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6th RN Kao Memorial Lecture by Naresh Chandra

6th RN Kao Memorial Lecture by Naresh Chandra

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Published by The Canary Trap
Speech by Naresh Chandra, former Cabinet Secretary and the Indian Ambassador to the US (1996-2001), at the Sixth RN Kao Memorial lecture in January 2012. He spoke on India’s Security Challenges in the next decade – Role of Intelligence.
Speech by Naresh Chandra, former Cabinet Secretary and the Indian Ambassador to the US (1996-2001), at the Sixth RN Kao Memorial lecture in January 2012. He spoke on India’s Security Challenges in the next decade – Role of Intelligence.

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Published by: The Canary Trap on Feb 06, 2013
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10/30/2013

 
RN Kao Memorial lecture by Naresh Chandraon India’s Security Challenges in the nextdecade – Role of Intelligence
Mrs Malini Kao, Members of Kao Saheb’s family, Shri Ajit Seth, CabinetSecretary, Shri Sanjeev Tripathi, Secretary (R&AW), Former Chiefs of R&AW, Intelligence Bureau, Members of Press and other distinguishedguests in the audience.I feel greatly honoured and privileged to have been asked to deliver the R.N. Kao Memorial Lecture this year. I believe, it is the sixth in the seriesstarted in 2007 by Shri Tharakan, the then Secretary, R&AW. It feels goodto be following the five distinguished speakers who have delivered thelecture in previous years.Before this distinguished gathering, it is hardly necessary to enumerate theachievements of Shri Ramji Kao, one of the most celebrated civil servantsof our time and the architect of our secret service. He was given charge of organizing the R&AW in September, 1968. Shri Kao had been associatedwith the creation of the Aviation Research Centre after 1962. He was ableto set up and harness the capacities for both human and technicalintelligence so successfully that within a period of less than three years,the Organisation was able to make a most valuable contribution to ourtriumph in the 1971 conflict.He is recognized as a father figure and role model for all officers, young andold, in the R&AW and the Directorate General of Security. As a person ShriKao had an elegant and striking presence. He was measured and precisewith his words yet had a keen sense of humour, an amazing human touchand a love for arts.A significant feature of Shri Kao’s vision for the R&AW was to lay strongemphasis on the quality of manpower and the multi-disciplinary sourcesfrom which select personnel should be drawn. He realized that the mostimportant element of the whole exercise was the expertise and the qualityof personnel that R&AW could select and motivate for the complex tasksentrusted to the Organisation. He was also the first to recognize the needfor having a specialized service like the RAS to develop a body of professionals with core competencies needed by the agency.I am happy to recall that my first contact with Shri Kao was when he calledme on phone in late 1968 to assist in securing release of an IPS officerfrom UP. All I could do as Deputy Secretary in the Home Ministry was toget the information and inform him that the file was stuck in the office of 
 
Chief Secretary. Later, Shri Kao was successful in his attempt to get theservices of that officer, who later came to head the R&AW. My last meetingwith Kao Saheb was in March, 2001, when I returned to New Delhi fromWashington DC. He was gracious enough to invite me to tea at hisresidence and was generous in his remarks about the improvement of relations with the USA. His analyses of India-US relations and knowledge of the current situation was impressive and as keen as ever. I would alwayscherish his genial friendly manner and the way he could put junior officersat ease.Presently engaged in review of National Security systems and issues, in aTask Force, which will make recommendations to Government of Indiasoon, I cannot be very free, therefore, with loud thinking and tentativeconclusions at this time. Nevertheless, I will venture to highlight someaspects of the issues involved that might be of interest to theknowledgeable gathering present here. These do not reflect the views beingfinalized in the Task Force.To take up the security challenges we might face in the next decade andbeyond, it might be appropriate to dwell on what our National SecurityDoctrine ought to be.A country’s national security is conceived in terms of its capacity to defendand advance its stated interests and principles. This requires adequacy of infrastructure and the availability of specialized personnel to meet thesechallenges effectively. National security has come to acquire a much widerconnotation comprising not only the traditional aspects of defence andmaintenance of public order but also issues of nation’s economic strength,its technological capability along with food and energy security and thequality and well-being of its human resource. It is in this wider context thatone has to identify and analyse challenges at present and those emergingin the future and consider the role of intelligence agencies. Properintelligence input is essential to taking informed decisions on issues of national security. Intelligence agencies are important arms of the State formeeting external challenges and for the proper management of internalsecurity.In brief, our national security objectives are: (i) preservation of territorialand maritime integrity of the country; (ii) having friendly relations with allcountries; (iii) providing for sustained economic and social developmentaccessible to all; (iv) creating credible capacities to meet conventional andnon-conventional threats and challenges emerging from space and cyberspace; and (v) nurturing the values of secularism and democracy. Theseobjectives set the agenda for our policies and programmes and bring outthe challenges that we face in the future for the successful prosecution of these objectives.
 
To consider the security environment in which we have to fashion ourpolicies, we find the global strategic context changing rapidly, driven by thespeed of technology development, realignment of forces occasioned by therecent decline in the markets of the West along with emerging economicstrength and rise of China and India. Many see in this a strategic shift fromthe West to the East, but one has to be realistic and not assume that thisshift is going to indefinitely endure. Even today, the aggregate size of theeconomies of the US, Europe and Japan, covering about a tenth of theworld’s population have an aggregate GDP which is eight times the size of the combined GDP of China and India, which together account for one-thirdof human-kind. This imbalance will reduce but gradually as the years roll byand so this asymmetry needs to be factored in our policies aimed atmanaging the rebalancing of strategic power internationally.These developments require careful management of the current globalredistribution of power and taking steps to engineer a suitable politicalequilibrium within a rising Asia. In the economic sphere, the mainchallenge would be in the shape of achieving rapid economic growth, alarger share of international trade and business along with substantialgrowth in employment opportunities. While every effort would benecessary to expand bilateral trade relations on fair terms of trade, thechallenge would be in acquiring the necessary mineral resources forenergy, fertilizer and other industrial inputs in friendly countries. Sustainedand broad-based economic development and all inclusive growth are centralto strengthening national security. Programmes aimed at employment-generation, along with inclusive economic development remain a challenge.Promoting vast sections of our people out of poverty into gainfuloccupations has to be recognized as a security imperative.The main constraint to achieving rapid economic growth is going to beinadequacy of infrastructure, particularly the capacity to meet energyrequirements in various sectors of our economy. The problem is likely toget more complex with the threat of climate change that calls for effectivenational and global intervention. All nations recognize the importance of taking urgent and drastic measures to reduce dependence on fossil fuelsthat add to greenhouse emissions but their approaches are heavilyconditioned by national self-interest. In this area, India will have to be alertto the need for promoting a more equitable sharing of the global commonsin order to secure its right to reasonable share of the ecological andeconomic space.Our strategic concern has to seek an external environment in the regionand beyond that is conducive to peaceful development and the protectionof our value systems. While our policies are centred on the fact that we donot harbour any aggressive designs nor seek to threaten anyone, we have

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