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Internal security

11 Solved Questions with Answers
  • 2017

    9. Discuss the potential threats of Cyber attack and the security framework to prevent it. (2017)

    The benefits of cyberspace to citizens, businesses and governments are considerable and far reaching. While technologies are overwhelmingly created for positive use, they can be exploited as well. Crimes in cyberspace cost the global economy around $450 billion a year.

    Potential threat

    Cyber attack is a particularly major threat to sectors identified under Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) that include financial systems, air traffic control and telecommunications.

    First, all the sectors identified as CII are dependent on connectivity. Debilitating attack on any one system can cause a cascading effect, disrupting the functioning of other systems.

    Second, CII is highly dependent on industrial control systems, which depend on digital instructions. Any malicious takeover of these systems will not only disrupt but also seize functioning of CII.

    Third, many CII, such as air traffic control, is dependent on navigational data, which is especially vulnerable to spoofing. If the integrity of this data cannot be ensured, the input of false data can have disastrous consequences.

    Security Framework

    The Indian government has also been aggressively addressing the rising prevalence of cyber threats.  National Cyber Security Policy 2013 has been framed to create a secure cyber ecosystem, ensure compliance with global security systems and strengthen the regulatory framework. The union budget for 2017 included the formation of Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the financial sector.

    The government has also sought data security protocol details from several smart phone manufacturers insisting that mobile manufacturing units be security-compliant. The Technology Development Board and Data Security Council of India (DSCI) have jointly decided to promote cyber security startups in India.

    NASSCOM and DSCI Cyber security Task Force have also launched a roadmap to develop the cyber security ecosystem to $35 USD billion by 2025.

  • 2018

    10. Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still affects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE. (2018)

    The Government’s approach is to deal with Left Wing Extremism in a holistic manner, in the areas of security, development, improvement in governance and public perception management. Recently, Government has come out with operational strategy ‘SAMADHAN’ to fight Left Wing Extremism in the country.

    Government’s Approach:

    • Governance and Development: The foremost focus of Government is to strengthen the connectivity in these areas so as to improve its engagement with the rest of the country. Infrastructural enhancements like road, railways and airport construction, instalment of mobile towers are taking place. For example- National Policy and Action Plan.
    • Smart Leadership and better coordination with the State governments is being encouraged by the Government to expand its reach in the LWE affected areas.
    • An aggressive strategy is being followed to modernise and strengthen the capacity of armed forces.
    • Special emphasis is being laid on the implementation of Forest Rights Act and ensuring entitlement of local communities over Minor Forest Produce.
    • No Access to Financing: To stop the maintenance and sustained survival of Left Wing Extremism, the Government is attempting to block Left Wing Extremist outfits’ access to financing.
    • Rehabilitation and Surrender: Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme is being implemented to ensure militants’ rehabilitation and return to the mainstream.
    • Public Perception Management: To counter the ideological effect of Left Wing Extremism on people, gaps between Security Forces and local people are being bridged through close interactions, Tribal Youth Exchange programmes, radio jingles, documentaries, pamphlets etc.

  • 2017

    10. The North-Eastern region of India has been infested with insurgency for a very long time. Analyze the major reasons for the survival of armed insurgency in this region. (2017)

    Due to its distinct socio-cultural background and particular historical evolution, the North-East region of India holds several fault lines around which many insurgent groups have been thriving for a very long time. The major reasons behind the evolution and survival of armed insurgency in this region are-

    • This region has been one of the most neglected regions in terms of developments and is the main cause behind the resentment of the people living in this area. The insurgent groups take advantage of resentment of people and get support base.
    • Alienation of population from mainstream political process, where the insurgent group continue to boycott the dialogue and electoral process. (Ex – NSCN-Khaplang group)
    • Hilly terrain, dense forest and porous borders give strategic advantages for the insurgent Guerilla groups and at the same time it creates big hurdle for the counter insurgency operations.
    • Racial clashes are very common here due to diverse racial profile of the region. In a fractured society the insurgent groups penetrate easily.
    • Active and covert foreign support to these insurgent groups, through training, logistic and moral support has also been a big hurdle to eradicate these groups.

    The twin approach of development and counter insurgency operations coupled with honest political dialogue process may provide the best answer to the long infested insurgency in the North-East.

