Ordnance Factory Board made the first delivery of Dhanush to the Army.
  • It is an upgraded version of Bofors with a maximum range of 38 km.
  • It is also a 155 mm calibre gun.
  • It can fire 15 rounds in 3 minutes.

8. M-777

  • India has bought M-777 from the USA (Deal is for 145 guns. 25 will come from BAE Systems, and the rest will be assembled in India with Indian Partner).
  • It is an ultra-light howitzer (ULH). 
  • Calibre = 155 mm
  • M-777 can be easily transported to any battlefield using a helicopter-like Chinook.

9. K9 Vajra T

  • It is a Korean made Howitzer.
  • It was inducted into the Indian army in November 2018.

Rifles in Service in India

Following rifles are used by the Indian forces


  • INSAS=Indian Small Arm System.
  • It is a 5.56 mm Self Loading Rifle (SLR). 
  • It is the main rifle used by the Indian Army.
  • It was designed and developed by DRDO.
  • It has been decided that INSAS Rifle will be decommissioned shortly. 

2. Dragunov

  • Russian origin sniper rifle used by Indian forces.

3. AK-203

  • India is importing 70,000 AK 203 Assault Rifles from Russia. Later, these will also be manufactured indigenously at Korwa Defence Factory (UP) by a joint venture between India and Russia named Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited. The total requirement of the Indian Army is 7.7 lakh. 
  • These are very advanced versions of famed AK-47 or Kalashnikovs.
  • AK 203 will replace INSAS Assault Rifles. 
  • Main Characteristics of AK 203 
    1. Highly reliable, durable and easy to maintain.
    2.  Weighs 3.8 Kg.
    3. Range: 800 m
    4. 30 round standard magazine.

Anti-Missile System

Anti-Missile System

This article deals with the ‘Anti-Missile System.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Indian Ballistic Missile Defence  (IBMD) System  / Anti Missile System / Air Defence System

  • IMBD is an Anti-Missile System or Missile Defence System.
  • It is an initiative to protect Indian cities from Ballistic Missile attacks.
  • It was proposed in the mid-1990s by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • The functioning of the Anti-Missile System is explained in the infographic below. 
Anti-Missile System

Side Topic: Iron Dome System of Israel

IBMD System is just like the Iron Dome of Israel. Israel faces a large number of short-range rocket attacks from Gaza. Hence, they have installed Anti Missile System to protect important cities like Tel Aviv from such attacks. It is the most effective system with a success rate of up to 90% (very high).

Iron Dome System of Israel

Side Topic: THAAD System

  • US has installed THAAD System in South Korea after the threat of Missile attacks by North Korea. 
  • THAAD is also an Anti-Missile / Ballistic Missile Defence System.

Indian System

India’s IBMD System is double-tiered, consisting of two interceptor systems.

1. Pradyumna or Prithvi Air Defence (PAD)

  • It uses Prithvi Missile.
  • It is used for high altitude interception and can intercept missiles up to an altitude of 80 km.
  • It is the preferred option because the target would be engaged at a far distance.

2. Ashvin or Advanced Air Defence (AAD)

  • It uses Akash Surface to Air Missile.
  • It is used for low-altitude interception and can intercept missiles at 15-30 Km.
  • It is not a preferred option because the missile is already very close & in the case of a nuclear missile, immense destruction can happen.

  • Both are manufactured by DRDO.
  • For tracking & guidance, Swordfish Radar System is developed by India in conjugation with Israel. 
  • The programme began in 1999
    • Phase I: completed. 
    • Phase II: It was expected to be completed by 2016 & first to be placed in Delhi & Mumbai 
    • Present Status: DRDO was not able to complete it & it is still in the development stage.
  • The current system can intercept up to 1000 km class Ballistic missile at the speed of Mach 5. 
  • After the USA, Israel and Russia, India is the 4th country to develop indigenous Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems. 

S-400 Triumf

  • Russian Air Defence System, which India is in the process to buy. 
  • It is considered the best Air Defence System (full defence and not just missile) and can protect air space against strategic bombers, stealth fighters, spy planes, missiles and drones.
  • It is a long-range surface-to-air missile with a range of 400 km. Hence, if deployed on the Indo-Pakistan border, it can track the movement of Pakistani aircraft from the instance they take off from the runway.
  • It can track 300 targets simultaneously with the help of its has a 3D phased array acquisition radar. 
  • Turkey and Qatar are also interested in buying this. China has already received the first delivery of the system.
  • It will receive delivery by the end of 2021 and integrate with India’s indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence system developed by DRDO to create a multi-tier air defence. 
  • Problem: USA can impose sanctions on India under CAATSA (i.e. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act). Earlier, India got a waiver from the USA to buy this system, but the Ukraine crisis has put this deal in danger.
S-400 Triumf


  • NASAMS = National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System 
  • It was developed by Raytheon (US) in partnership with the Kongsberg Defence System of Norway.
  • India will use it to defend the VIP-89 Region (consisting of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament etc.)
  • It is equipped with the latest 3D sentinel radars and missile launchers which can rapidly identify and destroy enemy aircraft, UAVs and cruise missiles. 
  • The same system is used to protect Washington DC and numerous NATO countries.

