Officers of the Maharashtra Intelligence Academy have not been fully utilised in the State Intelligence Department

Days after the Mumbai bomb blasts, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan acknowledged that the Intelligence in the State needed to be improved.

While Intelligence is one of the core areas focused upon after every such event, officers of the Maharashtra Intelligence Academy (MIA), Pune, which was set up in the aftermath of Mumbai's 26/11 terror attack have not been fully utilised in the State Intelligence Department (SID). Fifty five officers who were recruited this year have not yet been absorbed into the State's intelligence machinery.

Waking up to the lack of ground level intelligence gathering, the Maharashtra government will now take steps to induct the officers into the SID.

Speaking to The Hindu on Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Satej Patil said: “The officers had not been utilised yet for intelligence gathering purpose, but the orders for the appointments of 55 officers in SID will be out in the next one week.” He could not explain the nature of the officers' assignments since they passed out of the Academy.

The State government will also issue an advertisement next week seeking 77 more officers in the SID, to be trained in MIA. “Totally, we will have 177 intelligence officers in the next one year,” Mr. Patil said. He said that these officers will be trained especially for gathering intelligence on terror, an area that the department has been weak in.

However, out of the 50 officers who passed out in 2010, five have already resigned. Some of the officers have stated that they resigned because they were being assigned to give security for VIPs and not actual ‘intelligence gathering'. When enquired about this issue, Mr. Patil said: “We do not have separate appointments for VIP security. We cannot help it if people get better opportunities and decide to leave the forces.”

MIA was set up in October 2009.The officers trained in the Academy are recruited as Intelligence Officers to the SID. The training that lasts for a year includes keeping a track of the terrorist outfits, collecting relevant information and using ‘modern technology' for intelligence gathering.

The senior authorities of the MIA who spoke to The Hindu refused to give the whereabouts of the officers who has passed out of the MIA. “This is confidential information. We cannot reveal it to the media,” a senior officer told The Hindu on the condition of anonymity. “Our job is only to give training to the officers. We do not keep track of their assignments and performance.”