  • 2016

    17. The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions. (2016)

    With the Indian forces carrying out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control, India seems to have abandoned the self-proclaimed policy of “strategic restraint” adopted in the face of earlier provocations by terrorists believed to be backed by Pakistan. This may not be the first time India has undertaken quick cross-LoC operations, but it has never before chosen to share information so publicly.

    Strategic impact of this action can be following.

    • This surgical strike indicates that India’s technical capabilities (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance — C4ISR) have improved a great deal.
    • The terms “surgical strike” and “pre-emptive strike” used by India were intended to make it clear to the enemy that there will be repercussions and crossing the border does not guarantee immunity
    • The strikes proved to be an important element for maintaining the morale of the people of India and the armed forces.
    • The strike reinforced the credibility of the government and displayed its resolve, even as justified restraint and maturity was on display. This act would also counter India’s image of being a soft state.
    • Russia has also backed India, saying Pakistan should take effective steps in order to stop activities of terrorist groups in its territory. India seems to have played its cards well by seeking international and regional isolation of Pakistan before striking infiltrator targets across the LOC.

    There are also several negative impacts of these types of acts as it may escalate the conflict especially in case of Pakistan, Security forces can be trapped in enemy territory. It could be a cause of international censure for violating other country’s border.

  • 2016

    18. ‘Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement. (2016)

    In recent years, with the emergence of new terrorist organizations like ISIS, Boko Haram etc. terrorism has become a competitive industry. Like mafia organizations, where one-upmanship is often based on who has the most guns, money or local power, terrorist groups too have a pecking order.

    The current competitive market in terrorism means that groups are trying to distinguish each other through the practice of more memorable violence (like the Charlie Hebdo attacks or the Peshawar attacks in December 2014). They need to do so because this is the only way in which they can be heard, become popular enough to attract recruits and distinguish themselves from other similar groups. In order to do so the terrorist groups are trying to out-do each other in the intensity and scope of violence and bloodshed they can cause so that more people can identify with them and join them. For example- while some years back, Al-Qaeda was the most dreaded terrorist group of the world, this position has now been overtaken by ISIS. One of the reasons for this can be because ISIS encourages lone-wolf attacks which are easier for its followers to carry out without actually travelling to join the group to fight in combat.

    Various terrorist organizations are also in competition with each other to get control of various natural resources such as oil reserves in Middle East countries, cultivation of Opium, arms dealing etc.

    Competition over establishing their ideologies all around the world has also instigated terrorist organization for example multiple groups are fighting with each other in Syria. So in recent time terrorism has become a competitive industry that has spread its influence all over the world.

  • 2018

    19. Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cyber crimes. The Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weaknesses of the Report relating to protection of personal data in cyber space? (2018)

    The threat from cyber crime is multi-dimensional, targeting citizens, businesses, and governments at a rapidly growing rate. The Committee under the chairmanship of Justice B. N. Srikrishna was constituted to examine issues related to data protection, recommend methods to address them, and draft a data protection law. The objective was to ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected. The report inter alia presented a draft Personal Data Protection Act.

    Some of the Important Strengths and Weakness of the Report:

    • The Committee noted that consent is treated as one of the grounds for processing personal data.
    • One in three internet users across the world is children under the age of 18. A data protection law must sufficiently protect their interests, while considering their vulnerability, and exposure to risks online.
    • It discussed the principle where personal data must be collected for a specified purpose only.
    • One of the principles of data protection is that a person whose data is being processed should be able to influence the processing. This includes the right to confirm, access, and rectify the data.

    Weakness

    • Who owns the data of the individuals is a question not answered by the Committee as against the TRAI recommendation that ownership of data must rest with the individual.
    • Globally, the right to be forgotten refers to the right to erase data. Srikrishna panel, says “...data principal shall have the right to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure of personal data by a data fiduciary related to the data principal where such disclosure has served the purpose for which it was made or is no longer necessary; was made on the basis of consent... and such consent has since been withdrawn; was made contrary to the provisions of this Act or any other law made by Parliament or any State Legislature.”
    • On data breach, the Committee recommended that such a breach must first be reported to the Authority. This suggestion has been criticized and it is argued that it should be first reported to the subject of the breach instead.

