Security Forces - Strategic Planning Group, NsA, AFRs (Download PDF)

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The Strategic Planning Group (SPG) will now be chaired by the National Security Advisor (NSA) . The cabinet Secretary will be the only member. Lack of understanding of the nature and complexity of security challenges.

Existing Security Architecture

  • India became a nuclear-weapon state in May 1998.
  • The national security architecture underwent a significant change.
  • A National Security Council (NSC) was set up with the Prime Minister (PM) as the chairman.

Permanent Members

  • Ministers of home
  • Defence
  • External affairs and finance
  • To serve the as the Secretary of the NSC a new post of National Security Advisor (NSA - currently Mr. Ajit Doval) was created.
  • Establishment of Strategic Planning Group (SPG) under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary.

SPG Includes

  • All the key secretaries to the government
  • The three armed forces chiefs
  • The head of the external intelligence (R&AW)
  • The Director of the Intelligence Bureau
  • Setting up of a National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) .
  • NSAB had direct access to PM with comprised of a number of retired civil and military officials.
  • DIA (Defence Intelligence Agency) was set up to coordinate military-related intelligence after the Kargil war in 1999.
  • To manage India՚s nuclear weapon arsenal a Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) was set up.

NsA՚s Evolving Role

  • A key advisor to the government.
  • On longer-term strategic issues.
  • Head of the Executive Council of the NCA.
  • No say in the day today security issues.
  • Chairs the Defence Planning Group along with the responsibility for military planning along with the downgraded NSAB՚s role.

First Batch of Reforms in Indian Army

  • Reforms approved by the government of India.
  • To enhance the combat capability of the forces.


  • The committee headed by Shekatkar (Lt. Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar) .
  • Mandate to recommend measures for enhancing the Combat Capability.
  • Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces.
  • 99 recommendations were given by the committee in its report in 2016.
  • 65 recommendations are to be implemented by the government.
  • Involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers.
  • The officers will be used for improving operational preparedness.
  • Deployment of civilians in different wings of the armed forces for improving efficiency.

Optimization of signal establishments to include:

  • Radio Monitoring Companies
  • Corps Air Support Signal Regiments
  • Air Formation Signal Regiments
  • Composite Signal Regiments
  • Merger of Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments
  • Restructuring of repair echelons in the Army for including base workshops, advance base workshops and station workshops in the field Army.
  • To enhance the quality of clerical staff and drivers engaged with the Army.
  • To improve the efficiency of National Cadet Corps.

Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRs)

  • Proposal by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) .
  • To be used by police officers across the country.
  • Works by maintaining a large database with photos and videos (People՚s faces) .
  • Comparison of a new image of an unidentified person to the existing database so as to find a match and identify the person.
  • Artificial technology is being used as neural networking for pattern-finding and matching.

NCRB Request Call for

  • Gathering CCTV footage
  • Photos from newspapers, raids, and sketches.
  • The project is also aimed at being compatible with other biometrics.
  • A mobile and web application hosted in NCRB՚s Data Centre in Delhi.
  • To be used by all police stations in the country.
  • In improving outcomes in the area of Criminal identification and verification.
  • Facilitates easy recording, analysis, retrieval and sharing of Information between different organisations.

AFRs Use in India

  • Is being done manually
  • “DigiYatra” using facial recognition for airport entry (Hyderabad airport)
  • Own steps taken by the state governments towards facial recognition. E. g. Telangana police launched their own system in 2018.

New Database Proposal

  • Integrating AFRS with multiple existing databases.
  • CRB՚s Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS)
  • Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration & Tracking (IVFRT)
  • Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS)
  • Koya Paya portal on missing children
  • State-specific systems.


  • Caution against government՚s abuse of this technology by the cyber experts.
  • In the absence of a Data Protection Law Indian citizens are likely to be more vulnerable.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 28, 2020

International Relations/Organizations

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