Indian Missiles

Indian Missiles

This article deals with the ‘Indian Missiles.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Classification of Missiles

Missiles can be classified in a number of ways

1. Type 

  • Cruise Missile: It is an unmanned self-propelled (till the time of impact) guided vehicle and aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path. 
  • Ballistic Missile: It is propelled for the initial stage and later works under the influence of gravity.

2. Launch Mode

  • Surface-to-Surface Missile
  • Surface-to-Air Missile
  • Surface (Coast)-to-Sea Missile
  • Air-to-Air Missile
  • Air-to-Surface Missile
  • Sea-to-Sea Missile
  • Sea-to-Surface (Coast) Missile
  • Anti-Tank Missile

3. Range

  • Tactical Missiles: 150 to 300 Km
  • Short Range Missile: 300 to 1000 km 
  • Medium Range Missile: 1000-3500 km 
  • Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile: 3500-5500 km
  • Intercontinental Ballistic Missile  : >5500 km

4. Propulsion System

Missiles can have the following type of propulsion systems

  • Solid Propulsion: Uses solid fuel.
  • Liquid Propulsion: Uses liquid fuel.
  • Hybrid Propulsion: Uses a mixture of fuels.
  • Cryogenic: Uses gaseous fuels solidified at extremely low temperatures.

5. Warhead

5.1 Conventional Warhead

  • Conventional warheads are filled with chemical explosives. 
  • It relies on the detonation of the explosive and the resulting metal casing fragmentation as kill mechanisms.

5.2 Strategic Warhead

  • Radioactive materials are present, and when triggered, they exhibit tremendous radioactivity that can wipe out cities.
  • They are generally designed for mass annihilation.

6. Guidance Systems

Guided Missile

  • Guided missiles can manoeuvre within a flight. They are guided by the sensors fitted in them. E.g., infrared sensor. 
  • They are primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armoured tanks & other armoured fighting vehicles. 
  • They can be launched from aircraft, helicopters, tanks, and shoulder-mounted launchers.

Type of guidance systems

  1. Wire Guidance
  2. Command Guidance
  3. Terrain Comparison Guidance
  4. Terrestrial Guidance
  5. Inertial Guidance
  6. Beam Rider Guidance
  7. Laser Guidance
  8. RF and GPS Reference

On the basis of type

1. Cruise Missile

What are Cruise Missiles?

  • A cruise missile is
    1. self-propelled 
    2. unmanned
    3. guided vehicle
  • It sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path. 
  • Its primary mission is to place ordnance or special payload on a target.
  • Cruise missiles fly within the Earth’s atmosphere. 
  • It sustains the flight using Jet Engine Technology. 
  • Cruise Missile can have the varying speed or ability to penetrate the enemy’s defences.

Parts of Cruise Missiles

Cruise Missiles have the following components

  1. Guidance system: This guides the missile during its flight.
  2. Payload: Conventional or strategic warhead which missile intends to deliver. 
  3. Propulsion System: Engine (usually Jet Engine) which propels the missile.

Classification of Cruise Missiles

1. Subsonic Cruise Missile

  • Subsonic Cruise Missiles fly at a speed lesser than the speed of sound (around 0.8 Mach). 
  • E.g., Nirbhay of India, Harpoon & Tomahawk of USA and Exocet of France.

2. Supersonic Cruise Missile

  • Supersonic Cruise Missiles travel at a speed of around 2-3 Mach, i.e. it travels a kilometre approximately in a second. 
  • Its lethal capabilities are further improved due to the combined effect of supersonic speed and mass of warhead, which provides enormous kinetic energy.
  • BRAHMOS (a joint venture of India & Russia) is the only known versatile supersonic cruise missile system in service globally. 

3. Hypersonic Cruise Missile

  • Hypersonic Cruise Missiles travel at speeds higher than 5 Mach. 
  • Countries including India are working on manufacturing this class of missiles. Examples include Brahmos-II.
  • China has recently tested Hypersonic Cruise Missiles. 

2. Ballistic Missiles

What are Ballistic Missiles?

  • Ballistic Missiles have ballistic trajectories, i.e. they are guided only during the relatively brief period of the initially powered phase of flight & the rest of the course is determined by the law of orbital mechanics & ballistics. 
Indian Missiles
  • They are categorised according to their range & carry a huge payload. 
  • They can be launched from various platforms such as ships and land-based facilities. 
  • For example, Prithvi I, Prithvi II, Agni I, Agni II and Dhanush ballistic missiles. 

Side Topic: Anti Ballistic Missiles

  • They are used to neutralise ballistic missiles. 
  • They are missiles for missile defence. 

Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP)

  • Dr A P J Abdul Kalam conceived IGMDP to enable India to attain self-sufficiency in missile technology. 
  • Keeping in mind the defence forces’ requirements, the team recommended developing five missile systems. 
  • IGMDP finally got approval from the Government of India in 1983

What was the need for IGMDP?

  • It has the advantage of delivering a higher payload beyond the range of the combat aircraft. 
  • These are one-way devices. Hence, there is no danger of loss as associated with loss of combat aircraft & their crew. 
  • These missiles travel at a very high speed that makes interception difficult.  
  • DRDO ended IGMDP on 8 January 2008 after making India self-reliant in Missile Technology. Presently, the Agni Missile Development Program to develop new versions of Agni is running as a separate program. 

The missiles developed under the programme are

P Prithvi Short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile
A Agni Intermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile 
T Trishul Short-range low-level surface-to-air missile 
N Nag Third generation anti-tank missile 
A Akash  Medium-range surface-to-air missile

1. Prithvi 

  • It was the first missile developed under IGMP and was inducted into the Indian Army in 1994.
  • Prithvi is a surface to surfaces missile. 
  • It has a short range of 150-350 km. (Range increases as number increases: Prithvi I=150, II=250 and III=350kms.)
  • Its naval version is known as Dhanush. Dhanush can be launched from Navy ships.

1.1 Prithvi 1

Name SS150
Range 150km
Used by Army
Payload 1000kg

Update: Prithvi 1 will be replaced by Prahar Missile, developed by DRDO. It has a range of 150 Km. It is extremely precise and is fitted with modern navigation, guidance and actuation systems.  

1.2 Prithvi II

Name SS250
Range 250 Km
Used by Air Force
Payload 300 Kg

1.3 Prithvi III

Name SS 350
Range 350 Km
Used by Navy
Payload 1000  Kg

1.4 Sagarika/ K-15

Name K-15.
Speciality Nuclear capable submarine variant of  Prithvi missile.
Range 250-350 KM
Engine It has 2 stage engine, and both the engines are solid fuelled
1. First Stage: Underwater booster that powers the missile to 5 Km above the surface of the ocean. 
2. Second Stage: Propels the missile above the water.

1.5 Dhanush

Speciality Ship launched version of Prithvi.
Range Initially, 150 km but later increased to 350 km.
Payload 500-1000 kg

1.6 Pradyuman

  • Prithvi Air Defence Missile/Anti Ballistic Missile is named Pradyuman Ballistic Missile Interceptor. 
  • It can intercept the ballistic missiles of 300 to 2000 km class up to the altitude of 80 Km.
  • DRDO is working to enhance it to intercepts till 5000+ km range & engaging them at an altitude of 150 km.

2. Agni

  • It is the intermediate & long range Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile built by DRDO. 
  • These are capable of delivering nuclear warheads. 

2.1 Agni-1

  • Range: 700 -900 Kms
  • Max speed: Mach 12
  • It was the first missile in the family of Agni Missiles.
  • It bridges the gap between Prithvi & Agni 2. 

Agni Prime

  • It is the advanced version of Agni-1. 
  • It was test-fired successfully in June 2021.
  • Range: 1000 to 1500 Km 
  • Payload: 1,000 Kg
  • It has advanced features like
    1. High Agility
    2. Road Mobility
    3. Cannisterisation i.e. can be transported in canisters
    4. Lighter and sleeker than Agni-1

2.2 Agni-2

  • Range: 2000 km  
  • Max speed: Mach 13
  • It can carry a nuclear warhead.  
  • It is also provided with GPS to hit targets accurately. 

2.3 Agni-3

  • Range: 3000 km
  • It is the most accurate missile in this class.

2.4 Agni-4

  • Twenty meters tall and has two stages solid-fuel engine.
  • It can carry nuclear weapons
  • Range: 4000 km
  • It has heat shields. Hence, the missile can withstand above 4000°C temperature when it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere.

2.5 Agni-5

  • Agni-5 was inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command in 2018.  
  • It has a design similar to that of Agni-3 with an extra stage.    
  • Range: Above 5000 (but Chinese experts say that Agni’s range is 8000 km and India is misguiding the world).
  • Max speed: Mach 24
  • It has MIRV capability (MIRV = Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry Vehicle . MIRV means one missile can carry several warheads, each for different targets).
  • Newspapers say it to be Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile(ICBM) (but according to definition, ICBM has a range greater than 5500 Km). 
  • It can be launched from canister & is road-mobile. Cannisterization makes this missile very agile and increases the shelf life of the missile by protecting it from the harsh climate.

Strategic Importance of Agni-5

  • It has brought areas as far as Beijing within the striking capability of New Delhi. Hence, it will act as a deterrent
  • Possibility as Anti-Satellite Missile: It can be converted to Anti Satellite Missile with certain modifications. 

2.6 Agni VI

  • It is an ICBM. But it is speculated to be in very rudimentary stages of development, albeit never formally acknowledged by DRDO.
  • It can be launched from submarine and land.
  • It has a range of (approx.) 6,000 Km along with MIRV capabilities. 
  • There are some speculations that this missile has already been christened as Surya. 

