Research and Analysis Wing


    In Context

    • Recently, India’s  Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) completed 53 years in service to the nation.


    • Established in 1968, to handle the nation’s international intelligence affairs, RAW came into force after the China-India War in 1962.
    • At present, the intelligence arm operates under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office.
    • RAW provides intelligence support to various significant operations on foreign soil.
    • RAW works in cooperation with the Intelligence Bureau or other Indian intelligence agencies.


    • After the 1962 China-India war and Indo-Pakistani war in 1965, India established a separate and distinct external intelligence organization – the Research and Analysis Wing.
    • In 1968, R. N. Kao was appointed as the first director of RAW. Under his leadership, RAW provided intelligence support, which resulted in India’s successful operations including
      •  creation of Bangladesh in 1971, 
      • the defeat of Pakistan during the Kargil conflict of 1971, 
      • the accession of Sikkim in 1975,
      • and the increase of India’s support to Afghanistan.

    Working mechanism of RAW  

    • RAW collects military, economic, scientific, and political intelligence through covert and overt operations. 
    • It also monitors terrorist elements and smuggling rings that transport weapons and ammunition into India.
    • It primarily focuses on India’s neighbours. The collected inputs by RAW also help Indian officials, which are further used in national security policy and revise the foreign policy.

    Attached Bodies

    • The Aerial Reconnaissance Centre (ARC) collects high-quality overhead imagery of activities and installations in neighbouring countries.
    • Special Frontier Force:

    The inspector general of a paramilitary force of India, the Special Frontier Force reports to the director-general of security for RAW. While the force has functions independent of RAW, it is often fielded to support covert and overt RAW missions.

    Source: AIR