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National Security Council

  • Context (IE): The centre has appointed Rajinder Khanna, former RAW chief, as Additional National Security Adviser (ANSA), a newly created post.

Key changes in the structure of NSCS

  • The Centre restructured the reporting relationships both within the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and between the National Security Advisor (NSA) and the Union ministries.
  • The NSA now presides over a much bigger organisation, with an ANSA and three deputy NSAs. His new role appears more advisory and less operational.
  • The NSA would deal with advisory outfits such as the National Security Advisory Board and the Strategic Policy Group.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the three service chiefs, the Union defence, home, foreign and other secretaries, are also required to report to the NSA alongwith daily reporting to a minister.
  • ANSA would now be the gatekeeper in the communication chain between six mid-level unit heads (three Dy NSAs and three service officers) and the NSA.

National Security Advisor (NSA)

  • The National Security Advisor (NSA) is the senior member of the Indian National Security Council and the Prime Minister’s principal foreign and national security policy advisor.
  • He receives all intelligence reports (R&AW and IB) and coordinates their presentation to the PM.
  • He participates in high-level diplomatic conversations on security issues.
  • He serves as the Secretary of the Prime Minister-led National Security Council.

National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS)

  • It is overseen by the Prime Minister and operates with NSA as its secretary. It serves as the apex body for all matters concerning internal and external security.
  • It has four verticals:
    1. Strategic Planning;
    2. Internal Affairs;
    3. Intelligence and Technology;
    4. Military.

National Security Council (NSC)

  • The National Security Council (NSC) of India is a three-tiered organisation that oversees political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern.
  • It was set up by the Vajpayee government in 1998 following the nuclear tests by India & Pakistan.
  • Before that national security functions were carried out by the Principal Secretary to the PM.
  • It operates within the executive office of the Prime Minister of India, liaising between the government’s executive branch and the intelligence services, advising leadership on intelligence and security issues.
  • Members: National Security Advisor (NSA), the Deputy and Additional National Security Advisors, the Ministers of Defence, External Affairs, Home, Finance of the Government of India, and the Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog. The military has no representation in this tier.
  • The NSC is headed by the Prime Minister. The National Security Adviser (NSA) acts as the secretary of the NSC. (Brajesh Mishra was the first NSA).
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Its primary objective is to provide authoritative and holistic assessments of India’s security challenges across military, internal security, economic, technological, and external relations domains.

Organisational Structure

  • The three-tier structure of the NSC comprises of:
    1. Strategic Policy Group,
    2. National Security Advisory Board and
    3. Secretariat from the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Strategic Policy Group (SPG)

  • It is the principal mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of relevant inputs in formulating national security policies.
  • It is headed by the NSA. Earlier, it was headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
  • It includes the chiefs of the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing.
  • Its main task is to make policy recommendations to the National Security Council.
  • The Cabinet Secretary coordinates the implementation of SPG decisions by the Union Ministries and departments and State governments.

National Security Advisory Board (NSAB)

  • It advises the Council on issues relating to national security that the Council may refer to.
  • It consists of a convenor and other persons of eminence outside the government with expertise in foreign affairs, external security, defence and armed forces, strategic analysis, etc.
  • The NSAB undertakes long-term analysis and provides perspectives on issues of national security.
  • The first NSAB was set up in 1998 with K. Subrahmanyam as its convener.

Learn in detail about National Security Strategy.

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