List of Security Agencies in India

List of security agencies in India:- 1. Intelligence Bureau (IB) 2. National Investigation Agency (NIA) 3. Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) 4. National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) 5. National Technical Research Organisation 6. Financial Intelligence Unit –  India (FIU-IND) 7. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) 8. Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) 9. National Disaster Response Force and Few Others.

1. Intelligence Bureau (IB):

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India’s internal intelligence agency and reputedly the world’s oldest intelligence agency. It was recast as the Central Intelligence Bureau in 1947 under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Bureau comprises employees from law enforcement agencies, mostly from the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the military. However, the Director of Intel­ligence Bureau (DIB) has always been an IPS officer. In addition to domestic intel­ligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly entrusted with intelligence collection in border areas, following the 1951 recommendations of the Himmatsinhji Com­mittee (also known as the North and North-east Border Committee).

Prior to 1947, this task was entrusted to military intelligence organisations. All spheres of human activity within India and in the neighbourhood are allocated to the char­ter of duties of the Intelligence Bureau. The IB is used to garner intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks.


The Intelligence Bureau reportedly has a lot of successes to its credit, but operations conducted by the IB are rarely declassified. Due to the extreme secrecy surrounding the agency, there is little concrete information available about it or its activities.

The IB was initially India’s internal and external intelligence agency. After the Sino-Indian War of 1962, and later on, India-Pakistan War in 1965, it was bifurcated in 1968 and entrusted with the task of internal intelligence only.

IB is the main coordinating agency regarding counter-terrorism. It coordinates with various states’ police all over the country.

The IB has had mixed success in counter-terrorism. It was reported in 2008 that the IB had been successful in busting terror modules. It alerted the police before the Hyderabad blasts and gave repeated warnings of a possible attack on Mumbai through the sea before the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

2. National Investigation Agency (NIA):


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a federal agency established by the Indian government to combat terror in India. It acts as the central counter- terrorism law enforcement agency. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament on December 31, 2008.

NIA was created after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as the need for a central agency to combat terrorism were realised. The founding Director-General of NIA was Radha Vinod Raju, and he served till January 31, 2010. He was succeeded by Sharad Chandra Sinhatill March 2013 when he was appointed the member of the National Human Rights Commission of India. In July 2013, Sharad Kumar was appointed as the Chief of NIA.

The Agency has been empowered to conduct investigation and prosecution of offenses under the Acts specified in the Schedule of the NIA Act. A State Government may request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided the case has been registered for the offenses as contained in the schedule to the NIA Act. Central Government can also order NIA to take over investigation of any scheduled offense anywhere in India.

Officers of the NIA who are drawn from the Indian Police Service and the Indian Revenue Service have all powers, privileges and liabilities which the police officers have in connection with investigation of any offense. In recent times, the NIA has had big successes in busting an IM module and arresting its key functionaries.

3. Multi-Agency Centre (MAC):


MAC is a multi-agency centre for counter-terrorism whose mandate is to share terrorism related inputs on a day-to-day basis.

Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) was created at Delhi and Subsidiary Multi Agency Centres (SMACs) in various states comprising representatives from various security agencies, for streamlining intelligence efforts. Later, the Union Home Minister reviewed the security situation and issued Multi Agency Centre (functions, powers and duties) Order, 2008 on December 31, 2008. MAC- SMAC is functioning since 2002 and has been re-operationalised with effect from 2009.

As a follow up of the above order, 24×7 Control Rooms have been set up at Multi Agency Centre (MAC) at New Delhi and the Subsidiary Multi Agency Centres (SMACs) at State Level and at Headquarters of Intelligence Wings of other agencies to ensure timely sharing of information and better co-ordination between intelligence agencies.

Daily meetings of Nodal Officers of 25 member agencies are being conducted on every working day. Presently, MAC-SMAC network has 416 nodes spread across the country and connected to MAC HQ at New Delhi. This includes 31 SMAC HQs and 32 SSBs located at State Capitals.

