List of Indian intelligence agencies

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia

India has a number of intelligence agencies, of which the best known are the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency, and the Intelligence Bureau, the domestic intelligence agency, responsible for counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism and overall internal security.

National Technical Research Organisation[edit]

The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)[1] is a technical intelligence agency under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister's Office, India.[2] It was set up in 2004.[3] It also includes National Institute of Cryptology Research and Development (NICRD), which is first of its kind in Asia.[4]

Research and Analysis Wing[edit]

Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India.

Aviation Research Centre[edit]

Cameras of MiG-25RB for aerial surveillance

The Aviation Research Centre (ARC) is a part of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) of the Cabinet Secretariat (Special Requirements) India. The first head of the ARC was R. N. Kao, the founding chief of R&AW. Over the years the ARC has grown into a large operation and flies a large and varied fleet. Aerial surveillance, SIGINT operations, photo reconnaissance flights (PHOTINT),[5] monitoring of borders, imagery intelligence (IMINT)[6] are the main functions of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC). The aircraft are fitted with state-of-the-art electronic surveillance equipment and long range cameras capable of taking pictures of targets from very high altitudes. ARC also takes the responsibility along with the IAF to transport Special Frontier Force (SFF) commandos from their trans-location at Sarsawa, 250 km north of New Delhi, though the SFF's own base is in Chakrata in Uttarakhand (UK) state.

Radio Research Centre[edit]

The Radio Research Centre (RRC) is a part of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) of the Cabinet Secretariat (Special Requirements) India. The radio research centre (RRC) is a premier communication and signal intelligence agency of India. RRC’s tasks include – communication with the embassies abroad, send cyphered code to agents stationed abroad, interception fixed line and wireless communication and the department closely works with the Joint Cypher Bureau. The RRC has offices all across the country and the perform the intercepts communication and sends code.[7]

Electronics and Technical Services[edit]

The Electronics and Technical Services (ETS) is the Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) arm of India's external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). Established in the mid 1980s under the leadership of then R&AW's chief N. F. Suntook, the organisation, it is housed in the CGO complex in New Delhi. ETS is believed to be involved in ELINT roles, not restricted but also includes jamming and spoofing - Electronic Warfare (EW). ETS also involved in Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESMs), Telemetry (TELINT), Tracking and monitoring data links, interception and monitoring of navigation signals and other ELINT and EW methods.[8]

Intelligence Bureau[edit]

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India's internal intelligence agency.[9]

Joint Cipher Bureau[edit]

The Joint Cipher Bureau works closely with the IB and RAW. It is responsible for cryptanalysis and encryption of sensitive data.[citation needed] The inter-services Joint Cipher Bureau has primary responsibility for cryptology and SIGINT, providing coordination and direction to the other military service organizations with a similar mission. Most current equipment providing tactical intelligence is of Russian origin, including specialized direction finding and monitoring equipment.

The Joint Cipher Bureau is also responsible for issues relating to public and private key management. Cryptographic products are export-controlled licensed items, and licenses to India are not generally available for products of key length of more than 56 bits.[citation needed] The domestic Indian computer industry primarily produces PCs, and PC-compatible cryptographic products have been developed and are being used commercially. More robust encryption systems are not commercially produced in India, and progress in this field has been slow due to the general unavailability of technology and know-how. Customised cryptographic products have been designed and produced by organizations in the defence sector are engaged in the implementation of cryptographic techniques, protocols and the products.

All India Radio Monitoring Service[edit]

All India Radio Monitoring Service (AIRMS) is the central monitoring service that monitors broadcasts in India as well as from all foreign broadcasts of Interest to India.[10][11] AIRMS is located in Shimla.[12] It works in liaison with R&AW and Military intelligence.

