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2022 | Book

Varying Dimensions of India’s National Security

Emerging Perspectives

Editors: Dr. Anshuman Behera, Dr. Sitakanta Mishra

Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore

Book Series : India Studies in Business and Economics


About this book

This book engages a comprehensive approach to understand both traditional and non-traditional security issues in addressing dimensions of India’s national security. The issues highlighted in the book through fourteen distinct, yet inter-related, chapters offer insightful reading to India’s national security. This edited book explores the criticalities of various security issues in India, internal and external, and digs deep into the government responses to each of these issues. Stepping away from merely focusing on the state-centric understanding of national security, this book also includes human security perspectives. In this process, this book also offers set of policy recommendations which could be used for effectively dealing with the national security challenges. The themes covered in this edited book range from offering a conceptual framework of national security to issues such as energy security, maritime security, nuclear security, internal security, neighborhood policy, dumping, terrorism, economic security, cyber security, role of media, defense preparedness, and use of GIS in security domain. This book highlights some of the important security issues around the larger perspective of India’s national security. This book will be highly useful for the students and scholars of security and strategic studies and international relations and also to the policymakers in the region.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. India’s National Security Discourse: A Conceptual Introduction
In the larger and rather ‘underdeveloped’ concept of security discourse (as Barry Buzan would call it), the idea of national security is often found to be entangled between two dominant narratives around power struggle and pursuit for peace in international politics. Within a policy framework, national security is often understood to have encompassed the decision and actions deemed imperative to protect domestic core values from external threats (Leffler, The Journal of American History. 77:143–152, 1990). However, such a position on national security only offers a limited understanding of the subject and the issues related to it. Stepping away from the scope of traditional understanding of international relations and security discourses, national security issues offer more critical questions, like security of what to whom and security at what cost to whom (Buzan, People, States, and Fear: The National Security Problem in International Relations, Wheatsheaf Books, 1983). Such questions are better answered, possibly, when the concept of national security is contextualized based on the specificities of a nation-state. In this process one can critically engage with multiple issues concerning security, ranging from the threats to people to that of the nation-state. This chapter critically engages with the various discourses of national security and in this process makes a case for various issues that need to be highlighted and discussed in the scope of India’s security concerns.
Anshuman Behera, Areeba Ahsanat Moazzam