4. National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID):

The National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID is an integrated intelligence grid that will link the databases of several departments and ministries of the Gov­ernment of India so as to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies. It was first proposed in the af­termath of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008 and was to be operational in 2013 but is yet to happen.

NATGRID is an intelligence sharing network that collates data from the standalone databases of various agencies and ministries of the Indian government. It is a counter-terrorism measure that collects and collates a host of information from government databases, including tax and bank account details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.

This combined data will be made available to 11 central agencies-Research and Analysis Wing, the Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation, Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Central Board of Excise and Customs and the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence.

Unlike the NCTC and the NIA which are central organisations, the NATGRID is essentially a tool that will enable security agencies to locate and obtain relevant information on terror suspects from pooled data of various organisations and services in the country. It will help identify, capture and prosecute terrorists and help pre-empt terrorist plots.

5. National Technical Research Organisation:

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

The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), originally known as the National Technical Facilities Organisation (NTFO), is a highly specialised technical intelligence gathering agency. While the agency does not affect the working of technical wings of various intelligence agencies, including those of the Indian Armed Forces, it acts as a super-feeder agency for providing technical intelligence to other agencies on internal and external security.

The agency is under the control of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing, although it remains autonomous to some degree. The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by the then Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani had recommended the constitution of the NTFO as a state-of-the-art technical wing of intelligence gathering. Due to security concerns, the recommendations along with such other matters were not made public when the GOM report was published.

The organisation does hi-tech surveillance jobs, including satellite monitoring, terrestrial monitoring, Internet monitoring, considered vital for the national security apparatus. The NTRO would require over Rs.700 crore (US$100 million) to procure different hi-tech equipment from specialised agencies from the world over to become fully functional. Its officials have identified countries from where such gadgets could be procured but refused to reveal them due to ‘security and other implications’.

The Government had been working in this direction after the Kargil war in 1999 when the Subrahmanyam committee report pointed out weaknesses in intelligence gathering in the national security set up. Sources said the road-map for constitution of the National Technical Facilities Organisation was prepared by Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam in October 2001 when he was the Principal Scientific Adviser. It was subsequently mentioned in the Group of Ministers report on internal security.


The agency develops technology capabilities in aviation and remote sensing, data gathering and processing, cyber security, cryptology systems, strategic hardware and software development and strategic monitoring.

The National Critical Infrastructure Protection Centre, an agency under the control of National Technical Research Organisation, has been created to monitor, intercept and assess threats to crucial infrastructure and other vital installations from intelligence gathered using sensors and platforms which include satellites, underwater buoys, drones, VSAT-terminal locators and fiber optic cable nodal tap points.

NTRO also has access to data from Technology Experiment Satellite (TES), Cartosat-2A and Cartosat-2B besides two Radar Imaging Satellites namely RISAT-1 & RISAT-2.

6. Financial Intelligence Unit –  India (FIU-IND):

FIU-IND was set by the Government of India vide O.M. dated 18th November 2004 as the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions. FIU-IND is also responsible for coordinating and strengthening efforts of national and international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing global efforts against money laundering and related crimes. FIU-IND is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.


The main function of FIU-IND is to receive cash/suspicious transaction reports, analyse them and, as appropriate, disseminate valuable financial information to intelligence/enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities.

The functions of FIU-IND are:

i. Collection of Information:

Act as the central reception point for receiving Cash Transaction reports (CTRs), Cross Border Wire Transfer Reports (CBWTRs), Reports on Purchase or Sale of Immovable Property (IPRs) and Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) from various reporting entities.

ii. Analysis of Information:

Analyze received information in order to uncover patterns of transactions suggesting suspicion of money laundering and related crimes.

iii. Sharing of Information:

Share information with national intelligence/ law enforcement agencies, national regulatory authorities and foreign Financial Intelligence Units.

iv. Act as Central Repository:

Establish and maintain national database on cash transactions and suspicious transactions on the basis of reports received from reporting entities.

v. Coordination:

Coordinate and strengthen collection and sharing of financial intelligence through an effective national, regional and global network to combat money laundering and related crimes.

vi. Research and Analysis:

Monitor and identify strategic key areas on money laundering trends, typologies and developments.

7. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI):

It is an Indian intelligence agency.

The Directorate is run by officers from Central Excise and Customs. The organisation runs on much smaller staff than other intelligence agencies such as IB or state police organisations. Though its early days were committed to combating smuggling of gold, it now also addresses narcotics and economic crimes. DRI routinely makes Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) seizures, and in May 2012 seized 6.6 kg of heroin worth Rs.100 million, and arrested four people.

Charter of Duties of DRI:

i. Collection of intelligence about smuggling of contraband goods, narcotics, under-invoicing etc. through sources of India and abroad, including secret sources.

ii. Analysis and dissemination of such intelligence to the field formations for action and working on such intelligence, where necessary.

iii. Keeping watch over important seizures and investigation cases. Associating or taking over the investigations which warrant specialized handling by the Directorate.

iv. Guiding important investigation/prosecution cases. Keeping liaison with foreign countries, Indian Missions and Enforcement agencies abroad on anti-smuggling matters.

v. To keep liaison with C.B.I, and through them with the INTERPOL. To refer cases registered under the (Customs Act to the Income Tax Department for action under the Income Tax Act.

vi. 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.

vii. To study and suggest remedies for loopholes in law and procedures to combat smuggling.

8. Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB):

The Government of India constituted the NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU on the 17th of March, 1986.

The Bureau, subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government, exercises the powers and functions of the Central Government for taking measures with respect to:

i. Co-ordination of actions by various offices, State Governments and other authorities under the N.D.P.S. Act, Customs Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and any other law for the time being in force in connection with the enforcement provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985.

ii. Implementation of the obligation in respect of counter measures against illicit traffic under the various international conventions and protocols that are in force at present or which may be ratified or acceded to by India in future.

iii. Assistance to concerned authorities in foreign countries and concerned international organisations to facilitate coordination and universal action for prevention and suppression of illicit traffic in these drugs and substances.

iv. Coordination of actions taken by the other concerned Ministries, Departments and Organizations in respect of matters relating to drug abuse.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which came into effect from the 14th November, 1985 made an express provision for constituting a Central Authority for the purpose of exercising the powers and functions of the Central Government under the Act.

The Narcotics Control Bureau is the apex coordinating agency. It also functions as an enforcement agency through its zones and sub-zones.

Zones located at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Indore, Jammu, Jodhpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Patna. Sub-zones are located at Ajmer, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Dehradun, Goa, Hyderabad, Imphal, Mandsaur, Madurai, Mandi, Raipur, Ranchi and Thiruvananthpuram.

The zones and sub-zones collect and analyse data related to seizures of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance; study trends, modus operandi, collect and disseminate intelligence and work in close cooperation with the Customs, State Police and other law-enforcement agencies.

The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on the Directive Principles, contained in Article 47 of the Indian Constitution, which direct the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health. The government’s policy on the subject which flows from this constitutional provision is also guided by the international conventions on the subject.

India is a signatory to the single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Conventions on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.

The broad legislative policy is contained in the three Central Acts, viz. Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, and The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988. The responsibility of drug abuse control, which is a central function, is carried out through a number of Ministries, Departments and Organisations.

These include the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue which has the nodal co-ordination role as administrator of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.

9. National Disaster Response Force:

Two national calamities in quick succession in the form of Odisha Super Cyclone (1999) and Gujarat Earthquake (2001) brought about the realization of the need of having a specialist response mechanism at National Level to effectively respond to disasters. This realization led to the enactment of the DM Act on 26 Dec 2005. The NDMA was constituted to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management.

