One of the pillars of a national existence is the ability to defend itself from all forms of threats, whether internal or external. Countries across the world have continued to experience security challenges and therefore forced to come up with urgent security measures (Carter, 2016).  The main security threat in the 21st century across the world is terrorism, which has led to massive killing of people and destruction of properties (Medcalf, 2013). The internal security management of a country assumes enormous importance when issues of security are undertaken and addressed. This paper will address India’s current security problems and provide recommendations on how to enhance security policy.

India has remained focused on its security and the wellbeing of its citizens. The security apparatus are well-coordinated and structured in a manner that the National Security Structure and the National Security Advisor (NSA) are fundamental upon which the NSC system operates (Jaswant, 2016). The role of the NSA has, over time, been expanded to address security issues in the country. As India’s economic and military profile grows on the broader Indo-Pacific, it continues to face a range of intrastate and regional security challenges. These challenges are orchestrated by several issues like religion, technology, boundary disputes, politics and many others


Terrorism continues to be a security challenge, with the Pulwama terror attack being the biggest in recent years. An analysis by the government indicated that terrorist attacks were on the rise by 176 percent in Jammu and Kashmir between 2014 and 2018. India has witnessed scores of terror attacks and has learned from the shortcomings and mistakes. The national security agencies have done whatever is needed to prevent more such attacks.

Nevertheless, there still is no guarantee and no one is aware of what tactics the terrorists might come up with again.  From Jayaramu (2013) perspective, analysis of an open international database indicates that the maximum of several terrorist incidents that occurred in the year 2011 was 566 but the death toll was much lesser than the year 1992. The year 1992 witnessed round about 231 incidents but the death toll was highest of all time. It was around 1109 which is less than half of the death toll that occurred in the year 2011. This indicates significant strides in combating terrorism and related cases.

Terrorism has all along been propagated to cause division and hatred among the Hindu and Muslim in India. Countries like Pakistan continue to be the biggest beneficiaries of the religious differences in India, therefore, supplying arms that are of high economic value (Beri, 2016). India faces a very challenging strategic environment, with both neighbors possessing significant capabilities and militaries that are themselves modernizing rapidly.

China and Pakistan are quickly modernizing their militaries, and this keeps India worried and resolving to upgrade its security structures. Kasmir is one of the contested areas that is claimed by both Pakistan and India; the area possesses as a security threat with rebellion receiving material and financial support from Pakistan. Jihadists have increasingly taken to high profile suicide attacks against the Indian Security forces (Sachdeva, 2016). The Islamic States continue to make some landfalls in India. The attack that was made on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka is a reason to have India review its security structure and operations. India continues to be among the susceptible states not only as a goal but as a center for sweeping leadership. 



Military Expenditure

It is essential to have the grasp and the nature of the transformation of India’s military in the assessment of the types of conflicts it faces (Cavelty, et.al2016). The upgrading of the Indian defense forces is a multifaceted course casing issues affecting the composure between workforce and arms as well as that concerning the acquirement of arms from indigenous sources and the significance of arms (Perlo-Freeman, et.al2013)  . India’s struggles to facelift and reorganize its soldierly in reply to security tests are branded by a mission to meet the needs of the three services without conceding clearness and honesty in the procurement of weapons.

With around 1, 2 million active personnel, India’s military is one of the most massive land forces in the world. The Indian army mostly consists of armored, infantry and armored infantry units. Most heavy equipment is from Russian or Soviet origin but has been upgraded or modified by India’s domestic defense industry. India roughly spends $50 Billion per year on defense, making it the fourth-largest spender in the world (Tian et al., 2017). For the first time after the Indian independence army has retaliated against cross border terrorism with surgical strikes

India’s military has always been a little bit in the shadow of the region’s giant, China. It has been often overlooked that India’s military is a very well structured and equipped military force (Ajay Sahni, 2018). What makes it unique is the enormous prestige the military has in society and the high motivation and formidable level of education of its soldiers. Some of its ground forces are equal to those of the best armies in the world. At the moment, India’s military is in a transition phase to fully modernize its forces for the future and annual defense spending is rising between 7 and 10%. India has a vast intelligence network both at home and across the border which helps it to monitor movements of terrorist camps and groups.(Das, 2015) Not only people but India’s primary intelligence agency, the RAW, monitor’s movement of arms and ammunition and drugs, as these are potential financing weapons of terrorist organizations. Once they have the necessary information, they move swiftly and stealthily, and either take out the enemy without the world knowing about it or like they did in Myanmar, using all-out action.