State-Centric Security Concerns

Chapter 2. India’s National Security Narratives: Scope and Challenges
National security is indispensable for a country’s survival and growth. Although security has been a complex issue in human history, its complexity increases in the contemporary period because of technological developments and the movement of people across the world for diverse reasons. The complexity of security has led to constant thinking and rethinking about the idea of security, its processes, and dynamics. Quite naturally, a country evolves its strategy to secure itself considering the dynamic nature of security. A country searches for resources to strengthen its security. If an external dimension of its security is shared by other countries, resources may be shared by the countries facing the common security challenges. Though ancient India had the understanding that security is paramount for any country, yet miscalculation and the gap in practice made India face external aggression that led to its subjugation. The colonial plunder impoverished the country, which affected the Indian security choices after becoming independent. The 1962 setback made the Indian leadership realise that security of the country is as necessary as economic development. That thinking still resonates. Given the multiplicity of security challenges that India faces, it is important to investigate the nature and scope of these challenges. It is with this objective, the present chapter reengages with the national security narratives of India and in this process, it identifies the major concerns and charts out the ways to effectively engage with them.
Rajiv Nayan
Chapter 3. India’s Quest for Security Through Its Neighbourhood Policy
Most of India’s endemic security threats originate from the neighbourhood and arise out of the complex and complicated historical legacy issues that continue to bedevil the region. The diversity of security challenges for India, and the internal–external threat continuum that characterizes them, make it complicated for India to frame the right kind of foreign and security policy/approach towards its neighbours. The complexities involved need to be deconstructed and reinterpreted for better appreciation of India’s security vulnerabilities and its approach to addressing them. This paper seeks to outline the security challenges for India emanating from the neighbourhood and critically analyse India’s approach to its immediate neighbourhood.
Ashok Behuria
Chapter 4. ‘Secrecy as Security Strategy’ in India’s Nuclear Governance
Any attempt to fathom the exact contour of India’s nuclear inventory and related assets would be futile as New Delhi adheres to a great deal of “secrecy” as a security strategy, unlike the United States that publishes some technical safeguards and procedural steps it takes to secure its nuclear assets. The strategy of “secrecy” has been persistent ever since India began its nuclear journey. Both in the civilian and strategic domain, India has barely shown the steps undertaken to strengthen deterrence as well as safety-security of assets. In addition, India’s self-prescribed NFU posture warrants “opacity and ambiguity” to strengthen the survivability of its assets in the face of the first strike from an adversary. This chapter enquires the rationale and necessity of secretive strategy in India’s nuclear discourse while putting forward a list of policy prescriptions for authorities to consider some calculated transparency measures, as per comfort level, as India has now become an established and confident nuclear power.
Sitakanta Mishra
Chapter 5. India’s Higher Defence Organisation: Recent Reforms and the Way Ahead
Given the regional security environment, India's military and national security preparedness must be ready to face security threats a very short notice. Therefore, a robust higher defence management is critical to ensure that the Indian military is well-equipped, trained, and has clarity on its broader military objectives from the civilian leadership. These go to the issue of civil–military relations, security strategy, and better synergy and jointness among the three military services. The Narendra Modi government has taken a very important step in strengthening India's higher defence set-up with the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) along with the creation of the Department of Military Affairs in the Ministry of Defence. In addition, it will also study the implications of the CDS on India's higher defence management and on the military's involvement in the national security decision-making process. The essay will also touch upon other important issues which need to be addressed for further shoring up of India’s higher defence set-up, viz., statutory recognition of the office of the National Security Advisor (NSA), need for specialists staffing higher defence organisations, and the need for a national security strategy.
Arun Vishwanathan
Chapter 6. India’s Cyber Security Landscape
With the second-largest Internet user base and a leading Information and Communications Technology industry, India has quickly adopted digital technologies to emerge as a major actor in the global cyberspace. This thrust on digital and information technologies is accompanied by a rapid expansion of cyberthreats such as malware attacks, data breaches and cyber-enabled espionage operations. While there has been no major disruptive cyber-attack, India has faced multiple attacks from China and Pakistan—two countries with which it is locked in protracted border disputes. These two sources of threat are joined by non-state actors such as organised hacking syndicates and terrorist groups which have used the cyberspace to target Indian interests. This paper broadly examines the sources and nature of India’s cyberthreats. It also reviews the government’s policy measures to counter these threats. The paper argues that in tackling these threats, India maintains a precarious balance between its commitment to a liberal multi-stakeholder order in the cyberspace and the pressure to protect its national security interests.