  • 2016

    19. Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management. (2016)

    India has a very large and complex border covering around 15106.7km, which it shares with Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan as well as small portion with Afghanistan. Challenges in the effective border management particular to some neighbours are:

    • Varied Terrain: India-China Border as comprising of difficult Himalayan terrain that is reason for difficulty in border management.
    • Climatic Condition: Due to Himalayan polar condition, it is tough to guard border due to adverse climatic conditions. Ex: China, Pakistan
    • Bitter relations with some of the neighbouring countries. Ex: Pakistan
    • Porous nature of border with some countries that provides safe route to human traffickers, illegal arms dealers, drug smugglers etc. Ex: Myanmar

    Owing to such peculiarities, having infrastructure and technology does not alone suffice for effective border management. Following strategies can be adopted for effective border management.

    • Co-ordination among various agencies such as customs, immigration, armed forces, border security and intelligence agencies is required that will strengthen the border guarding and management.
    • Smart border management to identify and implement controls which aim to improve border security by enabling effective communication and coordination.
    • Use of Drone, Night vision cameras, sensors to check the illegal migration, terrorist movement can help in effective border management.
    • Border fencing along the border such as with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal can help in better border management.
    • Coordination among neighbouring countries would also strengthen the measures taken for border management.

  • 2017

    19. Mob violence is emerging as a serious law and order problem in India. By giving suitable examples, analyze the causes and consequences of such violence. (2017)

    Over the past few years, there have been increasing incidents of loss of life and property due to mob violence – whether it be in Jharkhand over rumours of child kidnapping, in UP and Rajasthan by cow vigilantes, in Kashmir by violent crowds or over reservation by Jats in Haryana. Mob violence can be seen as a reflection of the displacement of responsibility by the state, which blames people for taking law into their own hands, and by citizens, who justify their actions on state inaction.

    Causes for Increasing Mob Violence

    • Motivated rumours spread through social media which acts as an anonymous force multiplier.
    • Climate of impunity - Mob violence and vigilantism happens because criminals expect to get away with it. State deterrence is not perceived to be credible, especially when policemen are rendered as mere by-standers at the scene of violence.
    • General erosion of law and order situation - inadequate response to societal disorder, and its inability to aggressively prosecute those involved in vigilante killings further encourages mob violence.
    • Silence by society – People who are mute witnesses to such incidents, are just as responsible when they stay away from expressing their disapproval to such incidents for the fear of being caught in the cross-fire.

    Consequences of increasing Mob Violence

    • There is deficit of justice when incidents of lynching across states happen, without those responsible being held accountable.
    • There is perversion of democracy, which confers upon the people an absolute monopoly on violence.
    • Mob Violence threatens the very existence of dignified and meaningful existence in India enshrined in one of the Fundamental rights i.e. “Right to Life” (Art 21).

    Therefore, there is need for comprehensive police reforms and efficient criminal justice delivery system which acts as a deterrence to people from resorting to mob violence in the name of justice.

  • 2018

    20. India’s proximity to the two of the world’s biggest illicit opium growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What counter measures should be taken to prevent the same? (2018)

    Geographically, India is placed between the two largest opium growing areas in the world. To the west is the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan) and to the east is the Golden Triangle (Myanmar). This makes India vulnerable to drug trafficking through its borders and other illicit activities, and has enhanced her internal security concerns.

    There exist linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking, which are as follows:

    • An increasing interoperability has been witnessed between drug cartels and other criminal groups. In Afghanistan around 85% of the opium growing area falls under Taliban. Taliban uses the funds from drug trade in many different ways like weapons smuggling, human trafficking, and proliferation of terrorism etc.
    • Drug trafficking groups also get attracted to human trafficking activities as there is some overlap between the routes used and there are advantages to be gained by sharing established logistical infrastructure, which includes transportation and storage facilities.
    • Similarly, gunrunning and money laundering require logistics supports which are shared by these organizations. At times these activities seem to sustain each other such as smuggling drugs by hiding it in human body parts. The revenue generated from drug trade is laundered to create assets such as casinos, bars, hotels etc. which again became breeding grounds for other crimes. Nexus between drug lords and armed groups gives rise to thriving weapons business.

