Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil re­vamp likely


With the Bharatiya Janata Party win­ning the gen­eral elec­tions de­ci­sively un­der the lead­er­ship of Naren­dra Modi, there is keen an­tic­i­pa­tion that the post of na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser (NSA) will get more mus­cle. While a re­vamp of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (NSC) is on the cards, there is also spec­u­la­tion on whether the BJP-led Govern­ment would re­store the im­por­tance of the chair of the NSA who re­ports di­rectly to the Prime Min­is­ter. In­ci­den­tally, the post was cre­ated by the Va­j­payee-led NDA Govern­ment in 1998 but suf­fered ma­jor di­lu­tion dur­ing the ten­ure of the UPA Govern­ment.

Top sources said this may be done by al­low­ing a grad­ual tac­ti­cal shift of func­tions from the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs (MHA) to the NSC, par­tic­u­larly on mat­ters re­lated to in­tel­li­gence. The NSA is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the NSC and the pri­mary ad­viser to the Prime Min­is­ter. The NSC is cur­rently a tooth­less body ren­dered re­dun­dant by the mul­ti­ple agencies per­form­ing over­lap­ping func­tions of in­ter­nal se­cu­rity threat as­sess­ments and in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing.

The coun­try’s first NSA was ap­pointed by the NDA Govern­ment in Novem­ber 1998 and played a ma­jor role in the coun­try’s for­eign pol­icy and se­cu­rity ma­noeu­vres. The first NSA, Bra­jesh Mishra, who was also prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary to the then Prime Min­is­ter Atal Be­hari Va­j­payee, had an all-en­com­pass­ing role in mat­ters of na­tional se­cu­rity.

Mean­while, the sec­ond-big­gest task the BJP has set out for it­self in the MHA is to im­prove Cen­tre-state re­la­tions by bring­ing all state gov­ern­ments on board on the key is­sues of anti-ter­ror op­er­a­tions, in­tel­li­gence-shar­ing and tack­ling left-wing ex­trem­ism.

Some tough mea­sures in­clude in­su­lat­ing in­tel­li­gence agencies from po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion and in­ter­fer­ence — a key pointer to the over­haul­ing of the In­tel­li­gence Bureau and Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency set up by the UPA Govern­ment in 2009 and ac­cused of work­ing as a tool of the govern­ment of the day.

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