With the Strategic Review Committee headed by Naresh Chandra expected to submit its report next month, the government is expecting the former cabinet secretary to recommend specific charters for Indian intelligence in order to avoid task overlap and one-upmanship among agencies.
Government sources said the 14 member committee was currently in the process of compiling the report with all the six sub-groups ready with their recommendations on border management, internal security, defence management and intelligence reform. The committee, set-up in June 2011, will submit its report in January 2012.
While the Committee will push for national security reforms, the government is hoping that Naresh Chandra will define mandates for intelligence agencies particularly the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and the tri-service Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). Apart from presence of disgruntled elements within, the R&AW is often at odds with Indian diplomats and growing number of Intelligence Bureau posts abroad. Top officials feel that rather than focus on core intelligence collection outside the country, R&AW agents often play diplomats and tinker with country specific foreign policy.
The DIA, on its part, is a matter of serious concern to the national security managers as the post of Director General DIA has become a sinecure for Lieutenant Generals awaiting their next postings. The average tenure of a DG DIA is around one to one-and-a-half years with only defence attaches coming under its ambit. As the individual services intelligence do not share data with DIA, the organisation has become bit of an orphan.
With former R&AW chief KC Verma and former Intelligence Bureau chief PC Halder on the Naresh Chandra committee, the government is hoping to spruce up its intelligence gathering apparatus to meet the demand of ever growing consumers.