List of Indian intelligence agencies

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India has a number of intelligence agencies of which the best known are the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency and the Intelligence Bureau, the domestic intelligence agency.

National Technical Research Organisation

The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)[1] is a technical intelligence agency under the National Security Adviser in the Prime Minister's Office, India.[2] It was set up in 2004.[3] It also includes National Institute of Cryptology Research and Development (NICRD), which is first of its kind in Asia.[4]

Research and Analysis Wing

The Research and Analysis Wing ( RAW) is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India.

Intelligence Bureau

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India's internal intelligence agency and reputedly the world's oldest intelligence agency.[5]

Narcotics Control Bureau

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the chief law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances.[6][7]

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

Functions under the Central Board of Excise and customs(CBEC), in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue. Headed by Director General in New Delhi, it is presently divided into seven zones, each under the charge of an Additional Director General, and further sub-divided into Regiont of Additional Directors, Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, Senior Intelligence Officers and Intelligence Officers.[8] Its charter includes the following functions:

  • Collection of intelligence about smuggling of contraband goods, narcotics, under-invoicing etc. through sources of India and abroad, including secret sources.
  • Analysis and dissemination of such intelligence to the field formations for action.
  • Working out of intelligence by the Directorate officers themselves to a successful conclusion, where necessary.
  • Keeping watch over important seizures and investigation cases.
  • Associating or taking over the investigations which warrant specialised handling by the Directorate.
  • Guiding important investigation/prosecution cases.
  • Functioning as the liaison authority for exchange or information among ESCAP countries for combating international smuggling and customs frauds in terms of the recommendation of the ESCAP conference.
  • Keeping liaison with foreign countries, Indian Missions and Enforcement agencies abroad on anti-smuggling matters.
  • To keep liaison with Central Bureau of Investigation and through them with the INTERPOL.
  • To co-ordinate, direct and control anti-smuggling operations on the Indo-Nepal border.
  • To refer cases registered under the Customs Act to the Income Tax Department for action under the Income Tax Act.
  • To keep statistics of seizures and prices/rates etc. for watching trends of smuggling and supply required material to the ministry of Finance and other Ministries.
  • To study and suggest remedies for loopholes in law and procedures to combat smuggling.[9]

Defence Intelligence Agency

This agency was established on 5 March 2002 with the appointment of Lt. General Kamal Davar as the first Director General (DG). The DG reports to the Chief Of Defence Staffs (CDS). It is supposed to be the nodal agency for all defence related intelligence, thus distinguishing it from the R&AW. Much of the agency's budget and operations are classified.

DIA has control of Indian Army's prized technical intelligence assets – the Directorate of Signals Intelligence and the Defence Image Processing and Analysis Centre (DIPAC). While the Signals Directorate is responsible for acquiring and decrypting enemy communications, the DIPAC controls India's satellite-based image acquisition capabilities. The DIA also controls the Defence Information Warfare Agency (DIWA) which handles all elements of the information warfare repertoire, including psychological operations, cyber-war, electronic intercepts and the monitoring of sound waves.

Joint Cipher Bureau

The Joint Cipher Bureau works closely with the IB and R&AW. It is responsible for cryptanalysis and encryption of sensitive data.[citation needed] The inter-services Joint Cipher Bureau has primary responsibility for cryptology and SIGINT, providing coordination and direction to the other military service organizations with similar mission. Most current equipment providing tactical intelligence is of Russian origin, including specialized direction finding and monitoring equipment.

The Joint Cipher Bureau is also responsible for issues relating to public and private key management. Cryptographic products are export-controlled licensed items, and licenses to India are not generally available for products of key length of more than 56 bits.[citation needed] The domestic Indian computer industry primarily produces PCs, and PC-compatible cryptographic products have been developed and are being used commercially. More robust encryption systems are not commercially produced in India, and progress in this field has been slow due to the general unavailability of technology and know-how. Customised cryptographic products have been designed and produced by organizations in the defense sector are engaged in the implementation of cryptographic techniques, protocols and the products.

Signals Intelligence Directorate

The Signals Intelligence Directorate is a joint service organisation, manned by personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force. It has a large number of WEUs (Wireless Experimental Units) that carry out the task of monitoring military links of other countries.

The Central Monitoring Organisation (CMO) is directly under the Ministry of Defence. It has several monitoring companies, located at different locations around the country. Task is to monitor use of radio spectrum by all users, such as Defence, Police, AIR, Railways, PSUs etc.

Directorate of Air Intelligence

The DAI is responsible for air and satellite reconnaissance missions.

Directorate of Navy Intelligence

This is the Indian Navy’s intelligence arm.