The DM Act has made the statutory provisions for the constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters. Accordingly, in 2006 NDRF was constituted with 08 Batallions (02 Bn each from BSF, CRPF, ITBP and CISF). As on date NDRF has a strength of 10 Bns. Each NDRF Bn consists of 1149 personnel. Union cabinet has also approved the conversion/up-gradation of 02 Bns from SSB.

The force is gradually emerging as the most visible and vibrant multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled, high-tech, stand-alone force capable of dealing with all types of natural and man-made disasters.

The DM Act, 2005 envisages a paradigm shift from the erstwhile response centric syndrome to a proactive, holistic and integrated management of disasters with emphasis on prevention, mitigation and preparedness. This national vision inter alia, aims at inculcating a culture of preparedness among all stakeholders.

NDRF has proved its importance in achieving this vision by highly skilled rescue and relief operations, regular and intensive training and re-training, capacity building and familiarization exercises within the area of responsibility of respective NDRF Bns, carrying out mock drills and joint exercises with the various stakeholders.

Vision of NDRF is to emerge as the most visible and vibrant multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled, high-tech force capable to deal with all types of natural as well as manmade disasters and to mitigate the effects of disasters. They claim to be the only dedicated disaster response force of the world.

Role and Mandate of NDRF:

i. Specialized response during disasters

ii. Proactive deployment during impending disaster situations

iii. To acquire and continually upgrade its existing training and skills

iv. Liaison, Reconnaissance, Rehearsals and Mock Drills

v. Impart basic and operational level training to State Response Forces (Police, Civil Defence and Home Guards) vis-a-vis Community.

All NDRF Bns are actively engaged in various:

a. Community Capacity Building Programme

b. Public Awareness Campaign

c. Exhibitions: Posters, Pamphlets, literatures

10. Special Frontier Force:

The Special Frontier Force (SFF) is a paramilitary special force of India created on 14 November 1962. Its main goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Sino-Indian War.

The SFF came to be known as ‘Establishment 22’ due to its first Inspector General, Major General (Retd.) Sujan Singh Uban of Indian Army, who used to be commander of 22 Mountain Regiment during World War II, a Military Cross holder and a legendary figure in the British India Army. Singh commanded the 22nd Mountain Regiment during World War II in Europe and a Long Range Desert Squadron (LRDS) in North Africa.

Based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand, the force was put under the direct supervision of the Intelligence Bureau, and later, the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency.

11. Research and Analysis Wing:

The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW or RAW) is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India. It was established in September 21, 1968 following the intelligence failures of the Sino-Indian and Indo-Pakistani wars, which persuaded the Government of India to create a specialised, independent agency dedicated to foreign intelligence gathering; previously, both domestic and foreign intelligence had been the purview of the Intelligence Bureau.

During the nine-year tenure of its first Director, Rameshwar Nath Kao, R&AW quickly came to prominence in the global intelligence community, playing a role in major events such as the independence of Bangladesh and the accession of the state of Sikkim to India.

The agency’s primary function is gathering foreign intelligence, engaging in counter-terrorism, promoting counter-proliferation, advising Indian policy makers, and advancing India’s foreign strategic interests. It is also involved in the security of India’s nuclear programme. Many foreign analysts consider the R&AW to be an effective organisation and identify it as one of the primary instruments of India’s national power.

Headquartered in New Delhi, R&AW’s current chief is Rajinder Khanna, a 1978-batch officer of the Research and Analysis Service. The head of RAW is designated “Secretary (Research)” in the Cabinet Secretariat, and is under the direct command of the Prime Minister and reports on an administrative basis to the Cabinet Secretary of India, who reports to the Prime Minister.


The present R&AW objectives include, and are not limited to:

i. Monitoring the political, military, economic and scientific developments in countries which have direct bearing on India’s national security and the formulation of its foreign policy.

ii. Moulding international public opinion and influence foreign governments with the help of the strong and vibrant Indian diaspora.

iii. Covert operations to safeguard India’s National interests.

iv. Anti-terror Operations and neutralising terror elements posing a threat to India.

