The use of unmanned aerial vehicles by our adversaries across borders to ferry arms/ammunitions, drugs, etc., is a serious threat to internal security. Comment on measures being taken to tackle this.

The question “The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by our adversaries across the borders to ferry arms/ammunitions, drugs, etc., is a serious threat to the internal security. Comment on the measures being taken to tackle this threat." was asked in the Mains 2023 GS Paper 3. Let us look at the model answer to this question.

Answer:  India’s proximity to the notorious Golden crescent and Golden triangle makes it naturally vulnerable from the amenable forces and the emergence of new technology like unmanned aerial vehicles( UAVs) makes it even more challenging for the security agencies to manage borders and secure the internal security of our Country.

UAVs pose a serious threat to Internal Security of India in the following ways

  • There have been several instances where UAVs have been used by the anti-national elements to smuggle drugs and arms along the Indo-Pakistan border.
  • Recently, a UAV was weaponized to attack the Jammu Indian Air Force Base.
  • UAVs can be weaponized to target critical assets like Parliament , Rashtrapti bhavan, Nuclear instalments, Oil rigs etc. For example, Houthi rebels used weaponized UAVs to attack the Oil rigs of Saudi arabia.

To Counter this evolving threat from the use of UAVs, Indian government has been proactive in devising plans at various levels :

  • Legal: Government has formulated National Counter rogue drone guidelines 2019 to provide a legal framework to deal with the emerging threats posed by UAVs.
  • Institutional: MHA has established the Anti Rogue Drone Technology Committee (ARDTC) under supervision of DG BSF with the mandate to evaluate the technology available to counter rogue drones and certify its effectiveness in dealing with rogue drones.
  • Technological: DRDO has been developing Counter Drone systems which can detect, track and identify airborne drones using multiple sensors. They can transfer the information to associated systems and enable counter techniques to deny them the intended operation (soft kill) and/or destroy them (hard kill).
  • Intelligence: The security agencies along borders conduct detailed vulnerability mapping along the border to deploy additional surveillance vehicles and special equipment. They have installed integrated surveillance technology equipped with cameras, sensors, and alarms with a command-and-control system at the International Border.
  • Operational: The Border security agencies conduct round-the-clock surveillance through patrolling, checkpoints, and observation posts.
  • Federal Aspect: MHA is promoting Border States to develop their own Counter Drone Policies.
  • Information, Education and communication: The general public in border areas have been sensitised and made aware of such UAV/Drone activities, their likely security implications
  • International Cooperation: India is actively Collaborating with Israel in developing its Anti Drone Technological ecosystem.

With the emergence of complex technologies, securing our borders and internal security will only increase and only through strong institutional development and coordination (both Technological and Security Agencies) will India be able to effectively counter the threat.