Side Topic – ICBM

  • ICBMs have a range of more than 5500 km. 
  • It can carry both conventional & nuclear warheads. 
  • Russia has the largest number of ICBMs (only five countries have them, i.e. 5 Permanent members of the Security Council). 

3. Trishul

  • It is a ‘Short-range Surface to Air Missile’ (SAM).
  • It has a range of 9 Km.
  • It can be fitted with a 5.5 Kg warhead. 
  • Trishul is Radar guided missile.
  • It is developed for two purposes.
    1. To defend naval vessels against missiles.
    2. As a short-range surface to air missile.
  • But Trishul missiles have faced persistent problems. Hence, the Trishul missile is planned to be replaced by the Maitri Missile, a blend of French Mica Missile and DRDO’s Trishul.

4. Nag

  • It is a ‘Third generation Anti Tank missile’. 
  • Range = 3 to 7 km
  • Payload = 42 kg 
  • It is an all-weather, top attack missile with fire and forgets capability.  

It has various versions such as helicopter or rooftop or tank mounted.

HeliNa Helicopter Version of Nag.
SANT SANT = Standoff Anti-Tank Missile
It is a ‘fourth generation’ upgraded version of the HeliNa missile with an advanced node-mounted seeker.
NAMICA Nag Missile Carrier or NAMICA is an amphibious and armoured le carrier designed for Nag Missile.

5. Akash

  • It is a ‘Surface to Air Missile‘ (SAM).
  • It can target aircraft up to 25 km away (Medium Range), at altitudes up to 18Km.
  • Its launch weight is 720 kg.  
  • It can achieve a speed of 2.5 Mach.
  • It has an integrated ramjet propulsion system.
  • A self-destruction device is also integrated into it.  
  • It uses RAM jet propulsion while the booster stage is solid fuelled. 
  • Akash flies at supersonic speed, reaching around Mach 2.5.
  • It can destroy many targets at once, using the Rajendra radar system. Since Rajendra Radar completely guides it without any active guidance system, it allows greater capability against jamming as aircraft self-protection jammer has to work against high power radar.
  • It can be launched from static platforms and mobile platforms such as tanks and armoured missile carriers.
  • It was inducted into Indian Armed Forces in 2014. 
  • In 2020, the Indian Government decided that Akash Missile could be exported to friendly foreign countries.  
Akash Missile

Side Topic: Akash-NG

  • Akash-NG = Akash New Generation
  • It is a new generation of Surface to Air missiles.
  • It is meant for use by the Indian Air Force to intercept high manoeuvring low RCS (Radar Cross Section) aerial threats.

Guided Missiles outside IGMDP & in news

1. K Series

  • K series is explicitly developed for submarines. 
  • These missiles are dedicated to Abdul Kalam (K stands for Kalam).

Missiles of the K series include 


  • It is also known as Sagarika.
  • It is a submarine variant of the Prithvi Missile.  


  • K-4 is a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM).
  • It will arm the Arihant-class submarines. 
  • Range: 3,500 Km
  • Note: K-4 was developed to overcome the difficulty of fitting AGNI-III in equipping INS Arihant.


  • K-5 is equivalent to Agni-5 for Submarines. 
  • It is in developing stages. 
K Series Submarine Launched Missiles

2. Barak -8 / LRSAM

  • It is a Surface to Air Missile. It is also known as LRSAM (Long Range Surface to Air Missile). 
  • It is a Joint Venture of DRDO & Israel Aerospace Industries.
  • Speed: 2 Mach 
  • Range: 90 KM (80-100 Km) 
  • Flight Ceiling (max height achieved) = 16 Km
  • It will also be installed on INS Vikramaditya.
Long Range Surface to Air 
Missile (LRSAM) 
Joint Venture of DRDO & 
Israel Aerospace Industries 
= 90 KM (80-100 KM) 
= 2 Mach 


  • MRSAM = Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile
  • DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries have developed it. 
  • It has naval and army versions. 
  • It has a range of more than 50 km.
  • It can reach up to the speed of 2 Mach.
  • It can target multiple targets simultaneously. 


  • QRSAM = Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles 
  • It is being developed to replace Akash Missiles. 
  • Range: 25-30 Km
  • It has the ability to strike low flying targets.
  • It can hit multiple targets. 


  • VL-SRSM = Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile 
  • It is designed specifically for Indian Naval warships.
  • It has been developed jointly by DRDO.
  • Range: 40 Km
  • It can hit multiple targets.

6. Astra

  • Astra is an ‘Air to Air missile’ to destroy enemy aircraft.
  • It is developed by DRDO
  • It can be integrated into Su-30 MKI, Mirage 2000, LCA, MIG 29 etc. 
  • It has Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air to air capability with a 25 to 40 km strike range.  
  • Speed = up to 4 Mach. 
Astra Missile

7. Python-5

  • Python-5 is an Air-to-Air Missile of Israeli origin.
  • It has a range of 20 to 50 km and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capabilities.
  • It has been integrated into Tejas fighter aircraft.

