National Security Strategy

National Security Strategy

GS Paper - 3

Why in the News? : India has begun crafting a National Security Strategy after thorough deliberations. The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) is currently collecting input from various central ministries and departments.

About National Security Strategy (NSS)

A National Security Strategy (NSS) is a detailed document outlining a nation's security goals and the methods for attaining them. It is a dynamic text subject to regular updates to address evolving circumstances and emerging challenges.

  • It identifies both traditional and non-traditional threats and opportunities, highlighting the accountability of agencies entrusted with carrying out these responsibilities.
  • The strategy typically evaluates potential threats, allocates resources, and outlines diplomatic, military, intelligence, defense, and other security-related policies.

Which countries have a National Security Strategy?

Nations with advanced military and defense capabilities often maintain a National Security Strategy. 

  • These nations like the US, UK, and Russia periodically update their National Security Strategies to enhance their military and security frameworks. 
    • China follows a Comprehensive National Security approach aligned with its governance. 
    • Pakistan recently released its National Security Policy 2022-2026, outlining its key security goals and focus areas.

Need of a National Security Strategy in India

India's diverse security challenges, ranging from territorial disputes to cyber threats, demand a comprehensive National Security Strategy (NSS). An NSS would effectively prioritize these threats, ensuring that India's security apparatus is optimally deployed.

Aligning Defense and Security Efforts: 

  • India's security setup comprises numerous agencies and ministries, each with distinct mandates and capabilities.
  • A National Security Strategy (NSS) would function as a cohesive document, bringing together the efforts of these agencies and ensuring they collaborate towards a shared set of security objectives.

Enhancing Transparency and Accountability: 

  • Creating an NSS necessitates a thorough evaluation of India's security landscape, which includes engaging in discussions with experts, stakeholders, and the public.
  • Such a procedure would improve transparency and accountability in shaping security policies.

Guiding Future Security Decisions: 

  • An NSS plays a crucial role as a comprehensive and enduring guide for India's security posture. It offers essential direction for making informed decisions on resource allocation, defense modernization, and diplomatic engagements in the long term.

Strengthening India's Global Stature: 

  • A thoughtfully developed NSS would elevate India's international standing, showcasing its commitment to national security and its responsible engagement in global affairs.

Addressing Emerging Threats: 

In the 21st century, India faces various non-traditional security challenges, including issues like climate change, energy security, and cyber threats.

  • Technology has a twofold impact on national security, boosting capabilities but also creating vulnerabilities.
  • Cybersecurity is increasing day by day for which it needs advanced technological capabilities.
  • A National Security Strategy (NSS) would offer a plan to handle these new challenges in a thorough and unified way.

Ensuring Sustainable National Security: 

  • An NSS would support lasting national security by connecting security goals with broader economic, social, and environmental objectives.
  • This ensures that India's security stance is not just strong but also sustainable in the long run.

Enabling Strategic Partnerships: 

  • An NSS would serve as a foundation for bolstering strategic partnerships with other nations, increasing India's capacity to tackle shared security issues and fostering stability in the region.

What can be the Potential Benefits of the National Security Strategy in India?

A National Security Strategy (NSS) in India can offer several potential benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Policy Guidance
  • Improved Resource Allocation
  • Strengthened Inter-Agency Coordination
  • Empowers Citizens
  • Promotes Economic Security

Challenges for Developing a National Security Strategy

National security strategies are like the game plan for a country—they lay out how to keep things safe and protect the people from all kinds of threats. But, putting together a solid strategy is no walk in the park for policymakers. It's a tough job with lots of twists and turns.

Military and political leadership Divergence:

  • Differences between the military and political leadership may arise due to varying perspectives within the bureaucratic structure military and political leadership

Political Reluctance in Security Strategy Formulation:

  • Governments have hesitated to document their security strategies, possibly driven by fears of commitment traps, potential criticism, or inflexibility in decision-making.
  • Securing a political consensus on the content and priorities of the National Security Strategy (NSS) poses challenges, given the diverse perspectives on national security among different political parties.

