List of Indian intelligence agencies

India Research and Analysis Wing Intelligence Bureau (India)

India has a number of intelligence agencies of which the best known are the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency and the Intelligence Bureau, the domestic intelligence agency.

All India Radio Monitoring Service

All India Radio Monitoring Service (AIRMS) is the central monitoring service that monitors broadcasts in India as well as from all foreign broadcasts of Interest to India.[1][2] AIRMS is located in Simla.[3] It works in liaison with RAW and Military intelligence.[2]

Aviation Research Centre

Cameras of MiG-25RB for aerial surveillance

The Aviation Research Centre (ARC) is a part of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) of the Cabinet Secretariat (Special Requirements) India. The first head of the ARC was R. N. Kao, the founding chief of R&AW. Over the years the ARC has grown into a large operation and flies a large and varied fleet.

Aerial surveillance, SIGINT operations, photo reconnaissance flights (PHOTINT),[4] monitoring of borders, imagery intelligence (IMINT)[5] are the main functions of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC). The aircraft are fitted with state-of-the-art electronic surveillance equipment and long range cameras capable of taking pictures of targets from very high altitudes. ARC also takes the responsibility along with the IAF to transport Special Frontier Force (SFF) commandos from their trans-location at Sarsawa, 250  km north of New Delhi, though the SFF's own base is in Chakrata in Uttarakhand (UK) state.

Central Bureau of Investigation

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating agency of India.[6] It functions as a national investigating and security organization as well as an intelligence agency,[7] and acts as India's liaison to Interpol.[8] Operating under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the CBI is headed by the Director who is an Indian Police Service officer of Director General Rank, CBI, who reports directly to the Prime Minister. The agency has been known to investigate several economic crimes, special crimes, cases of corruption and other high-profile cases.[6] The CBI headquarters are located in New Delhi.

Central Economic Intelligence Bureau

Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (India)

Criminal Investigation Department (India)

Each state has own CID department reporting to the Home Minister.

Directorate of Enforcement

The Enforcement Directorate is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India. It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.[9]

Department of Criminal Intelligence

Directorate of Air Intelligence

Directorate of Military Intelligence

Directorate of Naval Intelligence

Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation

The Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation is the law enforcement agency under the Ministry of Finance responsible for investigating violations of India's tax laws, including fraud, evasion and money laundering. It is tasked to,

  1. To collect intelligence and information regarding aspects of the black economy which require close watch and investigation. Also, keeping in view the scene of economic offences, the Bureau is required to collect information and provide periodical and special reports to the concerned authorities;
  2. To keep a watch on different aspects of economic offences and the emergence of new types of such offences. The Bureau was made responsible for evolving counter -measures required for effectively dealing with existing and new types of economic offences;
  3. To act as the nodal agency for cooperation and coordination at the international level with other customs, drugs, law enforcement and other agencies in the area of economic offences.
  4. To implementation of the COFEPOSA (i.e. Conservation of Foreign Exchange & Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1971 which provides for preventive detention of persons involved in smuggling and foreign exchange rackets under certain specified circumstances)
  5. To act as a Secretariat of the Economic Intelligence Council which acts as the apex body to ensure full co-ordination among the various Agencies including Central Bureau of Investigation, Reserve Bank of India, Intelligence Bureau etc.
  6. Head the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department at the Regional Level;
  7. Collection of intelligence pertaining to evasion of Direct Taxes;
  8. Organizing search action to unearth black money- from time to time;
  9. Dissemination of information and intelligence collected- by passing on the same to the concerned authorities including assessing authorities;
  10. Keep liaison and hold meetings with other organisations in the region to ensure co-ordination and smooth flow of information;
  11. Take appropriate steps to ensure that information and other persons having information about tax evaders come forward with the same to the Department. Disbursement of rewards would be one of the measures.

Defence Intelligence Agency

This agency was established on 5 March 2002 with the appointment of Lt. General Kamal Davar as the first Director General (DG). The DG reports to the Chief of Defence Staffs (CDS). It is supposed to be the nodal agency for all defence-related intelligence, thus distinguishing it from the RAW. Much of the agency's budget and operations are classified.

DIA has control of MoD's prized technical intelligence assets – the Directorate of Signals Intelligence and the Defence Image Processing and Analysis Centre (DIPAC). While the Signals Directorate is responsible for acquiring and decrypting enemy communications, the DIPAC controls India's satellite-based image acquisition capabilities. The DIA also controls the Defence Information Warfare Agency (DIWA) which handles all elements of the information warfare repertoire, including psychological operations, cyber-war, electronic intercepts and the monitoring of sound waves.

Directorate of Income Tax (Intelligence and Criminal Investigation)

This is the Income Tax's intelligence arm. It is India's official FATF unit. The Directorate of Intelligence is an allied and compact investigative setup. The DGIT (Intelligence) reports directly to the Member (Investigation), Central Board of Direct Taxes. The office will be attached to the office of the Board. The Directorate is required to take up intensive investigation of selected cases / class of cases and develop them for further action / specialized operation; study and analyze emerging trends in tax evasion, new modus operandi etc.; create an economic offence database; develop a profiling system etc. both in traditional and non-traditional fields. The Directorate liaise/interact with other intelligence/investigating agencies such as FIU, NCB, ED, DRI, DGCEI, SFO, CEIB etc. The Directorate has access to all the information received by the Department viz. AIR, TDS, BCTT, STT, CIB, AST etc. Departmental national net work, Departmental records etc.

