Security challenges and their management in border areas

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Introduction

  • India has approx 15000 km of land border & 7500 km of coastline. Infact except MP, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi and Haryana all other states have atleast one international border or coastline and can be regarded as frontline states from the view of border management.

Definition

  • Border management is broader term which apart from gaurding borders also includes coordination & intensive action by political leadership and administrative,diplomatic, legal, security, intelligence, regulatory economic agencies of country to secure our front-line and subserve best interest of country.

Challenges

  • Concept of border management has undergone change with growing vulnerability of sea & air as demonstrated in purulia incident and mumbai terror attack.
  • nature of India-Nepal border change with increasing activities of Pakistan like fake currency supply
  • Pakistan's cross border terrorism through borders & coastline
  • mass migration from B'desh due to greater opportunities in India. Demography of lower Assam has changed considerably due to illegal immigration.
  • Access to latest technology, strategic alliance between arm dealers, drug smugglers and money laundering has increased the challenge and added complexity to border management.

Dr Madhav Godbole report

  • Maritime/land boundaries not properly demarcated. No natural boundary like river etc hence pourous in nature.
  • Multiplicity of force - Leads to lack of accountability & problem of command & control. eg.
- Line of actual control - Vikas Battalions of spl frontier force (Under Cabinet Secretariat)
- Indo Tibet Police - Uttarakhand (Under Ministry of Home Affairs)
- Infantry Indin army - Sikkim (Ministry of Defence)
- Assam Rifiles and other paramilitry forces - Arunachal, Mizo, Manipur
- West by BSF except LOC
-Nepal - SSB under MHA
- B'desh - BSF
-Bhutan- BSF & SSB
- Myamar - Assam Rifiles and Army - issue of cross border training of Maga & Mizo extremists
  • Border forces need to be distinguished from central police organization.
- Idealy should be under MHA in peace like BSF at settled border, Army at unsettled border
- Massive commitment of resources is already made by India
- use of sattelite, technology may reduce physical presence
  • forces often take harse action that causes inconvenience to local and advantage is taken by hostile elements.
  • Vaccum of media & lack of timely release of info create environment of suspicion. Trained officer should impart information
  • Concept of village volunteer force should be introcduced for border management, self command, providing information . This may reduce environment of suspicion.
  • Dispute of boundaries, LOC & LAC has compelled for deployment of large forces.

SWoT Analysis

Challenges from within

  • Disputed role of Internal judicial processes of military
  • Steady erosion of personal values of military
  • Poor officer-men relation
  • Aggressive media focus has made instant transparency and information dissemination the new norm in the armed forces.
  • Modest fiscal outlay
  • poor techno industrial base within country for production
  • Low level of ammunition in armed forces.

External Challenges

  • to safeguard route of India's oil supply by Navy
  • Protect offshore oil installation by navy

Threats

  • Instability in West Asia - mass evacuation of Indian nationals residing in Gulf states

Opportunity

  • to tap seabad resources
  • expend rule-based footprint that extends till resource rich Antartica.

Strength

  • steady gains in integrating home-grown technology in construction and design of naval vessels, aircraft and missiles.

Reference

  • "Missing a Defence Minister" Indian Express Sept 4th 2014
  • "The navy and economic growth" The Hindu 22nd Aug 2014
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