J&K Governor Vohra Bats For a New Ministry And Service To Manage National Security
NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra on Sunday strongly advocated establishing a National Security Administrative Service (NSAS) as the country cannot afford to follow adhoc and disparate approaches in managing the national security.
Delivering the R.N. Kao Memorial Lecutre here, Mr. Vohra also felt the need to set up a dedicated, new, separate Ministry of
National Security Affairs which is entirely devoted to effectively safeguarding the country on every front.
He pointed out that in the past two decades, since the empowered Group of Ministers considered the recommendations of the three Tasks Forces, which were set up consequent to the Kargil Review Committee Report, worrying developments have taken place in our security environment.
“There have been significant shifts in the geo-political environment in our neighbourhood and beyond and there are new threats to our country’s interests and security,’’ he told the select gathering at the headquarters of the Research and Analysis Wing (RA&W). The annual lecture is organised in memory of the founder-director of the external intelligence agency of India.
The J&K Governor, a veteran of national security affairs, said that the proposed National Security Administrative Service can have constituents, selected on the basis of a pan-India competitive examination and they should be got especially trained in the various required areas and deployed to man the Government of India’s security administration system.
“Thereafter, members of this Service could also be progressively allocated to the States for managing security management machinery,’’ he said.
In another key observation, he stressed upon the need to establish a new Ministry, entirely dedicated to the efficient implementation of every component of the National Security Policy and to keep a close and constant watch to see that the States effectively maintain Internal Security in their domains.
Mr. Vohra, himself a former Home and Defence Secretary, felt that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs is faced with ever increasing day to day pressures on varied fronts and its senior echelons are required to deal with a horde of subjects, of which one relates to Internal Security management.
“With its existing responsibilities it would be impractical to expect this Ministry to devote whole time attention only to security management related issues, all of which require zero delays and immediate decisions. In this context, if national security is to be effectively managed, the time has come to establish a dedicated Ministry of National Security Affairs which is led by a senior experienced Cabinet Minister and manned by handpicked and especially trained functionaries drawn from the National Security Administrative Service,’’ he suggested.
Among other suggestions made by Mr. Vohra, who has been serving as J&K Governor since 2008 and has faced many difficult times and sensitive situations in the border State, said the Centre should take urgent steps, in close consultation with the States, to evolve and promulgate the National Security Policy. He said that a time-bound action plan should be chalked out to fill all existing gaps and establish a country wide institutional framework for safeguarding the country on every front.
Emphasising upon efficient implementation of the National Security Policy, he said it was essential to protect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of country by ensuring that the Union and States act in very close concert.
Pointing to the urgency to implement reforms in the entire framework of the criminal justice system, Mr. Vohra said it was needed if internal security is to be effectively maintained and the country is to move towards assured national security management.
“Unless this system functions with speed, efficiency and visible fairness, it would not be possible to reduce criminality and establish a healthy respect of the law. As the very first step, the criminal courts shall need to achieve a significantly improved disposal rate and also stem the decline in the conviction rates, which is due to the prolonged delays in investigations and trials,’’ he said.
In a candid assessment of the logistical inadequacies which adversely affect the proper functioning of courts, Mr. Vohra said there is also a subsisting question mark about the integrity of the subordinate judicial services.
“Unfortunately, in the past years, allegations have been raised even against those who man the higher judiciary, including up to the august level of the Chief Justice of India. Indisputably, urgent and effective steps shall be needed to clean up the system to enforce judicial standards and deliver speedy, clean and effective justice,’’ the J&K Governor said.
Another area of serious concern, he pointed out, is that while a plethora of obsolete and outdated laws exist, the country is still to enact comprehensive laws to deal with terrorism, cyber crimes, economic offences and to tackle the growing criminality which is perpetrated by organized crime, drug trafficking and mafia groups, many of which have close connectivities with terrorist organizations.