Border Management (DAMP)
- Discuss the key maritime security challenges faced by India. Highlight the various initiatives taken to secure the maritime domain.
- Rapid evolution in technology is both challenge as well as panacea for India’s border security. Explain with relevant examples.
- Effective management of India’s border with neighboring countries is the sine qua non for the eradication of terrorism, organized crime, cross-border insurgency, and other internal security issues faced by India. Discuss.
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Being located along key Sea Lanes of Communication, having a 7500 Km long coastline, and surrounded by adversarial nations, India faces multiple maritime challenges.
Key Maritime Challenges:
- China through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has tried to box India in the Indian Ocean by acquiring strategic ports like Hambantota and Gwadar. It has also been continuously arming Pakistan Navy as a balancer to Indian in the region.
- Threat of terrorist infiltration from Sea routes on the lines of 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
- Maritime disputes with Pakistan and Sri Lanka, lack of clear boundary demarcation resulting in frequent arrest of fishermen.
- Illegal migrants coming through the sea routes and Uninhabited islands can be used by traffickers,
insurgents, and extremists.
- Natural calamities like cyclones, tsunamis, global-warming-induced rise of sea level and resultant inundation of land areas etc.
- Great Power contest in the region as Indian Ocean is the part of Indo-Pacific geopolitical construct.
- Overlapping jurisdiction between the IN, ICG and the SCP and a lack of unity of command at the
ministry and force level.
- Involvement of state police in surveillance leads to mixing of law-and-order maintenance with maritime border guarding.
- Post-Mumbai attacks in 2008, an overhaul of the maritime security apparatus was witnessed with
“emphasis on surveillance, intelligence gathering and information sharing.
- Maritime Security Strategy 2015 outlining India’s Primary and secondary areas of interest and India’s aim to be net security provider.
- Coastal security is also reviewed periodically with all stakeholders by the National Committee for
Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS), constituted under the Chairmanship of
- Joint Operation Centres (JOC) have been set up at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Port Blair; jointly manned and operated by Navy and Coast Guard.
- A National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I) has established for real-time maritime domain awareness, linking the Navy and Coast Guard, both, at field and apex levels.
- The Indian Navy has setup Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- India’s first National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) has been appointed to investigate all
issues of maritime security and ensure inter-agency coordination.
- National Academy of coastal policing (NACP) is being setup at Mojap village, dist-Devbhoomi in Gujarat.
- 500 satellite-based transponders are being installed on fishing boats below 20 metres of length in sensitive areas of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for location tracking.
While India faces various maritime security challenges, it has demonstrated a strong commitment to address them. Through proactive measures, strategic partnerships, and continuous investment, India is making commendable progress in securing its maritime domain and ensuring a safer maritime environment.
Rapidly evolving technologies like drones, sensors, encrypted apps can increase scope for infiltration as
well as make border security more convenient for security personnels.
Technology as panacea:
- Use of technology like BOLD-QIT under CIBMS for better border management in char lands and multiple river channels, where border fencing is not possible.
- Smart fencing across Pakistan-border with infra-red technology to detect infiltration even in dense fogs and poor visibility situation.
- Drones can be used for keeping an eye on infiltration through inhospitable terrains like deep passes.
- Cross-border tunnel detection (used by terrorists and infiltrators) through Radio imaging method,
Gradiometer and Electromagnetic radio frequency method.
- Use of jet packs by soldiers near border areas for swift deployment and ensuring terrain superiority in the fight against infiltration and terrorism.
- Using a combination of UGS (Underground Sensors), camera systems and other types of technologies like microwave intrusion detection systems that alerts border guards of activity near borders when people or vehicles get too close to any border.
- Use of transponders on fishing boats and dhows to enable their tracking and identify any illegal fishing boat along Indian coasts.
Technology as a challenge:
- Drones are being used for infiltrating weapons and contraband substances from across the border without getting traced by radars. E.g.- Drones dropping weapons and drugs in Punjab.
- Cryptocurrencies used for hawala transfers, terror funding etc.
- Use of dark net for communication between terror groups, selling of illegal weapons etc. from across the border.
- Encrypted applications used by individuals for planning and executing violence, without getting tracked by security agencies.
Measures to tackle challenges posed by technology:
- Advanced Drone Detection: Invest in drone detection technology like radar systems and anti-drone
solutions to thwart smuggling attempts.
- Cryptocurrency Regulation: Establish robust regulations on cryptocurrency usage to curb illegal financial transactions and terror funding.
- Dark Web Monitoring: Enhance cyber surveillance to detect and prevent illicit activities on the dark web, curbing terror group communication.
- Encryption Policies: Formulate stringent encryption policies to balance privacy with security, ensuring agencies can access critical information when necessary.
In recent times, India has adopted technologies like CIBMS, smart fencing, anti-drone jammers etc. and is in the process of getting jetpacks to prevent misuse of technology and make border security more robust.
Q: Effective management of India’s border with neighboring countries is the sine qua non for the eradication of terrorism, organized crime, cross-border insurgency, and other internal security issues faced by India. Discuss. (15 Mark, 250 Words)
India shares land borders exceeding 15,000 km with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, and a short segment with Afghanistan. It has a 7,683 km coastline and a 2 million sq km Exclusive Economic Zone.
- India-China Border: Ongoing border dispute along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) leads to standoffs and clashes.
- Indo-Pakistan Border: Poor infrastructure due to difficult terrain enables cross-border terrorism, smuggling, and attacks.
- Indo-Bangladesh Border: Porous border allows illegal migration, human trafficking, and trans border crimes.
- Indo-Nepal Border: Disputes over regions like Kalapani result from shifting rivers, allowing illicit activities.
- Indo-Myanmar Border: Rugged terrain and porous borders facilitate insurgency and drug trafficking.
- Indo-Bhutan Border: Porous border enables insurgent movement across borders.
- Coastal and Island Challenges: Poor maritime security leads to terrorist attacks, piracy, and smuggling.
Importance of Effective Border Management:
- Counterterrorism: Prevents terrorist infiltration and arms movement.
- Combat Organized Crime: Curbs illegal activities like drug trade and human smuggling.
- Suppress Insurgency: Deters external support for insurgents.
- Sovereignty: Protects national borders and territory.
- Migration Control: Enables legal migration while preventing illegal entry.
Steps for Effective Border Management:
- Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS): Enhances situational awareness and response.
- Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique (BOLD-QIT): Monitors unfenced riverine areas.
- Increased Surveillance: Cameras and intrusion detection aid quick response.
- Border Infrastructure: Develops roads, fences, lights, and outposts.
- Role of AI: AI-powered devices detect threats and alert border patrol in real-time.
Madhukar Gupta Committee has given its recommendations broadly on the issues of threats and border protection, assessment of force level, deployment on the border, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues. A strong collaborative initiative is required with Ministry of Home Affairs and the Defense ministry as well as involving other defense ministries from the neighboring states.