Intelligence Bureau (India)
Learn more about Intelligence Bureau (India)
It was recast as the Central Intelligence Bureau in 1947 under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The reason for the perception may be because in 1885, Major General Sir Charles Metcalfe MacGregor was appointed Quartermaster General and head of the Intelligence Department for the British Indian Army at Shimla. 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 1921, a new state-run surveillance and monitoring agency — Indian Political Intelligence (IPI) — was established, in reaction the development of Indian anarchist activities in England. 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.
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 is comprised of employees from law enforcement agencies mostly Indian Police Service officers as well as from the military. The current chief of the IB is Mr Narsimhan who replaced Mr Ajit Kumar Doval. 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. The IB was also tasked with other external intelligence responsibilities as of 1951
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 crises. The IB is also rumoured to intercept and open around 6,000 letters daily.
The Bureau is also authorised to conduct wiretapping without a warrant. This clause is mostly misused by ruling governments to spy on their political opponents, sometimes indicting them on false criminal charges. The IB also has numerous authors who write letters to various newspapers and magazines to support the government's perspective. According to a recent report the government is trying to bring in a restriction on wiretapping without a warrant.
The collection mechanisms of the IB vary depending on the region, but the IB operates both at the state level and the national level. The bulk of the intelligence collection is carried out by `Grade III' employees of the IB, i.e. in increasing order of seniority; the Security Assistants (Constable), the Junior Intelligence Officers (Head Constable), the Asst. (Central) Intelligence Officer GradeII(Sub-Inspector),the Assistant Central Intelligence Officer Gr.I (Inspector) Deputy Central Intelligence Officers (Dy.Supdt of Police),. . 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, theJt. Deputy Director,the Dy.Director, Joint Director, Addl. Director, Special Director or Special Secretary and finally the Director IB.Officers upto the rank of Assitant Director are mainly from direct recruitment of IB,but a fair percentage of Jt.Deputy Director are also IPS on deputation.Over and above Dy.Director 75% of the Officers are from IPS cadre.
At the State level the IB has its own Subsidiary Unit called Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau with Hqrs at State Capital. The SIBx are headed by officers of the rank of Jt.Director or above but smaller SIBx are also sometimes headed by Dy.Directors.The SIBx have their Units at District Hqrs headed by Dy.Central Intelligence Officers or ACIOs. Office. 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 and threat assessment, and sensitive areas (i.e. J&K, North East Region (NER) etc...).
The IB was India's external and internal intelligence agency. Due to lapses on the part of the intelligence agencies to predict the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the IB was split up and entrusted with the task of internal intelligence. The external intelligence branch was handed to the newly created Research and Analysis Wing.
 See also
- 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