8. Popeye

  • Popeye is an Air-to-Surface missile and can be easily integrated into fighter aircraft. 
  • Range: 80 km
  • India has procured it from Israel.
  • It can carry nuclear warheads.

9. Rudram

  • Rudram is an Anti-Radiation Missile indigenously developed by DRDO. 
  • It will be installed on Sukhoi aircraft and used to destroy enemy radars by detecting the radio signals coming from those radars.
  • With this, IAF can perform SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defence) operations deep into enemy territory to destroy enemy air defence setup.

10. Shaurya

  • Shaurya is a hypersonic missile with nuclear capabilities. 
  • Range: 1,000 Km
  • Shaurya has a canister based system, giving it extra mobility. 
  • Shaurya is a land-based parallel of the submarine-launched K-15 missile.

11. Pralay

  • Pralay is a Surface to Surface missile indigenously developed by DRDO.
  • Range: 150-500 km.
  • It is equipped with state of the art navigation mechanisms. 

12. Spike Missiles

  • Spike Missiles are Anti-Tank Missiles from Israel. 
  • It will be made in India in plant setup in Hyderabad with Kalyani Group holding 51% and Rafael Aerospace (of Israel) holding 49% stake.

13. Amogha -I

  • It is an indigenously developed ‘second generation‘ ‘anti-tank’ guided missile. 
  • Range: 2.8 km  
  • It is developed by Bharat Heavy Dynamics Limited (BDL).

14. Dhruvastra

  • Dhruvastra is an Anti-Tank Guided Missile indigenously developed by DRDO.
  • It comes in two variants i.e.
    1. Helicopter launched: It will be integrated into helicopters.
    2. Tank launched: It will be integrated into Arjun Tanks.

15. SANT (Stand-Off Anti-Tank) Missile

  • Helicopter launched Anti-Tank Missile indigenously developed by DRDO. 
  • Range: 10 km

Cruise Missiles of India

1. Brahmos

  • It is a joint venture of DRDO & Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia  – BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd.
  • It is named after two rivers, i.e. Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • Brahmos is essentially an anti-ship missile. 
  • Brahmos is unique because it is the only Supersonic cruise missile worldwide (with a speed close to 3 Mach).
  • It has a range of 290 km. 
  • It can carry a payload of 300kg.
  • Other specifications include internal guidance, high speed, stealth properties, advanced jamming protection.  
  • It can be installed on ships, submarines, aircraft and ground vehicles. 
  • BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) is making BrahMos II with hypersonic capabilities speed up to Mach 8.
  • In 2022, the Philippines bought BrahMos missiles from India.

In 2016, India became a Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) member. Subsequently, India and Russia planned to jointly develop a new generation of Brahmos missiles with a 600 km-plus range. Earlier, its range was restricted to sub-300 km. (note: MTCR applies on missiles with a range of more than 300 km).


2. Nirbhay

  • It is a ‘Surface to Surface cruise missile’. 
  • Speed: 0.7 Mach. 
  • Range = 800 km. 
  • Nirbhay is India’s first long-range subsonic cruise missile.
  • It is almost similar to the American Tomahawk missile. 
  • DRDO designed Nirbhaya from a pilotless Lakshya drone (0.68 Mach speed).  
  • It is a loitering missile as Nirbhay can circle over an area for many minutes and pick out the target.
  • It can avoid detection by flying at a very low altitude.  
  • 80% of Nirbhay parts are built in India.

Governance of Indian Defence Sector

Governance of Indian Defence Sector

This article deals with ‘Governance of Indian Defence Sector – UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles on Science and technology, you can click here

Indian Defence Apparatus

Legally, the President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Defence Forces. 

Ministry of Defence

  • Ministry of Defence controls the administration of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • It is headquartered at Cabinet Secretariat, Raisina Hill (in New Delhi).
  • Ministry of Defence has the following child agencies. 
    1. Department of Defence
    2. Department of Defence Production
    3. Defence Finance
    4. Department of Defence Research and Development
    5. Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
    6. Indian Armed Forces
    7. Inter-Services Organisations

Three services of Indian Armed Forces

Indian Defence System has been divided into 3 services, i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force.

