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Intelligence Bureau
Emblem of India
Emblem of India
Organization
Establishment 1964
Country India
Appointees Indian Police Service (IPS) Officers
Controlling Authority Ministry of Home Affairs
Headquarters New Delhi
website http://www.ceib.nic.in/default.htm
Personnel
Director Intelligence Bureau

The Intelligence Bureau (Devanāgarī: खुफिया ब्यूरो, Khufīya Bureau) also known as IB is India's internal intelligence agency and reputedly the world's oldest intelligence agency.[1] It was recast as the Central Intelligence Bureau in 1947 under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The reason for the perception may be due to the fact that, in 1885, Major General Sir Charles MacGregor was appointed Quartermaster General and head of the Intelligence Department for the British Indian Army at Simla. The objective then was to monitor Russian troop deployments in Afghanistan, fearing a Russian invasion of British India through the North-West during the late 19th century.

In 1909, the Indian Political Intelligence Office was established in England in response to the development of Indian anarchist activities, which came to be called the Indian Political Intelligence (IPI) from 1921. This was a state-run surveillance and monitoring agency. The IPI was run jointly by the India Office and the Government of India and reported jointly to the Secretary of the Public and Judicial Department of the India Office, and the Director of Intelligence Bureau (DIB) in India, and maintained close contact with Scotland Yard and MI5.

Contents

Responsibilities

Shrouded in secrecy, the IB is used to garner intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks. The Intelligence Bureau comprises employees from law enforcement agencies, mostly from the Indian Police Service and the military. However, the Director of Intelligence Bureau (DIB) has always been an IPS officer. In addition to domestic intelligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly tasked with intelligence collection in border areas, following the 1951 recommendations of the Himmatsinhji Committee (also known as the North and North-East Border Committee), a task entrusted to military intelligence organizations prior to independence in 1947. All spheres of human activity within India and in the neighborhood are allocated to the charter of duties of the Intelligence Bureau. The IB was also tasked with other external intelligence responsibilities as of 1951 till 1968, when the Research and Analysis Wing was formed. The current chief of the organization is Rajiv Mathur.[2] [3][4]

Activities

Understanding of the arcane workings of the IB is largely speculative. One known task of the IB is to clear licenses to amateur radio enthusiasts. The IB also passes on intelligence between other Indian Intelligence agencies and the Police. The IB also grants the necessary security clearances to Indian diplomats and judges before they take the oath. On rare occasions, IB officers interact with the media during a criss situation. The IB is also rumored to intercept and open around 6,000 letters daily. It also has an email spying system similar to FBI's Carnivore System.[5]

The Intelligence Bureau is also authorized to conduct wiretapping without a warrant. The IB also has numerous authors who write letters to various newspapers and magazines to support the government's perspective.

Workings

The `Class I' (gazette) officers carry out coordination and higher-level management the IB. These officers are (again in increasing order of seniority) Asst. Director, the Joint Deputy Director, Joint Director, the Deputy Director, Additional Director, Special Director or Special Secretary and finally the Director.

The SIB's are headed by officers of the rank of Joint Director or above but smaller SIB's are also sometimes headed by Deputy Directors. The SIB's have their units at district head quarters headed by Deputy Central Intelligence Officers or DCIO's. The IB maintains a large number of field units and headquarters (which are under the control of Joint or Deputy Directors). It is through these offices and the intricate process of deputation that a very `organic' linkage between the state police agencies and the IB is maintained. In addition to these, at the national level the IB has several units (in some cases Subsidiary Intelligence Bureaus) to keep track of issues like terrorism, counter-intelligence, VIP security, threat assessment and sensitive areas (i.e. Jammu and Kashmir and such).

Operations and lapses

The Intelligence Bureau reportedly has a lot of successes to its credit, but operations conducted by the IB are rarely declassified. Due to the extreme secrecy surrounding the agency, there is little concrete information available about it or its activities. According to the Mitrokhin Archives, the IB was heavily penetrated by the Soviet KGB from the 1950s onwards.

The IB was initially India's internal and external intelligence agency. Due to lapses on the part of the Intelligence Bureau to predict the Sino-Indian War of 1962, and later on, intelligence failure in the India-Pakistan War in 1965, it was bifurcated in 1968 and entrusted with the task of internal intelligence only. The external intelligence branch was handed to the newly created Research and Analysis Wing.

The IB has had mixed success in counter-terrorism. It was reported in 2008 that the IB had been successful in bursting some terror modules. It alerted the police before the Hyderabad blasts and gave repeated warnings of a possible attack on Mumbai through the sea before the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. On the whole, however, the IB came in for some sharp criticism by the media after the relentless wave of terror attacks in 2008. Heavy politics, under-funding and a shortage of professional field agents are the chief problems facing the agency. The overall strength of the agency is believed to be around 25,000, with 3500-odd field agents operating in the entire country. Of these, many are engaged in political intelligence.[6][7]

See also

References

Further reading

  • MacGregor, Lady (Ed.) The Life and Opinions of Major-General Sir Charles MacGregor. 2 vols. 1888, Edinburgh
  • MacGregor, General Sir Charles. The Defence of India. Simla: Government of India Press. 1884

External links








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