The DGIT and his directorate are located at Delhi. They have an all India jurisdiction and are assigned concurrent powers with the other DG’sIT (Inv.).Criminal Investigation (CI) investigates potential criminal violations of the Direct Tax Code and related financial crimes in a manner intended to foster confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law. While other federal agencies also have investigative jurisdiction for money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations, the Income Tax Department is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Direct Tax Code. Criminal Investigation must investigate and assist in the prosecution of those significant financial investigations that will generate the maximum deterrent effect, enhance voluntary compliance, and promote public confidence in the tax system.

Special agents and agents (ITO and Inspector rank) are allowed to carry firearms when they are posted in the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in the IT department. The Finance Ministry has recently notified bringing under one umbrella the intelligence and criminal investigation units of the Income Tax department to effectively deal with terror financing cases and transactions that pose a threat to national security. The department will now recruit special agents and agents (criminal investigation) under the new wing, half of whom would be recruited or brought on deputation from premier investigative agencies and police organisations of the country.

The special agents who will form part of the premier DCI would be able to carry firearms under the rules prescribed by their parent organisation and would be able to tackle any intimidation in course of their new duty of checking and gathering intelligence on tax evasion.

The DCI is headed by the Director General of Intelligence (Income Tax) and was notified in May this year to tackle the menace of black money with cross-border ramifications.[10] Commissioners of the Intelligence directorate of Income Tax are posted in cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow will also take up criminal investigation work under the DCI.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

Functions with the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.[11] Its charter includes the functions of collection of intelligence about smuggling of contraband goods, narcotics, under-invoicing etc. through sources of India and abroad and to coordinate, direct and control anti-smuggling operations.[12]

Economic Intelligence Council

Indian Political Intelligence Office

Intelligence Bureau

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India's internal intelligence agency and reputedly the world's oldest intelligence agency.[13]

Investigation Division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes

Joint Cipher Bureau

The Joint Cipher Bureau works closely with the IB and RAW. It is responsible for cryptanalysis and encryption of sensitive data.[citation needed] The inter-services Joint Cipher Bureau has primary responsibility for cryptology and SIGINT, providing coordination and direction to the other military service organizations with a similar mission. Most current equipment providing tactical intelligence is of Russian origin, including specialized direction finding and monitoring equipment.

The Joint Cipher Bureau is also responsible for issues relating to public and private key management. Cryptographic products are export-controlled licensed items, and licenses to India are not generally available for products of key length of more than 56 bits.[citation needed] The domestic Indian computer industry primarily produces PCs, and PC-compatible cryptographic products have been developed and are being used commercially. More robust encryption systems are not commercially produced in India, and progress in this field has been slow due to the general unavailability of technology and know-how. Customised cryptographic products have been designed and produced by organizations in the defence sector are engaged in the implementation of cryptographic techniques, protocols and the products.

Narcotics Control Bureau

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the chief law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances.[14][15]

National Investigation Agency

National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India. It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is empowered to deal with terror-related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.

National Technical Research Organisation

The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)[16] is a technical intelligence agency under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister's Office, India.[17] It was set up in 2004.[18] It also includes National Institute of Cryptology Research and Development (NICRD), which is first of its kind in Asia.[19]

Radio Research Centre

Regional Economic Intelligence Committee

Research and Analysis Wing

Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India, that solely deals with collection data for the judicial courts.

Serious Fraud Investigation Office

Signals Intelligence Directorate

The Signals Intelligence Directorate is a joint service organisation, manned by personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force. It has a large number of WEUs (Wireless Experimental Units) that carry out the task of monitoring military links of other countries.

The Central Monitoring Organisation (CMO) is directly under the Ministry of Defence. It has several monitoring companies, located at different locations around the country. Task is to monitor the use of radio spectrum by all users, such as Defence, Police, AIR, Railways, PSUs etc.

Thuggee Dacoity Department

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

See also


  1. ^ Sandeep Balakrishna. "Intel agencies: Fact & Fiction". Niti Central. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b India foreign policy & government guide (Updated repr. ed.). Washington, DC: International Business Publications, USA. 2003. pp. 100–102. ISBN 0739782983.
  3. ^ Ball, Desmond (1996). Signals intelligence (SIGINT) in South Asia : India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Canberra, Australia: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. p. 27. ISBN 0731524837.
  4. ^ NSNL 52 - Intelligence profile : India
  5. ^ "CIAO".
  6. ^ a b "Central Bureau of Investigation".
  7. ^ "CBI arrests its own inspector, names another in YEIDA case". Hindustan Times. 3 February 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Interpol to hold general assembly in India in 2022". The Economic Times. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Enforcement Directorate , New Delhi". Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  10. ^ Tax evasion cases: I-T 'special agents' to carry arms
  11. ^ Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Archived 1 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Charter of the Organization Archived 20 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Intelligence Bureau (IB) - India Intelligence Agencies". 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Narcotics Control Bureau". National Informatics Center. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  15. ^ "Narcotics Control Bureau - Ministry of Finance" (PDF). National Informatics Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2009. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ "National Technical Research Organisation".
  17. ^ Special Correspondent (6 May 2007). "Technical research agency planned in State". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  18. ^ Sandeep Unnithan (7 September 2007). "Spy versus spy". India Today. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  19. ^ Syed Amin (5 May 2007). "Top tech body to come up in Hyderabad". Retrieved 26 December 2008.