Homeland Security is frequently recognized as vital to the nation's overall security. The Indian security market is rising at 35% compared to 7% worldwide. India's share of global investment in the sector is also projected to increase from 3.6 per cent by 2020. And that's a positive thing.
Refuting the limited capacity of the police and paramilitary forces with new equipment, the formation of new and committed forces and units to deal with emerging circumstances, the pragmatic approach to essential systems, wealth management and disaster response are some of the factors driving the domestic security sector. And is the government in a position to keep pace with these requirements?
India is planned to invest 4,500 crores on national defence before 2016. In this context, the Ministry of Home Affairs has suggested the establishment of a Multi-Agency Center (MAC) to operate at both the Centre and the State level to compile and distribute information to the police and security services. The Government has created a Central Counter-Terrorism Center to serve as the focal point for dealing with all forms of terrorism in India. Approximately 324 crores are allocated to this initiative. A further 10.50 crore was released to set up seven counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism colleges.
In the recent past, many initiatives have been implemented to improve and consolidate the country's current homeland security system. Strengthening the Government's current effective involvement and fine tuning of policy, legislation, process and fiscal climate would, however, be important to give more impetus to the necessary reforms to help ensure strong domestic growth and self-sufficiency.
Through offering better training for recruits and improving existing physical infrastructure, transport tools and services, the government currently aims to better incorporate Civil Defence into the overall Risk Management Plan. Early warning systems against floods and landslides, especially in border regions, are also mandatory. The Model also calls for a holistic approach to local and coastal protection, which is particularly relevant for a peninsular country like India. The emphasis seems to have changed to this strategy after 26/11 and it is a good step forward.
The big discrepancy between motivation and procurement for the internal security forces is another impediment that needs to be looked at. Protective gear, simulation aids, tents, uniforms, communication devices, transport fleet and surveillance equipment need to be state-of-the-art, which is sadly not the case. The paramilitary and police forces have a long wish list, and the managers in the "North Block" need to be aware of it. India has been forced to purchase the majority of the necessary equipment from non-Indian vendors due to its inability to produce it competitively.
While attempts are being made in India to build equipment, core elements from foreign suppliers are still needed. This has led American and European businesses to attempt to get a share of the enormous contracts anticipated in the coming years. India needs almost all "homeland security software" and this encourages many businesses to sell their systems. Currently, Israeli firms are making efforts to combine hands with India's local firms to increase their chances of winning contracts. There is a need for the Defense Public Sector Units (DPSUs), DRDO and the indigenous private sector industry to sit up and take stock of this new requirement.
In conclusion, the Indian internal security market provides a wide range of options. But there are policy and procurement-related institutional hurdles that appear to stand in the way. As the country intends to build and improve its homeland security policy, the expectation is that these roadblocks will be eliminated, and India will be able to develop a world-class domestic security architecture.