    Following counter-measures can be opted against these crimes:

    • As these crimes are trans-national in character, countering them requires cooperation among all countries.
    • Making the border management more robust and plugging the gaps by bringing in force the recommendations of Madhukar Gupta Committee on border protection. The committee has given broad recommendations on the issues of Threats and Border Protection, assessment of force level, deployment on the border, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues
    • Making the police and the concerned authorities acquainted to dark web and other modes of operation.
    • Sensitizing the public against negative fallouts of drugs and starting rehabilitation programmes.

    This drug problem is a serious menace giving impetus to various other crimes, so strong political will and hard measures if required should be opted to tackle this challenge. Technical solutions are also necessary to augment and complement the traditional methods of border guarding. Working on both the front can probably address the existing problems of internal security.

  • 2016

    20. Use of internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major security concern. How have these been misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat. (2016)

    The use of internet and social media has become a powerful tool in the hand of non-state actors such as terrorist organizations.

    Use of Internet, by terrorist organization such as ISIS in recruiting youth all around the world has become a reality. Cyber warfare is gaining importance due to increasing density of internet. The Stuxnet virus affected half of the world targeting Iran nuclear facilities.

    Cyber espionage is also a great threat that exposes the vulnerability of any organization, or country. The recent theft of data of lakhs of ATMs cards in India is recent example of misuse of internet by non-state actors.

    Social media is also been used by the like-minded individuals as a tool for radicalization. Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh got intensified because of misuse of social media by non-state actors.

    In these circumstances effective strategies should be adopted to curb the threat posed by internet and social media. Following are some of the guidelines that can be very useful.

    • India recently appointed first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). It will help India in developing the vision and policy to fight cyber crime and manage cyber security more effectively.
    • Creation of National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) would improve India’s resilience and defense system.
    • Monitoring of content on internet by intelligence agencies such as Intelligence Bureau, RAW can prevent any attempt to radicalize youths.
    • National Cyber Security Policy 2013 aims at protection of information infrastructure in cyber space, reduce vulnerabilities. A National and sectoral 24×7 mechanism has been envisaged to deal with cyber threats through National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC)
    • Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has been designated to act as Nodal agency for coordination of crisis management efforts.

  • 2017

    20. The scourge of terrorism is a grave challenge to national security. What solutions do you suggest to curb this growing menace? What are the major sources of terrorist funding? (2017)

    India has been hit by terrorism since a long time, like, 1993 Bombay blasts, attack on Parliament in 2011, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Pathankot attacks etc. In view of such attacks it becomes imperative for India to check this rising menace, for which the following steps can be taken:

    • Ensure co-ordination among the intelligence and security agencies to check infiltration of terror activity.
    • Empowering and engaging with civil society and local communities can help in countering radicalization and to stop the spread of violent extremism.
    • Given the important role of educational establishments in promoting the values of non-violence, peaceful coexistence and tolerance, education must feature prominently in counter radicalization programs.
    • Several initiatives that promote alliance of civilizations and intercultural dialogue must be promoted to counter terrorism. For instance, the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas celebrated on 31st October promotes unity in India.
    • Enhancing security presence along the international boundaries and seal the porous borders.
    • Undertaking policies to tackle economic and social inequalities will help in deterring disgruntled youth from being lured towards terrorism. 
    • Terrorist organizations have successfully taken advantage of the great benefits of the Internet. Hence, countering radicalization on digital media must be given priority. Governments should intervene in this matter through monitoring and counter-propaganda programs
    • Incorporating ‘SAMADHAN’ in security operations in LWE affected areas and at same time focusing on development projects in Red corridor districts.

    Sources of funding

    • NGO, charities and donations are an important sourcing of funds for terrorism. These funds are mostly claimed through religious appeal, coercion and fears of victimization.
    • Counterfeiting of Indian currency not only funds terrorism, but, more importantly, it is used as a tool by neighboring states to destabilize the Indian economy.
    • Drug financing are also a major sources of terrorism financing in India.
    • Biggest source of internal funding for terrorist groups in India remains extortion. This is especially relevant for groups in the North-East and the Maoist-affected areas.

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