Importance of maintaining a “constant vigil” on Indian Borders

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    • The Ministry of Defence emphasizes the need to maintain constant vigil on northern and western borders, coastline.

    About

    • At the Naval Commanders Conference aboard INS Vikrant, Indian defence minister stressed the need to re-strategise due to the constantly evolving world order.
    • The meeting emphasized that future conflicts will be unpredictable and that constant vigilance on the northern and western borders and entire coastline is necessary.
    • The defence sector is expected to transform India’s economy, and orders worth over USD 100 billion are expected to be placed through the defence sector in the next 5-10 years.

    Importance of border vigilance

    • National security: India shares borders with several countries, some of which have a history of hostile relations. 
      • Constant vigilance in these areas helps to ensure national security and prevent any security threats.
    • Preventing illegal activities: Border and coastline areas are often used for illegal activities such as smuggling, human trafficking, and drug trafficking. 
      • Vigilance helps to prevent such illegal activities and ensure the safety and security of citizens.
    • Protecting sovereignty: Borders and coastline areas are the first line of defense for the country, and maintaining vigilance helps to protect India’s sovereignty.
    • Economic growth: India’s ports and coastal areas are important for economic growth and development, and vigilance helps to ensure the safety and security of these areas.
    • Disaster management: Natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis can cause widespread damage and loss of life in coastal areas. 
      • Vigilance helps to ensure timely evacuation and disaster management in such situations.

    Challenges of border vigilance:

    • Geographic barriers: The northern and western borders of India are characterized by difficult terrain such as mountains, deserts, and forests, which makes it challenging to maintain constant vigilance.
    • Infiltration attempts: The borders are porous, making them vulnerable to infiltration attempts by terrorists, smugglers, and other illegal activities.
    • Lack of infrastructure: The lack of infrastructure in remote border areas makes it challenging to monitor and secure the borders effectively.
    • Climate and weather conditions: Harsh climate and weather conditions, such as extreme temperatures, heavy rains, and snowfall, pose challenges to border and coastline surveillance.
    • Coordination with multiple agencies: Vigilance in border and coastline areas requires coordination between multiple agencies, including the military, paramilitary forces, and local law enforcement agencies.
    • Technology and equipment: The deployment of modern technology and equipment, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, radars, and sensors, is necessary for effective border and coastline surveillance. 

    Government steps to secure Indian borders:

    • Strengthening border infrastructure: The government has allocated significant funds for the construction of roads, border outposts, and fencing along the border helping in improving the mobility of security forces and better surveillance.
    • Use of modern technology: The government has deployed modern technology such as unmanned aerial vehicles, radars, and sensors for effective surveillance along the border.
    • Strengthening border forces: The government has increased the strength of border forces such as the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and provided them with better equipment and training.
    • Smart fencing: The government is also working on the development of smart fencing along the border, which will have a network of surveillance devices to detect any intrusions.
    • Cross-border connectivity: The government is also focusing on improving cross-border connectivity through road, rail, and air networks to improve the security of the border regions.
    • Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS): CIBMS is a high-tech surveillance system that uses modern technology such as thermal imagers, underground sensors, and laser barriers to secure the border.
    • Border Area Development Programme (BADP): This scheme aims to promote the development of the border areas by providing basic infrastructure such as roads, schools, health centers, and promoting economic activities.
    • Scheme for Protection and Empowerment of Women in Border Areas (SPARSH): It aims to provide education and vocational training to women in border areas and to empower them to become self-reliant.
    • Coastal Security Scheme: It aims to enhance the surveillance capabilities of coastal states and Union Territories to prevent any threats from the sea.

    Way ahead

    • Overall, these schemes and initiatives are aimed at securing the borders of India, promoting the development of border areas, and providing assistance to the families of security personnel.
    • Overall, these steps are aimed at strengthening border security and ensuring effective vigilance along the border areas to prevent any security threats.
    • Overall, vigilance in border and coastline areas is crucial for maintaining national security, preventing illegal activities, protecting sovereignty, promoting economic growth, and ensuring effective disaster management.

     Source: TH