The Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), in its report on reforms in the intelligence setup, has recommended bringing all agencies under Parliamentary scrutiny, while suggesting that a single authority be put in charge of all agencies, civil and military.
In its report — A Case for Intelligence Reforms in India — the IDSA, an autonomous body funded by the Ministry of Defence, has advocated providing these agencies a legal framework for their existence and functioning. The report suggests a single authority for supervisory control. He could be the National Security Adviser in a modified role, Director of National Intelligence, or even a Minister for National Intelligence, answerable to Parliament, it adds.
Pointing out that modernisation of the intelligence machinery is a prerequisite for security, the IDSA recommended extensive reforms in the recruitment and training processes of personnel, their pay structures and career progression, to attract the best talent available. It has also suggested that recruitment to various agencies be widened so as to have experts from myriad fields, such as science and technology, information technology and communications, rather than reserving these agencies exclusively for the police sector.
Referring to the vexed issue of coordination between the civilian agencies like the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing and those of the armed forces like Military Intelligence, the report, compiled by the IDSA task force, advocated putting them on an even keel, so that there is greater interaction. The task force comprised the former Special Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, R. Banerji, IDSA consultant P.K. Upadhyay, while inputs were also provided by the former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, the former IDSA Director (late) K. Subrahmanyam, and intelligence experts G.C. Saxena, A.K. Verma, Ajit Doval.
The task force was set up after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, as experts called for holistic reforms. The report analyses the factors that impede good intelligence at various stages of collection, initial analysis, inter-agency cooperation and assessments, and what can be done to improve assessments and human resources. It also examines the related issue of the necessity for regular and periodic briefings of the political executive, after they receive the intelligence input in a processed form.
Even Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari had talked of the need of intelligence agencies being made accountable, and made to function under some sort of legal cover. Last year, Congress MP Manish Tewari had introduced a Private Member's Bill in the Lok Sabha, seeking to regulate the functioning and power of the intelligence agencies.