1. Army

  • Indian Army defends the territorial sovereignty of India.
  • India has the third-largest army with 13 lakh active personnel.
  • It has 7 commands (6 operational and 1 training)
    1. Northern Command – Udhampur
    2. Western Command – Chandigarh
    3. Central Command – Lucknow
    4. Eastern Command – Kolkata
    5. South Command – Pune
    6. South – Western Command – Jaipur
    7. Training Command – Shimla

2. Air Force

  • Indian Air Force defends the Indian airspace.
  • There are 1.27 lakh active personnel in Indian Air Force.
  • It has 7 commands (5 operational + 1 training + 1 maintenance)
    1. Eastern Command – Shillong
    2. Western Command – New Delhi
    3. Central Command – Allahabad
    4. Southern Command – Thiruvananthapuram
    5. South – Western Command – Gandhi Nagar
    6. Training Command – Bangalore
    7. Maintenance Command – Nagpur

3. Navy

  • Indian navy protects the territorial waters, coast and Indian geopolitical interests.
  • It has 58,000 active personnel.
  • It has 3 operational commands. 
    1. Eastern Command – Vishakhapatnam
    2. Western Command – Mumbai
    3. Southern Command – Kochi

4. Joint Commands

  • There are two joint commands of the Indian Armed Forces, and these include 
    1. Tri-Service Command is headquartered at Andaman and Nicobar
    2. Strategic Force Command (It looks after India’s nuclear weapons)

Side Topic: DRDO

  • DRDO = Defence Research and Development Organisation. 
  • It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Directorate of Technical Development and Production & Defence Science Organisation.
  • DRDO is headquartered in New Delhi, India.
  • It works under the administrative control of the Defence Ministry.
  • Its primary function includes developing defence technologies. Earlier, it has spearheaded important projects, including Integrated Guided Missile Program (IGMP). 
  • But DRDO is often criticized for delayed projects and cost overruns.

Defence Acquisition Council

  • It was established in 2001 to tackle corruption and accelerate military weapon procurement.
  • It is headed by Defence Minister.

Defence Expenditure of India

The defence budget for 2022 is Rs. 4.05 lakh crore constituting around 14% of total government expenditure and 3% of India’s GDP.

Governance of Indian Defence Sector

Side Topic:  SIPRI Report 2021

  • India is the 3rd largest spender on defence globally (behind USA and China).
  • India is the second-largest importer of arms globally, behind Saudi Arabia. 
  • India accounted for 3.7% of money spent on military globally (while the USA spent 39% and China spent 13%, respectively). 
Defence Expenditure of India (SIPRI)

Integrated Theatre Command

  • This term has its origin in ‘theatre warfare’, which means ‘the entire land, sea and air areas are involved directly in the war operations. 
  • Theatre Command refers to the unified command under which all the Army, Navy and Air Force resources are pooled, depending upon the threat perception.
  • The present plan includes bringing all 17 service commands into 5 unified Theatre Commands.
    1. Northern Land Theatre
    2. Western Land Theatre
    3. Eastern Land Theatre
    4. Maritime Theatre Command
    5. Air Defence Command

Need of Integrated Theatre Command

  • Various committees constituted in the wake of the Kargil War opined for the enhanced coordination between armed forces for a prompt and effective military response.
  • It will bring down the cost for procurement as the use of resources can be rationalized, and duplicity in resource procurement can be tackled. 
  • It will help India fight any future war, especially with countries like China using a unified approach. 

Challenges in the creation of Theatre Command

  • There is a lack of consensus over the basic structure of Theatre Command. 
  • The Indian Air Force has already expressed reservation about the idea of the formation of Integrated Theatre Command because it is already short of assets. The formation of Integrated Theatre Command will spread its resources thinly over all the Theatre Commands.
  • There is a feeling that Theatre Command will lead to army superiority over the other forces. 
  • There is concern regarding the method that will be used to integrate the other security forces such as BSF, ITBP, Assam Rifles and CRPF into Theatre Commands. 
  • The Theatre Commands have been based on the idea of conventional security threats. However, in the age of cyber and nuclear warfare, the possibility of conventional attacks is very low. But, Theatre Command can’t tackle such challenges.

Defence Manufacturing

India is the world’s second-largest arms importer, accounting for about  12% of global arms imports. This external dependence on Defence Goods not only poses a security risk but is also a challenge to Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

Present status of Defence Production and Trade of India

  • Total Defence Manufacturing in India: Rs 80,000 crore (80% – Public and 20% – Private)
  • Import: India is the second-largest importer of defence goods after Saudi Arabia (SIPRI).
  • Indian Exports
    • Indian defence exports increased from 1500 crore in 2016 to 8500 crore in 2020.
    • HAL and Indian Ordnance Factory are included in the Top 100 Defence companies of the world.


  1. Budget 2022: 68% of defence purchases would be made from local producers. 
  2. Positive Indigenization Lists: The government has issued a “positive indigenization list” comprising 209 items. These items can’t be imported, and the government has to procure items listed in it from domestic Industry. 
  3. De-reserve the Defence Manufacturing: Private participants are now eligible to work in defence manufacturing. 
  4. Liberalized FDI Regime: 74% FDI can be done through automatic route, and 100% FDI can be done through approval route.
  5. Defence Offset Policy: If the deal is more than Rs. 2,000 crore, 30% of the deal’s value, has to be invested in the Indian economy.
  6. Defence Procurement Procedure, 2020: The highest priority is given to the Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured in India. 
  7. Defence Corridors has been set up in India.