Directorate of Income Tax (Intelligence and Criminal Investigation)

This is the Income Tax’s intelligence arm. It is India's official FATF unit. The Directorate of Intelligence is an allied and compact investigative set up. The DGIT (Intelligence) reports directly to the Member (Investigation),Central Board of Direct Taxes. The office will be attached to the office of the Board. The Directorate is required to take up intensive investigation of selected cases / class of cases and develop them for further action / specialized operation; study and analyze emerging trends in tax evasion, new modus operandi etc.; create an economic offence data base; develop a profiling system etc. both in traditional and non traditional fields. The Directorate liaise/interact with other intelligence/investigating agencies such as FIU, NCB, ED, DRI, DGCEI, SFO, CEIB etc. The Directorate has access to all the information received by the Department viz. AIR, TDS, BCTT, STT, CIB, AST etc. Departmental national net work, Departmental records etc.

The DGIT and his directorate is located at Delhi. They have an all India jurisdiction and are assigned concurrent powers with the other DG’sIT (Inv.).Criminal Investigation (CI) investigates potential criminal violations of the Direct Tax Code and related financial crimes in a manner intended to foster confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law. While other federal agencies also have investigative jurisdiction for money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations, the Income Tax Department is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Direct Tax Code. Criminal Investigation must investigate and assist in the prosecution of those significant financial investigations that will generate the maximum deterrent effect, enhance voluntary compliance, and promote public confidence in the tax system.

Special agents and agents (ITO and Inspector rank) are allowed to carry firearms when they are posted in the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in the I-T department. The Finance Ministry has recently notified bringing under one umbrella the intelligence and criminal investigation units of the Income Tax department to effectively deal with terror financing cases and transactions that pose threat to national security. The department will now recruit special agents and agents (criminal investigation) under the new wing, half of whom would be recruited or brought on deputation from premier investigative agencies and police organisations of the country.

The special agents who will form part of the premier DCI would be able to carry firearms under the rules prescribed by their parent organisation and would be able to tackle any intimidation in course of their new duty of checking and gathering intelligence on tax evasion.

The DCI is headed by the Director General of Intelligence (Income Tax) and was notified in May this year to tackle the menace of black money with cross-border ramifications.[10] Commissioners of the Intelligence directorate of Income Tax are posted in cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow will also take up criminal investigation work under the DCI.

Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation

The Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation is the law enforcement agency under the Ministry of Finance responsible for investigating violations of India's tax laws, including fraud, evasion and money laundering. It is tasked to,

  1. To collect intelligence and information regarding aspects of the black economy which require close watch and investigation. Also, keeping in view the scene of economic offences, the Bureau is required to collect information and provide periodical and special reports to the concerned authorities;
  2. To keep a watch on different aspects of economic offences and the emergence of new types of such offences. The Bureau was made responsible for evolving counter -measures required for effectively dealing with existing and new types of economic offences;
  3. To act as the nodal agency for cooperation and coordination at the international level with other customs, drugs, law enforcement and other agencies in the area of economic offences.
  4. To implementation of the COFEPOSA(i.e. Conservation of Foreign Exchange & Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1971 which provides for preventive detention of persons involved in smuggling and foreign exchange rackets under certain specified circumstances)
  5. To act as a Secretariat of the Economic Intelligence Council which acts as the apex body to ensure full co-ordination among the various Agencies including Central Bureau of Investigation, Reserve Bank of India, Intelligence Bureau etc.
  6. Head the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department at the Regional Level;
  7. Collection of intelligence pertaining to evasion of Direct Taxes;
  8. Organizing search action to unearth black money- from time to time;
  9. Dissemination of information and intelligence collected- by passing on the same to the concerned authorities including assessing authorities;
  10. Keep liaison and hold meetings with other organisations in the region to ensure co-ordination and smooth flow of information;
  11. Take appropriate steps to ensure that information and other persons having information about tax evaders come forward with the same to the Department. Disbursement of rewards would be one of the measures.

See also


  2. Special Correspondent (6 May 2007). "Technical research agency planned in State". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 December 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Sandeep Unnithan (7 September 2007). "Spy versus spy". India Today. Retrieved 26 December 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Syed Amin (5 May 2007). "Top tech body to come up in Hyderabad". Retrieved 26 December 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Intelligence Bureau (IB) - India Intelligence Agencies". 30 May 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Narcotics Control Bureau". National Informatics Center. Retrieved 2009-07-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Narcotics Control Bureau - Ministry of Finance" (PDF). National Informatics Center. Retrieved 2009-07-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
  9. Charter of the Organization
  10. Tax evasion cases: I-T 'special agents' to carry arms

Further reading

  • Military Intelligence in India: An Analysis Bhashyam Kasturi: The Indian Defence Review, 1997
  • Cryptography Technology and Policy Directions in the Context of NII Gulshan Rai, R.K.Dubash, and A.K.Chakravarti. Information Technology Group Dept. of Electronics Govt. of India December, 1997

External links