Narcotics Control Bureau[edit]

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the chief law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances.[13][14]

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs[edit]

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is the nodal national agency responsible for administering Customs, GST, Central Excise, Service Tax & Narcotics in India. The Customs & Central Excise department was established in the year 1855 by the then British Governor General of India, to administer customs laws in India and collection of import duties/land revenue. It is one of the oldest government departments of India. Associated agencies of the board are Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Directorate General of GST Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU- India), Directorate General of Performance Management, National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes & Narcotics (NACIN), Directorate General of Vigilance, Directorate General of Audit, Directorate General of Export Promotion Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, Directorate General of Goods & Services Tax Intelligence Opium & Alkaloid Department, Economic Intelligence Council, Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Narcotics, Directorate General of Systems.

Serious Fraud Investigation Office[edit]

Central Bureau of Investgation[edit]

Central Bureau of Investigation is the federal agency of India which investigate all the crime and high profile matter which relates to national security matter.

Defence Intelligence Agency[edit]

This agency was established on 5 March 2002 with the appointment of Lt. General Kamal Davar as the first Director General (DG). The DG reports to the Chief of Defence Staffs (CDS). It is supposed to be the nodal agency for all defence-related intelligence, thus distinguishing it from the RAW. Much of the agency's budget and operations are classified.

DIA has control of MoD's prized technical intelligence assets – the Directorate of Signals Intelligence and the Defence Image Processing and Analysis Centre (DIPAC). While the Signals Directorate is responsible for acquiring and decrypting enemy communications, the DIPAC controls India's satellite-based image acquisition capabilities. The DIA also controls the Defence Information Warfare Agency (DIWA) which handles all elements of the information warfare repertoire, including psychological operations, cyber-war, electronic intercepts and the monitoring of sound waves.Before the creation of the Defence Intelligence Agency, the military intelligence capability of India's armed forces was limited to Field Intelligence Units (FIU) and separate intelligence arms of the services.[15] These distinct services were not able to effectively coordinate intelligence operations and sharing of information.[14] The armed forces also heavily relied on civilian intelligence agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau.[15] With wide-ranging resources and functions, the DIA will be superior to and coordinate the Directorate of Military Intelligence, Directorate of Air Intelligence and the Directorate of Naval Intelligence.[14]

Signals Intelligence Directorate[edit]

The Signals Intelligence Directorate is a joint service organisation, manned by personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force. It has a large number of WEUs (Wireless Experimental Units) that carry out the task of monitoring military links of other countries.

The Central Monitoring Organisation (CMO) is directly under the Ministry of Defence. It has several monitoring companies, located at different locations around the country. Task is to monitor the use of radio spectrum by all users, such as Defence, Police, AIR, Railways, PSUs etc.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. "National Technical Research Organisation".
  2. Special Correspondent (6 May 2007). "Technical research agency planned in State". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 8 May 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  3. Sandeep Unnithan (7 September 2007). "Spy versus spy". India Today. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  4. Syed Amin (5 May 2007). "Top tech body to come up in Hyderabad". Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  5. NSNL 52 - Intelligence profile : India
  6. "CIAO".
  7. "Radio Research Centre (RRC)". |url= Archived from the original on 12 September 2016.
  8. "Strengthening India's External Intelligence Infrastructure: An Assessment" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Intelligence bureau (IB) - India Intelligence Agencies". 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  10. Sandeep Balakrishna. "Intel agencies: Fact & Fiction". Niti Central. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  11. India foreign policy & government guide (Updated repr. ed.). Washington, DC: International Business Publications, USA. 2003. pp. 100–102. ISBN 0739782983.
  12. Ball, Desmond (1996). Signals intelligence (SIGINT) in South Asia : India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Canberra, Australia: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. p. 27. ISBN 0731524837.
  13. "Narcotics Control Bureau". National Informatics Center. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Narcotics Control Bureau - Ministry of Finance" (PDF). National Informatics Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)". Global Retrieved 14 July 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • Military Intelligence in India: An Analysis Bhashyam Kasturi: The Indian Defence Review, 1997
  • Cryptography Technology and Policy Directions in the Context of NII Gulshan Rai, R.K.Dubash, and A.K.Chakravarti. Information Technology Group Dept. of Electronics Govt. of India December, 1997

External links[edit]

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