Defence Industrial Corridors

Two Defence Industrial Corridors are being constructed in

  1. Tamil Nadu
  2. Uttar Pradesh
Defence Industrial Corridors

Benefits of Defence Industrial Corridors in India

  • It will boost the Make in India project.
  • It will provide employment opportunities.
  • It will help India become self-reliant (Atma Nirbhar) in defence manufacturing.
  • It will help save a large amount of foreign reserves and earn foreign currency by selling defence equipment to other countries.
  • It will also help in attracting FDI in India.

Defence FDI Reform

Under the present rules, 100 % FDI in the defence sector is allowed. 

FDI in defence is good?

  • Public sector companies have consistently failed to meet the requirements of the armed forces. 
  • Superior management culture of the private sector will come in India.
  • It will help India in saving foreign reserves.
  • It will help Indian companies to set up a base in the defence sector. E.g., Boeing’s contract with Tata will help Tata to develop expertise in the defence sector.
  • It will help in the generation of jobs.

FDI in Defence is not a good model for India

  • Foreign subsidiaries will always put pressure on India for repeat orders. 
  • Would dependence on a Lockheed Martin (India) or a Bharat Boeing differ from relying on U.S. principles?
  • FDI will not ensure that R&D will happen in India. It just means that the Indian subsidiary of that company will produce hardware in India. In strategic sectors like defence, it is important to achieve the ability to create our fighters & tanks.  
  • It will increase the danger of creating a powerful lobby of the armament industry which will aim to protect its interest in future even by promoting insurgencies and terrorism in India.
  • A better option is to invest in HAL, DRDO etc. If ISRO can perform well with the provision of autonomy and financial resources, other PSUs can perform as well.

Security challenges and their management in (coastal) border areas

Security challenges and their management in (coastal) border areas

This article deals with ‘Security challenges and their management in (coastal) border areas.’ 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.


  • India has a long coastline of 7,516 km (5,400 km mainland + 2,200 km with island territories).
  • India’s coastline runs through 9 states i.e. Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka,  Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and 4 Union Territories viz. Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • Apart from that, the following things make Indian Coastal Security a difficult proposition
    1. India’s coast is characterised by a diverse range of topography such as creeks, backwaters, deltas, lagoons, estuaries etc.
    2. Indian coast has proximity to politically volatile, economically depressed and unfriendly countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
    3. India has an unsettled maritime boundary with Pakistan (Sir Creek). Apart from that, the maritime boundary with Sri Lanka (Katchatheevu Island) and Bangladesh is not respected by the fisherman and they frequently venture into each other’s territory.

Strategic importance of coasts to India

  • India’s maritime trade constitutes 90% by volume and 77% by value of India’s total trade.
  • Three Indian metros (out of four) are situated along the coast including India’s financial centre – Mumbai.
  • Ports and industrial units situated in the coastal cities are backbone of Indian economy.
  • Large number of Military installations are also situated on Indian coasts.
  • Oil refineries and offshore oilfields like Bombay High are situated on the coasts.
  • Nuclear power plants like Kundankulam, Tarapore etc. are situated on the Indian coast.

All these  are susceptible to attack and remains at the target of terrorist organisations (funded by our envious neighbour).

Maritime Security Challenges

India faces following Maritime Security Challenges

  1. Maritime Terrorism
  2. Piracy and armed robbery especially in the Sundarbans   
  3. Smuggling of gold, electronic goods, narcotics and arms
  4. Human Trafficking
  5. Infiltration, Illegal Migration and Refugee Influx
  6. Straying of fishermen beyond the maritime boundary.
  7. The global trade has shifted from the AtlanticPacific to the Indo-Pacific and brought the world powers to fight for their space in the Indian Ocean which forms India’s backyard.
  8. Chinese advances in the Indian Ocean through the String of Pearls and Maritime Silk Road pose a threat to India.

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

It should be noted that

  • During 1993 Mumbai Serial Bomb Blasts, ammunition and bombs reached Mumbai via sea.
  • In 1991, the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi came from Sri Lanka via sea.
  • During 26/11;lTaj Attack in Mumbai, Terrorists reached Mumbai via Sea.
  • India has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Pakistan i.e. Sir Creek Issue. 
  • Katchathevu Issue: Tamil Fisherman venture into Sri Lankan EEZ leading to firing and boat seizures.
  • Bangladeshi Pirates are active in Sundarbans.
  • Smuggling of Gold and Drugs happen via sea.
  • Large number of Rohingya entered India via sea evading all the security checks.

Side Topic: Maritime security challenge posed by China

  • String of Pearls Theory and One Belt One Road Policy of China pose great threat to Indian interests in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Building and revitalizing port facilities in Gwadar, Hambantota and Chittagong in South Asia, to Mombasa, Dar-e-Salam and on the East Coast of Africa,
  • All  weather Sino-Pakistan alliance, with its strong anti-Indian slant complicates our security problems further.
  • China’s expanding naval footprint in the Indian Ocean would come into conflict with India’s sphere of strategic influence, triggering a chain of events that could eventually lead to a larger strategic confrontation. 
  • China is mapping the undersea terrain in the Indian Ocean Region, with a view to advance submarine operations.

