Us­ing Tech­nol­ogy for Smart Bor­der Man­age­ment

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

In­dia's bor­ders are quite com­plex and unique in many ways. With land bor­der of 15106.7 km and a long coast­line of 7517 km, main­tain­ing bor­der se­cu­rity and man­age­ment can be a chal­leng­ing task. Of­ten the bor­der se­cu­rity forces have to deal with dif­fi­cult and di­verse ter­rain, var­ied cli­matic con­di­tions, mul­ti­ple geo-po­lit­i­cal stand­points, which com­pli­cate bor­der man­age­ment and present a need for the use of tech­nol­ogy to move to­wards smarter ways of man­ag­ing bor­ders.

Meet­ing these di­ver­si­fied ex­pec­ta­tions de­mands de­ci­sion­mak­ing based on mas­sive amount of in­for­ma­tion of all pos­si­ble na­ture in all pos­si­ble for­mats and from var­i­ous sources. Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence cou­pled with big data anal­y­sis acts as the crit­i­cal dif­fer­en­tia­tor by en­abling bor­der agen­cies to make ev­ery in­ter­ac­tion sim­ple and smart. Ma­chine learn­ing tech­niques help bor­der guard­ing forces and CAPFs (Cen­tral Armed Po­lice Forces) to train ro­bots and un­manned sys­tems to en­hance their ca­pa­bil­ity of tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sions in var­ied sit­u­a­tions for their de­ploy­ment in the re­motest ar­eas, dif­fi­cult ter­rains, ar­eas with harsh cli­matic con­di­tions and threat prone parts of the coun­try.

With the ob­jec­tive to ex­plore pos­si­ble ways to ad­dress con­tem­po­rary bor­der man­age­ment is­sues with the help of new-age so­lu­tions, FICCI and In­dia Foun­da­tion jointly or­gan­ised the third edi­tion of 'Smart Bor­der Man­age­ment' on 17-18 Septem­ber 2018 at FICCI, New Delhi. The pro­gramme was in­au­gu­rated by Gen­eral VK Singh, Min­is­ter of State for Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment. of In­dia who un­der­lined the need for user-ori­ented tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions for se­cur­ing the coun­try's bor­ders.

Dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion, Min­is­ter Singh said, 'We keep hear­ing terms such as smart cities, smart vil­lages, smart bor­der man­age­ment and at times one won­ders what is it when you say smart, ev­ery­body only refers to elec­tron­ics. I would like to put across smart man­age­ment as, and it's been there for a long time, to de­tect, iden­tify, de­lay, dis­rupt and neu­tralise. The unique­ness of our bor­ders is also from the fact that there are ar­eas of our bor­ders where free move regime is per­mit­ted.'

'One solution is not go­ing to fit every­thing, and one has to find an­swers to var­ied prob­lems that ex­ist. And there­fore, when we talk of smart bor­der man­age­ment we need to see, what unique solution is avail­able to us to im­ple­ment.' 'In ad­di­tion, tech­nol­ogy should have re­li­able and ro­bust alarm sys­tems to re­duce the re­sponse time for coun­ter­mea­sures,' he em­pha­sised.

FICCI has been ad­vo­cat­ing for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of tech­nol­ogy and so­lu­tions for Smart Bor­der Man­age­ment and it is note­wor­thy that the Smart Bor­der Man­age­ment con­fer­ence co­in­cided with the launch of two pi­lot projects in Jammu by Ra­j­nath Singh, Union Home Min­is­ter, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia un­der the Com­pre­hen­sive In­te­grated Bor­der Man­age­ment Solution (CIBMS).

On the occasion, the min­is­ter also re­leased the FICCI-BDO Re­port on 'Smart Bor­der Man­age­ment'.

Dur­ing the vale­dic­tory ses­sion, Ram Mad­hav, Na­tional Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Bharatiya Janata Party said that the in­dus­try must adopt 'Ocean-cen­tric' ap­proach, tap cross-bor­der op­por­tu­ni­ties in less se­cu­rity-breach prone ar­eas. He urged the business com­mu­nity to lever­age the myr­iad cross-bor­der op­por­tu­ni­ties that were avail­able in ar­eas where se­cu­rity was not a ma­jor is­sue.

