Recommending that RAW should break out of the "iron cage" of bureaucracy, its former chief has said the external intelligence agency should be allowed to recruit professionals and outsource select activities to the private sector to get the best talent and expertise.
Observing that the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) was not conceived as a central police organisation, former head Vikram Sood said, in the present scenario, when "the terrorist is invariably a step or two ahead of the counter-terrorist" the agency should get talent from wherever it could.
"Unfortunately the Indian Police Service still assumes it should have primacy in the RAW and the result has been a constant and a debilitating battle between the in-house and the IPS," the former Secretary (R) of the Cabinet Secretariat said in an article in the 'Indian Defence Review'.
Maintaining that this was not to overlook the contributions made by several outstanding intelligence officers belonging to the IPS, he said "these officers would have been outstanding anywhere. It is just that the requirements have changed today.
"Besides that an exam passed five, ten or 20 years ago does not qualify a man or a woman as an intelligence officer ... The brightest no longer join the civil service," he said.
Asserting that the intelligence agencies have not been allowed to be flexible to meet the evolving threat, he said this meant recruitment from the open market.