INDIA ON A GLOBAL HUNT FOR ADVANCED SOLUTIONS FOR BORDER MANAGEMENT
By Bulbul Singh
12 Nov 12. In a move to advance the border management systems, India will use a satellite and link it to ground sensors, field fences and allied structures along the border with China and Pakistan. The $2 billion plan is an initiative of the Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to seal India’s porous borders of over 15000 kilometers with neighbouring China, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh in particular.
The Indian defence ministry has also been writing to the Home Ministry over the years to ensure that the borders are thoroughly plugged and that the paramilitary forces deployed by the Home Minister ensure that no terrorists and insurgents spill over from across the borders. India has been fighting the terrorists in the north of the country adjoining Pakistan, and insurgents in the North East of the country bordering China, Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Indian Army has also told the Indian defence ministry in the past that it should not be engaging in low intensity warfare for too long as is the case now, as it can affect the combat worthiness of the Army to prepare for a futuristic war with China and Pakistan.
Currently over fifty per cent of the Indian Army’s over one million troops are engaged in some sort of a low intensity warfare in the state of Jammu Kashmir and the North East. The weapons and equipment needed for low intensity warfare are different than needed for fighting against China and Pakistan.
Under the new initiative, the Indian Home Ministry plans to deploy a dedicated satellite and connect all the ground sensors, radars, fences and other allied structures along the border, forming C4ISTAR structures nearer to the regional and headquarters. The Home Minister is on a look overseas to find partners to execute the ambitious project. Teams have been sent to Israel to see first hand the administration of the Gaza border. The Home Ministry is even looking at possibilities of also giving the project on turnkey basis.
While India’s border with Pakistan has been nearly plugged along the state of Punjab and Rajasthan there are gaps along the border with Jammu and Kashmir. The borders are currently being managed by paramilitary forces like the Border Security Force. However deployment of ground troops along the boundary are not a full proof solution and advanced structures, and systems need to be explored and built is the opinion of the Home Ministry.
The wish list of the Home Ministry includes purchase of additional night-vision devices, handheld thermal imagers, battlefield surveillance radars, direction finders, unattended ground sensors and high-powered telescopes which will ultimately be linked to a satellite.