Sameer Patil
Chapter 7. Competitive, Cooperative and Convergent Maritime Security and India’s National Security
The IOR has been witnessing a state of power play among the naval powers which has resulted in strategic competition in the region. The post-Cold-War debates that have surrounded the discourse between traditional and non-traditional dimensions of security have considered that traditional security threats often places its primacy to inter-state security issues as the dominant factor while the non-traditional school emphasizes upon the theoretical frame of ‘security’ which includes the entire gamut of political, economic, social, environmental and human dimensions of security which has multiple referents besides the state. In this article, the focus would be to assess the concept of maritime security in both traditional and non-traditional contexts. The article would then examine both traditional and non-traditional maritime security in the context of India’s national security. It is in the context of India’s national security and more particularly in the context of maritime security that the concepts of competition, cooperation and convergence would be used to explain the challenges and opportunities as it presents itself for India. The article would conclude with an assessment for India’s future maritime and naval imperatives that would complement India’s national security.
Haans J. Freddy, Adarsh Vijay
Chapter 8. India's Internal Security: Issues, Challenges and Options
In the larger national security discourse, identifying and situating the internal security issues and challenges are very crucial. A dominant understanding of internal security issues in India has been around four major threats—the Maoist conflict, the ethnic conflicts in the North-eastern states, terrorism in hinterland and separatist violence in Jammu and Kashmir. While the security threat emerging from terrorism is often linked to the external sources (read Pakistan and Bangladesh) and hence hardly considered as an internal security issue; the other three issues are invariably engaged and discussed as internal security concerns of India. Accordingly, one can find out blurring distinction between external and internal security narratives. This chapter attempts to reorient the internal security understanding within the larger national security discourse in India. Subsequently, the chapter offers critical insights into each of these three internal security issues. Further, the chapter also highlights the state response to each of these conflicts and concludes with a set of recommendations to deal with them.
Mathew Sinu Simon
Chapter 9. Illicit Drug Trafficking and Dumping of Chinese Goods in India via Myanmar: A Case Study of Manipur
Security as the preservation of the state from external threat, and exclusiveness of the state-centric approach of international relations, is not enough to explain the present-day discourse of security. The issue of dumping is primarily international price discrimination, where the exporting firm benefits in a foreign market and the demand for the good is more elastic than the demand in the company’s home market. It is an act of disposing of cheap, substandard goods to less developed countries. This can create acute destruction of indigenous industries and result in national economic security threats. On the other hand, drug trafficking is considered the deadliest global crime which can have serious implications on national security. The nature of these threats is transnational, and this phenomenon is an excruciating path to devastation and post-existential threats to certain states. Many parts of India are infected with these threats. This chapter explores the affected areas of northeast India, Manipur, especially illicit drug trafficking and the issue of dumping catching as a crisis that affects economic as well as internal security. Especially, the issue of dumping, illicit drug trafficking, and associated threats are going to be the greatest obstacle in the near future, especially in the projection of Act East policy.
Ningthoujam Koiremba Singh
Chapter 10. National Security and the Role of Media in India
The subject of national security has branched out so much into public domain that gradually the security of the citizens is becoming synonymous with the security of the country and its territory. Now things like ideology, political system, society, and its people occupy centre-stage in scheme of things. Increasingly, both government and citizens are being considered as two important constituents of national security. Fundamental goals of a democratic society like liberty, equality in all spheres, societal identity, economic development, and a free media have all come to be included under the umbrella of national security. These developments have paved the way for an independent media to play a much larger role in the arena of national security in a liberal democracy. The chapter emphasises that though the world has devised many means and methods of safeguarding national security, a free media is still the only guarantee for free speech, and it alone can provide a platform for a meaningful interface between the government and the citizens about national security.
Rudra Narayan Mohanty

