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BW Businessworld

Information Warfare Is Global Reality: Major General Shashi Asthana

Securing internal and national security with technology interventions has been among the best panel discussions during 2nd Secure India Conclave by BW Businessworld.

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Fortification of our borders and neighborhood through technical intervention is a new dimension of security for India. It has its own critical importance in national security as well as homeland security. BW Businessworld in its second Secure India Conclave in New Delhi on August 9 witnessed the insights on the same critical issue. 

The panel discussion named "Defence and Homeland security: Fortifying Our Borders and neighborhood through technology interventions". The panel was moderated by Manish K Jha, Associate Editor, BW Businessworld; Vikram Sahgal, IG Police, CRPF; MS Bhatia, IG Police, CRPF; Major General Shashi Asthana, SM, VSM, Chief Instructor, USI of India; RK Arora, OSD, Sardar Patel Center for Counter Terrorism, Government of Rajasthan and Ajay Jha, VP, Sales and Marketing, Lipo Data Systems. 

Manish initiated the discussion with briefing the difficult and huge border that our security agencies deal with, while it has also become a key element of for all the nations. Border security is a key challenge said he. Manish also raised the concern of poorly equipped security agency. 

Major General Asthana said that we have two hostile neighbours which we did not chose and capacity building is need of the hour. He also elaborated the difference between various border identity terms. Asthana said that our priority of surveillance is the area of interest. Adding to his remarks he applauded the shrinking gap between intelligence gathering and rising synergy between security agencies which has very much become possible due to technology interventions. Major General Asthana also informed that information warfare is the rising global pattern which includes media of all forms. 

Vikram Sahgal said that it is physically not possible to protect the entire border and there comes the importance of technology specially in the nation like India which has a huge variance in terrains both internally and on borders. Informing the audience about comprehensive integrated border management system, Sahgal explained about its expensive nature. Informing about the investment Sahgal said that it is around Rs 15, 000 crore for the pilot project for Indo Pak border security only. He said "Men behind security technology are also very important and their training also needs huge investment". Asthana had also mentioned that the recent Amarnath Yatra did have highly advance systems installed for threat recognition and neutralisation. 

MS Bhatia elaborated how the love for social media helped security agencies to track and eliminate Burhan Vani who was a noted terrorist of Jammu and Kashmir valley. Bhatia said that 'We as security agency have different and tough threats for work we are always mobile". Adding to technology interventions he said that recently we have developed a mechanism for highway patrolling as security of our agency people is also very important for us. Informing about ground-level innovations he said how CRPF people had invented deflector for the much talked about Pallet guns to target on lower parts of the body, during stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir valley. Bhatia also informed that use of Unmanned Arial Vehicles and ground-penetrating radar and detector has helped in a huge way for anti-Maoist operations. He had also focussed on the multimedia control unit for handling challenges coming from social media etc. Bhatia proudly described that "Technology is a force multiplier for security agencies". 

RK Arora said that how detecting, identifying and eliminating the threat needs technology intervention. He has also informed that though Israel is highly successful in doing the same with the use of technology but they have ideal terrain and very limited area to protect and that makes it feasible for them. He continued that the even USA finds it costly to apply similar technology for the protection of its long border with Mexico which has different terrains in it. Arora said that we are mostly dependent on imports of technology products and it is much needed for us to develop integrated customised technology. 

Ajay Jha, on the other hand, informed that they work on securing identity for employees of security agencies and it is a very critical task to avoid mala fide intentions of duplication of identity. Also, he informed that more information security is needed today with the excessive use of media and they are dealing with this phenomenon with the most effective way.