Legal Compliance in National Security Strategy:

  • Ensuring alignment of the NSS with prevailing legal frameworks, encompassing international agreements and domestic laws, is imperative but can be intricate.

Dynamic Security Challenges:

  • Adjusting the NSS to tackle emerging security threats like cyber threats, terrorism, and non-traditional challenges is an ongoing complexity.

Responsive National Security Approach:

  • India has frequently employed a responsive stance in national security, dealing with challenges as they emerge rather than having a proactive and comprehensive strategy in place.

Previous Attempts of India’s National Security Strategy (NSS)  Formulation

Kargil Review Committee Report (2000): 

  • Following the 1999 Kargil conflict, the Kargil Review Committee was formed and produced a detailed report containing recommendations for national security. While the report was made available to the public, it did not lead to the prompt development of a structured NSS.

Report of the Naresh Chandra Task Force on Security (2012): 

  • In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task Force on Security presented a report examining diverse aspects of national security, encompassing defense and intelligence reforms. However, despite the report's presentation, no formal NSS was promptly released.

National Security Advisory Board (NSAB): 

  • The National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), made up of experts in national security, has supposedly created drafts of national security strategy documents multiple times. Even though these drafts were shown to different governments, an official national security strategy was never finalized.

Gen. D.S. Hooda's Document (2019): 

  • In 2019, retired Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda, a former Army Commander, made a national security strategy document, which was a big move toward creating an NSS for India.

Steps taken by Indian Government

The Indian government has undertaken significant measures to address various challenges, formulating a multitude of plans, schemes, and acts. With a particular focus on areas like cyber security, border concerns, and counter-terrorism, these initiatives reflect the government's proactive stance in enhancing national security.

Cyber Security Steps

Security Crisis Management Plan (CCMP): 

  • Cyber Crisis Management Plan (CCMP) provides a strategic framework to protect the IT Systems / Services, ensure high availability & accessibility

Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C):

  • It was established by MHA, in New Delhi to provide a framework and eco-system for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) for dealing with Cybercrime.

Information Technology Act 2000(IT Act 2000):

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 provides legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data. 
  • The primary objective of the Information Technology Act 2000 is to restrict cybercrime across e-commerce sites that operate throughout the country.

Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023:

  • The Digital India Act 2023 aims to harmonize and consolidate digital laws in India. 
  • It aims at safeguarding individuals' privacy rights.

Border Security Steps

Border security involves actions undertaken by one or more governments to implement their border control policies. These measures address a range of concerns, including customs violations, illicit trade, and the prevention of unauthorized migration or travel.

Governments Schemes and steps are as follows

Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM) Scheme:

  • The Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM) Scheme is a Central Sector Scheme designed to boost security along the country's borders. 
  • It includes various projects like Border Fence, Roads, Floodlights, Out Posts, Helipads, and foot tracks to develop border infrastructure. 
  • Additionally, the scheme deploys technological solutions in areas where a physical fence may not be practical.

Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System: 

  • A Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS)is the integration of manpower, sensors, networks, intelligence and command control solutions. 
    • It is aimed at creating better awareness at various levels to respond quickly to situations along the India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh Borders.
    • The goal is to ensure a coordinated approach for effective responses to emerging situations. 

Counter Terrorism Security Steps

In the face of evolving global threats, countering terrorism has become a paramount concern for nations worldwide. Governments around the world, including India, have implemented comprehensive strategies to safeguard their citizens and maintain national security. 

  • The National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 (Amended)
  • The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019
  • The National Investigation Agency Act, 2008
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967
  • The Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004
  • The Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Amendment Act, 2008
  • The Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Amendment Act, 2012

These legislative initiatives play a crucial role in shaping a robust framework to combat terrorism effectively.


In today's changing world, it's important for India to have a smart and flexible plan to stay safe and successful. By being watchful and ready to adapt, India can deal with the constantly shifting global situation better. This helps in protecting our interests and sticking to our principles in the 21st century. So, having a good and flexible security plan is really important for India's well-being and success.

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