Human-Centric Security Issues

Chapter 11. Economic Security of India: Position, Policies, and Prospects
This chapter analyzes the various possible dimensions of modern-version-based economic security, including social welfare, fiscal prudence, monetary security, industrial, business, entrepreneurial security, and external security, including international trade and investment. Limiting the analysis to only the past twenty years and specific key policy schemes as reform measures, our objective is to assess the current status of India’s economy critically, its strength, and security promise therein. It also highlights the possible impediments and challenges that government intervention strategies face while addressing them and the way forward.
Bikash Ranjan Mishra, Lopamudra D. Satpathy
Chapter 12. India’s Energy Security at the Macro and Micro Levels
A Novel Assessment, Dilemma Between Renewable and Non-renewable, and Possible Trade-Offs
India’s energy security is at crossroads. It has a multitude of choices—in terms of energy carriers, procurement sources, supplying options, end-use activities, etc. This chapter addresses two main challenges with respect to India’s energy security. First, since energy security needs to be accomplished at both at the micro (household) and macro (societal) levels, it is a challenge to have a framework that can assess energy security at both levels. The chapter proposes one such energy security assessment framework, which is a composite measure of energy availability, affordability, and acceptability. The study demonstrates how the framework can be operationalized at a household as well as in larger unit levels: from a village level to the level of a country. Second, the chapter discusses one of the major dilemmas affecting India’s energy-related decisions: the trade-offs between renewable and non-renewable energies. It analyses how this dilemma is negotiated by different stakeholders: households and national level. The chapter concludes with three policy trade-offs to steer through these dilemmas to ensure energy security both at the household and country level.
Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan
Chapter 13. Climate Change and Human Security in India Evidence, Opportunities, and Challenges
Empirical evidence reveals the negative impact of climate change and extreme events on human security. This chapter summarizes the effects of climate change and extreme events on the different dimensions of human security. In doing so, we discuss the impact of climate change on agriculture. Most studies find an adverse effect of climate on the yield of several crops. Therefore, it is time to address the adaptation deficit persisting in the agriculture sector in India. Further, the chapter also summarizes the impact of floods on public infrastructure in India. An increasing trend of damages warrants for disaster resilient infrastructure. Examining the relationship between vulnerability, poverty, and human development, we find that districts with high poverty and low human development are the most vulnerable. Thus, the government should address generic development activities to address these issues. In addition, this chapter also outlines the significant challenges persisting with mitigation and adaptation.
Chandra Sekhar Bahinipati, Unmesh Patnaik
Chapter 14. Stunted Food Security: Time for Universal Entitlements
One of every four of the world’s undernourished populations reside in India. From the legacy of famines in British India to the continued reports of starvation deaths, malnutrition continues to plague India. Further, for decades, children from marginalised castes and communities have been the most stunted. The stringent lockdown has also ensured that India has been one of the most affected countries by the COVID-19 pandemic, with millions of families slipping into poverty and destitution. However, since most food security measures are not universal, and relief measures inadequate, vulnerable communities continue to be excluded and severely deprived. Therefore, this research argues that the time is ripe for the universal expansion of a range of food security entitlements—from the public distribution system and community kitchens to school meals and employment guarantees. Simultaneously, while agricultural production is at a record high after four bumper harvests, the guarantee of minimum support prices is also essential to accede to the demands of protesting farmers to stem the agrarian crisis.
Swati Narayan
Chapter 15. Corruption and National Security: Insights from the Indian Experience
Arguably the most insidious threat to national security arises from corruption. India knows this phenomenon so intimately. In fact, Transparency International (TI) has consistently ranked India very high in the global corruption index. High-value corruption and big-ticket scams have taken the limelight in the country for too long, at times bringing down governments. However, less is known how national security is deeply linked to corruption in India. This chapter uncovers some of the close links between the graft and various dimensions of security threats to the nation and what measures India has taken to curb the dangerous trends of increasing graft and institutional decay. The chapter argues that national security imperatives demand comprehensive political reforms involving political and radical reform of justice apart from making institutional innovations like Lokpal and RTI to attack corruption from its roots.
Niranjan Sahoo
Chapter 16. Geographic Information System (GIS) for National Security
The ubiquitous nature of geospatial information systems has made them a useful system for managing and mitigating issues of resource and service management. It plays a crucial role in collecting, collating, analysing, distributing information that can better process the mechanisms of any earthly process or cycle. Its use in national security too is omnipresent. The significance of a location and location-based information for security purposes, traditional and non-traditional, find efficient manoeuvring of processes and information for the meeting of desired goals. The development of Geographic Information System (GIS) systems and related advancement has led to a stage where conventional aspects and information of national security can be integrated with GIS systems. This would reduce analysis time and increase efficiency in decision-making for the security issues.
Amit Mukherjee
Varying Dimensions of India’s National Security
Dr. Anshuman Behera
Dr. Sitakanta Mishra
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Springer Nature Singapore
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