India had changed its international strategy considerably, from those days of neutrality and non-alignment when it started the Non-Aligned Movement at the Bandung Conference in 1955, to the current bilateral and multilateral agreements being made with all the strategically important countries. The Prime Minister also is exhibiting diminished interest in the outdated NAM principles, as he did not attend the summit this year.  Security alignments can also be noted with countries like the USA, with the signing of the LEMOA agreement and increasing procurement of arms from the USA instead of Russia. The USA also recently announced India as one of its Major Defense Partners for upgrading the bilateral relationship to the next level. India has also started signing relevant Agreements with conflicting countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran in these security matters. The careful balancing of the Indian foreign policy juggling between these three triangularly ideologically different countries is a modern-day wonder indeed.


Cyber Attacks

Cyber-attack is another security challenge facing India, leading to it being among the most affected countries in the world. Cyber criminals have objectives, but they can expertise their ways to cause attack trajectories in order to accomplish the upshots they want. They may commit fraud, identity theft, steal money, and commit robbery against corporations, banks, nations, regions and even individuals (Goutam, 2015).They may try to blackmail them, too.

Cyber-criminals have modified progressive cyber-attack methods for their embattled end-users. Many corporate areas and geographical localities have faced recent cyber-attack in India, leading to downfall of financial institutions through the leakage of most sensitive information. As technology continues to advance promptly, India has failed to keep adjusting to these trends. Most of the time these well-organized attacks are made, leading to destabilization of the economy. It is worth noting that cyber-attacks pose far-reaching dangers to power grids.

Cosmos Bank Cyber-Attack in Pune 

The well-orchestrated cyber-attack in 2018 was organized on Cosmos Bank in Pune. This bold attack trembled the entire banking division of India when cyber hackers tapped off Rs.94.42 crore from Cosmos Cooperative Bank Ltd. in Pune (FIGHT, 2015). Hackers lacerated the bank’s ATM servers and got away with Customer’ details of many visas and rupee debit cardholders. There have been other cyber-attacks like the Canara bank attack and the SIM Swap scam done by the two Mumbai hackers.

                                    Socio-economic Conflicts

Over the years, India has been having a fast growth of the economy, which is another risk. The wealth gaps continue to deepen as the compact majority continues to languish in poverty and are excluded from economic flourishing. An area like the Eastern and northeastern peace and stability continues to worsen from 2010 being the goriest year in history owing to the Naxalite uprising (Singh, 2017). Naxalite since then has been having a set of operations that have gone to more than 29 states. They have continued to operationalize in the poor and rural areas and habitually engaging in vicious activities against the government to extract money.

                                     The 5G Debate

India is about to steer the 5G debate that will have some economic repercussions and affect its national security.  Sooner or later, India will have to make choices on the 5G debate. 5G has the potential to transform India’s data economy, but also its defense arrangements. With the continued world unreliability, India will not have the opportunity to have its usual Jugaad (Gupta et al. 2015). The only option is India to either choose to follow China or go with the US. The 5G decision will, therefore, interfere with India’s Intelligence.
 The US-China trade wars cannot be taken lightly by India. China has, on different occasions, challenged India in the Indian Ocean via Pakistan route, and through which an economic perfect keeps India on the losing side in trade.

                                Political Instability

India has experienced political instability more so in times of elections or when there is a change of a regime. All political changes bring about new decisions, rules, and regulations that, most of the time, are faced with hostility. The 1990-1993 political instability was well experienced in India that saw the oust of three prime ministers. During the electioneering periods, aspiring candidates of the legislative assembly propagate violence and thrive on violence and propaganda that lead to political instability (Abdella et al. 2018). Kasmir area has been in the spotlight where militancy has been on the rise as ardent members of the public continue to support militants killed by security officers. In the Northeast, elections have been won on the fundamental promises of displaced persons who have been living in India for decades.

                                                                  Border issues

India has hosted the Heart of Asia Conference of the Istanbul Process many times to gather international support for the Afghans. Overall, there are no border skirmishes with Afghanistan as the people of this country respect India. The same applies to the relationship with Bhutan as well, where mutual respect and understanding is the prevalent predominant norm, as propounded by the I.K. Gujral’s Doctrine of India helping its friendly neighboring countries unilaterally, without expecting much in return. For every other strained border, including that of Sri Lanka, there are the Armed Forces which take care of the safety and security of the country

The issue with Bangladesh is more complicated, mainly due to the infiltration of unregulated refugees and migrants into the north-eastern states, which is changing the racial dynamics of these states, especially Assam.