Mad­hav also said that the In­dian Ocean re­gion was a 2 bil­lion-strong mar­ket and ad­vised busi­nesses to

look at the North­east not just as a gate­way for trad­ing with the coun­try's eastern neigh­bours but to make the re­gion as a man­u­fac­tur­ing hub for do­ing business with the lit­toral states.

'Peo­ple liv­ing on the bor­ders are im­por­tant se­cu­rity agents and call for their in­clu­sion in any strat­egy to se­cure the coun­try from in­fil­tra­tion. They have to be pro­vided with elec­tric­ity, roads, means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and this as­pect has to be in­te­grated in over­all bor­der man­age­ment,' he added.

Cdr. Gau­tam Nanda, As­so­ciate Part­ner, BDO In­dia, said that big data tech­nol­ogy and ser­vices pro­vided the de­ci­sion-mak­ers with pow­er­ful in­for­ma­tion. The mar­ket for such tech­nol­ogy and ser­vices was es­ti­mated to grow at a CAGR of 22 per cent from 2015 to 2020 and will reach $58.9 bil­lion in 2020.

Rahul Chaudhry, Chair, FICCI Home­land Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee, stressed on the need to look at tech­nol­ogy of to­day and the fu­ture needs to meet the coun­try's re­quire­ments. Bor­der man­age­ment, he said, was multi-di­men­sional and high­lighted the crit­i­cal role of big data and pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics in tack­ling bor­der in­fil­tra­tion.

Ma­jor Gen­eral Dhruv C Ka­toch, Di­rec­tor, In­dia Foun­da­tion, un­der­scored the im­por­tance of tak­ing on board the con­cerns of those liv­ing in and around the bor­ders and sug­gested that sarpanches of bor­der vil­lages should be co-opted as mem­bers of bor­der man­age­ment groups.

Sandip So­many, Pres­i­dent-Elect, FICCI, said that there was tremen­dous scope for big data and pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics for coastal se­cu­rity man­age­ment. He sug­gested the need to ex­plore data-driven in­tel­li­gent sys­tems to har­ness R&D po­ten­tial at pub­lic-funded R&D labs and trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy with in­dus­try part­ners. In­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture could be utilised to en­hance bor­der man­age­ment ser­vices such as pre­dict­ing im­mi­grants' risk pro­files through data anal­y­sis for im­mi­gra­tion fraud con­trol, au­to­ma­tion and robotic cargo han­dling.

Six ple­nary ses­sions on dif­fer­ent as­pects of bor­der man­age­ment were or­gan­ised dur­ing the stretch of two days. In ad­di­tion to the tech­ni­cal de­lib­er­a­tions, a unique ses­sion, 'Sig­nif­i­cance & As­pi­ra­tions of Pub­lic Par­tic­i­pa­tion in Bor­der Se­cu­rity' was or­gan­ised to un­der­stand per­spec­tive of peo­ple liv­ing near bor­der who could serve as a force mul­ti­plier in bor­der man­age­ment. The ses­sion was chaired by Lalitha Ku­mara­man­galam, Di­rec­tor, In­dia Foun­da­tion and Lt. Gen. Shokin Chauhan, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, Chair­man, Cease­fire Mon­i­tor­ing Group de­liv­ered a Spe­cial Ad­dress dur­ing the ses­sion. Sarpanches (ma­jor­ity of them were women) from key bor­der ar­eas like Falka­wan, Mi­zo­ram (Indo-Myan­mar & Indo-Bangladesh Bor­der), Dok­lam, Sikkim (Indo-China & Indo-Bhutan Bor­der), Bhachau, Gu­jarat (In­doPak­istan Bor­der), Khatan, Ra­jasthan (Indo-Pak­istan Bor­der), Ma­nipur (Indo-Myan­mar Bor­der), and Bhuj, Gu­jarat (Indo-Pak­istan Bor­der) par­tic­i­pated in the ses­sion, shared their per­spec­tives and placed their con­cerns.

Gen­eral VK Singh, Min­is­ter of State for Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia.

Ram Mad­hav, Na­tional Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Bharatiya Janata Party.

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