New Delhi [India], Sep 18 (ANI): Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs on Monday said that the sealing of the Indian border with Pakistan using smart technology-aided fence will be in place by December next year.
Speaking about smart fencing, Mr. Rijiju said that engagement of multiple agencies in border management was resulting in delay of implementation of policies and adoption of technology.
Citing an example of delay in processes, Mr. Rijiju said that when a full-body scanner had to be installed, the tedious tender process and other formalities caused unwarranted delays and there was a need to address such issues immediately.
Speaking at the second edition of 'Smart Border Management' conference organized by FICCI in association with India Foundation, the Minister stressed on the need for enhanced coordination and collaboration among diverse government agencies and stakeholders besides adoption of technology and change in the mindset for stepping up India's border management system.
Alluding to the under-developed border security, the Minister said that "Other countries exhibit their might by projecting their border areas as active by settling civilians and engaging them in trade and commercial activities. Border areas of these countries are well-connected, complete with basic amenities and telecom services, whereas, India has isolated its border areas, and restricted civilian movement and commerce".
He said it was imperative that border areas were as developed as the hinterland of the nation and this needed a rational outlook.
On marine police, the Minister said that the government was working towards strengthening marine police to secure India's long coastal borders. He added that to make India's border management system robust, secure and well-guarded, it was essential to have seamless coordination between policy makers and defence and security agencies.
"Though the government is working towards improving security and infrastructure in border areas, still some sections of border communities are dependent on infrastructure of neighboring countries," Rijiju said.
The Minister said that national security cannot be compromised at any cost and it was essential to develop border and coastal areas and connect them to the hinterland.
He also highlighted the fact that India believes that borders were not for dividing people but for bringing them together and engaging in trade and commercial activities for bringing prosperity.
Dr. Subhash Bhamre, Minister of State for Defence, said that varying challenges were posed by each border state in India. The major challenges in border security were cross-border terrorism, insurgency, infiltration, narcotics, separatists' movement and smuggling.
"There was a need for coordinated and concerted efforts to strengthen policing and guarding of border areas while developing infrastructure. He added that power of technology was needed to be leveraged for effective border management system," said Bhamre.
Speaking about Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), which has been deployed by the Government on a pilot basis on select terrains to boost India's security systems, K. K. Sharma, Director General, Border Security Force (BSF), said that the main components of the system were virtual fencing, command and control system, response mechanism, power-backup, maintenance and training. He added with the adoption of CIBMS, India was looking at moving towards network-centric surveillance from human-centric to counter the limitations of human resource. He added adoption of advanced technology and reduced human resource intervention was needed to strengthen India's defence systems.
"Smart borders on one hand should allow seamless movement of authorized people and goods, while on the other, minimise cross-border security challenges using innovation and technology enablement, said Rajan Luthra, Co-Chair, FICCI Committee on Homeland Security & Head-Special Projects, Chairman's Office, Reliance Industries Ltd. in the conference. He added that over the long term, smart border management will also have to incorporate systems that digitally monitor patterns of activity through and around border areas to root out organised crime and anti-national events.
The FICCI-PwC report elucidates the present status of various programmes that have been undertaken by the government, both in central and coastal states. In his theme presentation, Dhiraj Mathur, Partner & Leader, Aerospace and Defence, PwC India, said that, "It highlights the efforts required for enhancing costal and maritime security with support from industry, especially on the technology, infrastructure and capacity building fronts, and for building an integrated and collaborative coastal and maritime security management framework.(ANI)