A large migrant Bangladeshi and Pakistan population is creating a Law and order issue in the Assamese region mainly due to the xenophobia amongst the local populace and the illegal settlement and citizenship registration of these Bangladeshi immigrants (Ferdoush, 2018). The Myanmar border is stained with the stronghold of various drug cartels, due to the presence of the famous Golden Triangle, the world’s drug manufacturing horde. This is combined with the internal insurgency issues of the North-Eastern states, the violent Naga ethnic problem, and an absence of economic development due to the inaccessibility of the seven sister states with mainland India.

 According to Sharma (2010), if things seemed complicated in the international scenario, they are no less in the internal scenario as well. The State Police, which takes care of the Law and order situation, reduction of crime rate, management of prisons, and other policing, is facing a tough situation indeed. With the rising drug-related problems, rapes, murders, and thefts, the local citizenry is facing many issues in their day-to-day problems that need to be solved by their locally available policemen (Tripathi, 2015). A Committee was set up under Justice Malimath to suggest recommendations in revamping the Criminal Justice system. It reiterated the need for D. K. Basu Guidelines that are to be followed by the policemen to adhere to the Procedure of Arrest.

The revamping of the existing police machinery to suit the needs of the current times is a must. With an enhanced citizen’s police interactional interface, what needs is an up-gradation in the maintenance of police records. This can be achieved through digitization of court records, official police documents and connecting the internal systems of all the police stations and courts with each other (Bell, 2015). An online interface and an ability to lodge FIRs online should also be encouraged. Utilizing the internet for establishing e-Governance will help the common man in approaching the police easier. The increase in the usage of the internet through smartphones and laptops by today’s India is a testimony for this fact indeed.


Along with conventional armies and conventional security strategies, India needs to learn to use unconventional means to win over the unconventional threats that she faces in contemporary times in order to survive. The country is a curious case where it has been successful in attracting all sorts of complications including terrorism, insurgency, Maoism, underworld gang wars, smuggling, theft, rapes, crime, and border infiltration. It has also created a viable organizational capacity to control each one of these intimidating activities.

Based on these recommendations, the Indian Army has recently announced the formation and formal establishment of the Army Design Bureau. It is aimed to act as an interface of the Indian Army that will provide high-tech defense products with the help of the collaboration between academics, various research organizations, and the industry. This original method will provide a better understanding of the Army’s requirements and would indigenize procurements and reduce the dependence on the massive imports. This will add an impetus to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Central Government.

Even the Navy is getting an upgrade with the approval of “Project 75”, where a series of advanced Scorpene submarines are being built, along with the induction of new naval attack ships INS Khanderi, INS Kalvari and others to the Indian Navy. In the same way, French Rafale fighter jets are being procured and are being inducted to the Indian Air Force. These will be on the lines of the Russian Sukhoi, which has helped the Air Force in innumerable ways.

This enhanced collaboration can already be seen in the annual inter-service military exercise called the Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) involving the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard which is designed to test the interoperability and combat readiness of these Forces. Not just the TROPEX, but inter-national and inter-country military exercises are being organized annually to ensure interoperability at a global scale, for example, the annual Malabar Trilateral Exercise between the naval forces of India, Japan and the United States. Even India and China have their own annual joint military exercise called Hand-in-Hand. This ensures increased cooperation and mutual understanding of various countries, which may subtly increase friendship and strengthen the relationship.




For over seven decades since Independence, the young country has gained experience in tackling each threat with its focused strategy, with its viable plan and with its appropriate ideation. Learning from the historical tale of the aurochs, in the current cluttered international context, and the more chaotic internal context, India has learnt to take good care of herself. Much unlike the fabled extinct aurochs, to ensure her own survival, India has continuously strived to have a viable National Security Strategy, right from those days of the Cold War, to these times of the Code War. Considering a long-term approach, the report suggests that the Indian government needs to move ahead with its Integrated Theater Commands plan.

 The days of using only the Army are now over. India now needs to take a firm stand against terrorism and use all resources at its disposal. This can be achieved with the help of the many Ordnance Factories established in the country under the overall technical supervision of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Unless the nation brings about massive reforms, it may not be able to play a defining combative role against terrorism. A strong will and proper military strategies are the needs of the hour.









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