In the past, following the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and due to India’s volatile relations with Pakistan, R & AW’s objectives had also consisted of the following:

i. To watch the development of international communism and the schism between the two big communist nations, the Soviet Union and China. As with other countries, both these powers had direct access to the communist parties in India.

ii. To control and limit the supply of military hardware to Pakistan, mostly from European countries, America and more importantly from China.

12. Central Bureau of Investigation:

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the foremost investigative police agency in India. It is under the jurisdiction of the Government of India. The CBI is involved in major criminal probes, and is the Interpol agency in India. The CBI was established in 1941 as the Special Police Establishment, tasked with domestic security. It was renamed the Central Bureau of Investigation on 1 April 1963. Its motto is “Industry, Impartiality, Integrity”.

Agency headquarters are located in the Indian capital, New Delhi, with field offices located in major cities throughout India. The CBI is overseen by the Department of Personnel and Training of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions of the Union Government, headed by a Union Minister who reports directly to the Prime Minister. While analogous in structure to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States of America, the CBI’s powers and functions are limited to specific crimes by Acts (primarily the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946).

The CBI established a reputation of India’s foremost investigative agency with the resources for complicated cases, and it was requested to assist the investigation of crimes such as murder, kidnapping and terrorism. The Supreme Court and a number of high courts in the country also began assigning such investigations to the CBI on the basis of petitions filed by aggrieved parties. In 1987, the CBI was divided into two divisions- the Anti-Corruption Division and the Special Crimes Division.

The CBI is headed by a Director, an IPS officer with a rank of Director General of Police. The director is selected based on the CVC Act 2003, and has a two-year term.

The amended Delhi Special Police Establishment Act empowers a committee to appoint the director of CBI.

The committee consists of the following people:

i. Prime Minister – chairperson

ii. Leader of Opposition –  member

iii. Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge recommended by the Chief Justice – member

While making recommendations, the committee considers the views of the outgoing director.

The selection committee mentioned above was constituted under The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

The legal powers of investigation of the CBI are derived from the DSPE Act 1946, which confers powers, duties, privileges and liabilities on the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) and officers of the Union Territories. The central government may extend to any area (except Union Territories) the powers and jurisdiction of the CBI for investigation, subject to the consent of the government of the concerned state. Members of the CBI at or above the rank of sub-inspector may be considered officers in charge of police stations. Under the Act, the CBI can investigate only with notification by the central government.

CBI and its relationship with State Police:

Maintaining law and order is a state responsibility as ‘police’ is a State subject, and the jurisdiction to investigate crime lies with the state police exclusively.

With respect to states, the CBI being a Union subject, may investigate:

i. Offences against central-government employees, or concerning affairs of the central government and employees of central public-sector undertakings and public-sector banks

ii. Cases involving the financial interests of the central government

iii. Breaches of central laws enforceable by the Government of India

iv. Major fraud or embezzlement; multi-state organised crime

v. Multi-agency or international cases

CBI can also investigate important cases related to state police with the concurrence of the concerned state government.

13. Enforcement Directorate:

The Directorate General of Economic Enforcement is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India. It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. It comprises officers of the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Administrative Service.

The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.

The prime objective of the Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement of two key Acts of the Government of India namely, the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA).

14. Indian Armed Forces:

The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed services – the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Government of India. With strength of over 1.3 million active personnel, it is the world’s 3rd largest military force and has the world’s largest volunteer army.

Headquarters of all the three armed forces—the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force are situated in Delhi.

The Armed Forces have four main tasks:

i. To assert the territorial integrity of India

ii. To defend the country if attacked by a foreign nation

iii. To support the civil community in case of disasters (e.g. flooding)

iv. To participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations in consonance with India’s commitment to the United Nations Charter.

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