Indian Coast Guard

ICG was established in 1977 (& placed under Ministry of Defence) due to following reasons

  • Nag committee of 1970 opined that navy was not trained for such act and recommended to setup Coastal Guard.
  • In 1972, UNCLOS awarded Exclusive Economic Zones to coastal states. To protect and police it, special force was required.
  • In 1974, oil was found in Arabian Sea and Bombay high was built. Government felt need of special force to protect such assets.
  • To prevent the rampant sea-borne smuggling happening through both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.

Duties and functions of ICG

  • Ensuring the safety and protection of artificial islands, offshore terminals and other structures. 
  • Providing protection to fishermen.
  • Preserve and protect the maritime environment.
  • Assisting the customs in anti-smuggling operations.

Structure of Indian Coast Guard

Coast Guard of India
Weapons with Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

Changes required in ICG

  • The ICG should be designated as the single authority responsible for coastal security. Indian navy should be eased out from coastal security responsibilities.
  • There is lack of desired man power along with water and air assets in the ICG.
  • ICG should be treated as a border guarding force and brought under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) (presently, it is under the Ministry of Defence).

Marine Police

  • Marine Police was created under the Coastal Security Scheme (CSS) that was launched in 2005.
  • Aim: To strengthen infrastructure for patrolling and the surveillance of the shallow areas close to the coast.
  • Mandate:
    1. To patrol the territorial waters (12 nautical miles into the sea).
    2. Pursue legal cases pertaining to their area of responsibility
  • Marine Police works on ‘Hub and Spoke Model‘ in association with the Coast Guards with ‘hub’ being the ICG station and ‘spokes’ being the coastal police stations.
Marine Police

Coastal Security Architecture

After Mumbai Attacks , multi-layered system of Marine Protection involving the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Police of the coastal States and Union Territories is at place.

Jurisdiction of Territorial Waters

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

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

Sagar Prahari Bal or Ocean Strike Unit  comprise of 1000 personnel raised by navy. Their mandate is protection of naval bases and co-located vulnerable areas.

Apart from that , the Water Wing of BSF is given the responsibility of securing the creeks and waterways in the Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Cambay and the Sunderbans.

After 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Indian Navy has been made the core of the coastal security system. The complete responsibility of defence of the entire coastal and offshore areas was handed over to the Indian Navy. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG), the marine police and other central and state agencies are to play a supporting role to the Indian navy.

Sagar Suraksha Dal

  • Sagar Suraksha Dal is an informal group comprising of fishermen and trained volunteers of the coastal areas.
  • They are used for surveillance and intelligence gathering. They share information about any suspicious happenings or vessels.

Electronic Surveillance

  • It is a network comprising of coastal radar chain.
  • Apart from India, the Navy is also seeking to expand India’s surveillance footprint by setting up radar stations in the Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh; Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already integrated into the wider coastal radar chain network.

National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS)

  • NCSMCS headed by the Cabinet Secretary coordinates all matters related to Maritime and Coastal Security.

Maritime police stations

  • Maritime Police Stations have been opened under the Coastal Security Scheme.
  • A total of 204 Maritime Police Stations have been opened in two phases along with jetties and interceptor boats.

Monitoring, Control and Surveillance of  Fishermen

  • For the identification of fishermen at sea,  a scheme for issuing biometric identity cards has been started. 
  • Coastal-awareness campaigns for the fishermen community are being conducted by the Indian Navy and the coast guard.


  • Indian Maritime Security Strategy (IMSS) 2015 of Indian Navy: It envisages greater coordination between different maritime agencies.
  • Coastal Security Scheme (CSS) is being implemented to strengthen the security infrastructure of the Marine Police Force in coastal states/UTs.
  • Coastal Surveillance network: It aims to provide near gapless electronic surveillance of the entire coastline and prevent the intrusion of undetected vessels. It comprises of Coastal Radar Chain, the Automatic Identification System and (AIS), and VTMS.
  • Involving fishermen in surveillance & intelligence gathering: Fishermen groups, referred to as the ‘ears and eyes’ of coastal security, are created comprising of trained volunteers who monitor the seas and coastal waters.
  • Operation Sagar Kavach was put in operation post 26/11 to improve coordination between security agencies including the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the local police. Its latest edition was held in January 2021 in Andaman and Nicobar.
  • Indian Ocean Naval Symposium to provide an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

Way forward

  • The three-tier coastal security establishment involving the marine police, ICG and Indian Navy makes it difficult to fix accountability if any unfortunate incident occurs. The Coast Guard should be designated as the single authority responsible for coastal security.
  • The states have been reluctant in giving importance to sea-borne threats. The marine police are poorly equipped and ill trained. The MHA should concentrate on  training the marine police and upgrading their infrastructure.
  • Due to insufficient funds, Navy and ICG Is woefully short in manpower and firepower. Government should give proper funds to these services.
  • On the lines of many developed countries, there is a need to adopt a participative and multi-national integrated border management system in India.

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.