GUWAHATI, Oct 19 - The Government of India has strengthened the National Security Council secretariat, and in addition to advising the government on security issues, it will now coordinate with the ministries concerned to implement the action plans on the ground, including development of infrastructure, which is also a key to the security of the nation.
Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that stress has also been given on keeping a close watch on all the developments in the neighbouring countries, which is vital for the internal security of the country, while, another major aspect of strengthening the Security Council secretariat is the use of modern available technology, which is the need of the hour in the changing scenario. On the other hand, the office of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) has been abolished and it will now function as a part of the National Security Council.
Giving details of the new scheme of things, sources said the National Security Council is headed by the Prime Minister, while, the ministers in charges of Home, Defence, External Affairs and Finance are members of the Council. The Council secretariat is headed by the National Security Adviser and now three Deputy National Security Advisers have been appointed to look into three different aspects of overall national security.
With former Intelligence Bureau Chief Ajit Doval being the National Security Adviser (NSA), he will remain the overall in charge of the National Security Council secretariat and head all the three wings under him. The External Affairs wing is being headed by former Indian Foreign Service Officer Pankaj Saran who has taken over as the Deputy NSA (External Affairs). His role will be to examine all the inputs that he receives from the field and suggest necessary measures to the National Security Council.
Former JIC chief RN Ravi has taken over as the Deputy NSA (Internal Security) and apart from monitoring the situation inside the country, he will also be responsible for monitoring the situation in the neighbouring countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, etc. as any development in those countries can have a direct impact on the overall situation in India. Sources said earlier the office of the JIC was responsible for scrutinising the inputs to give broad suggestions to the government but the role of the Deputy NSA (Internal Security) has been enhanced and he would have to play a part in implementing the plans on the ground with coordination with the ministries concerned.
With the change of time, technology has become a crucial factor in all the security aspects and the Deputy NSA (Technology) will extend all required help to the other two Deputy NSAs. Former RAW secretary R Khanna has taken over as the Deputy NSA (Technology).
Sources said from now on, the NSA secretariat would not only give recommendations to the National Security Council, but also coordinate with the ministries concerned and the State governments to ensure that the plans are properly implemented on the ground.