India’s Defence System Class 9 Political Science Notes Maharashtra State Board
We have now understood that the primary national interest of a country includes defense from foreign aggression and internal unrest and keeping the borders safe. For this, every nation creates a defense system at the national level. India has also created such a system. In this chapter, we are going to understand its nature and study the challenges it faces.
What is National Security?
The international system is made up of sovereign nations. Even if they cooperate, sometimes there are conflicts between these sovereign nations. There are disputes between nations over boundaries or sometimes conflicts emerge between them over water sharing. Some other reasons for conflict could be: not following the terms of international treaties, constantly competing against each other, and the influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. Whenever such a conflict of interests arises between nations, it is sought to be resolved by compromises and discussions. But when such efforts are not enough to resolve the conflict, a nation may even think of war. When a nation attacks another and challenges the sovereignty of the latter, it endangers the security of the nation. Such challenges are created due to the military power of aggressive nations. In any situation, a nation’s first duty and responsibility is to keep the security systems always well-prepared and ready. This is called as National Security.
Ways to Safeguard National Security:
- National Security is closely connected with geography because national security is more likely to be endangered by geographically closer nations. A nation must assess the threat to its geographical boundaries and the source of that threat.
- To keep this threat at bay, the nation has to increase its military might. The nation has to use modern technology to predict the threat, build weapon systems and modernize and update the defense forces.
- Resolving conflict by taking recourse to war to safeguard national security brings internal peace into danger. Hence, some nations try to get the support of other nations to manage the threat to their national security.
India’s Security System:
India’s security system includes the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, the three forces that defend the country. The responsibility of protecting the geographical boundaries is on the Army, whereas the Navy protects the coastline. The Air Force is in charge of protecting India’s air space. The Ministry of Defence controls all the three forces. The Indian Army is very big. It is the world’s seventh largest. Its Chief is known as the General. The Chief of the Navy is known as the Admiral, while the Chief of the Air Force is known as Air Chief Marshall. These three chiefs are appointed by the President.
The President of India is the supreme commander of the defence forces. The defence forces cannot make any decisions about war or peace without the consent of the President, because the latter represents the civil power. In a democracy civil leadership is considered superior to military leadership. Many measures are taken so that all three defense forces in India’s security system are adequately modernized. For this, some research institutions have been set up. Many training institutes have also been set up in our country to train the personnel of all ranks of our defence forces so that they can perform their task competently. For example, the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Pune and the National Defence College (NDC) at Delhi, etc.
There are Paramilitary Forces to help the defense forces in India. They are neither completely military forces nor completely civil forces. Hence, they are called paramilitary forces. Their main task is to help the defense forces. The Border Security Force, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, and Rapid Action Force are some of the paramilitary forces. The paramilitary forces are responsible for the security of important locations like railway stations, oil depots, water reserves, etc. Similarly, they play a role in the management of disasters, whether natural or man-made. The responsibility of protecting the country’s international borders during peacetime also rests with the paramilitary forces.
The Border Security Force performs tasks like creating a sense of security in the minds of people living in areas near the border, preventing smuggling, patrolling the border, etc. The Coast Guard has been created to protect India’s oceanic borders. The Coast Guard carries out tasks like protecting the fishing occupation within Indian maritime borders, preventing smuggling along sea routes, etc. The Central Reserve Police Force helps the administration in various States to maintain law and order. The Rapid Action Force performs the task of bringing people’s lives to normalcy by moving in quickly in incidents of threat to National Security such as bomb blasts or riots. The National Cadet Corps (NCC) has been established to instill among students the love of discipline and military training. Boy and girl students from schools and colleges can join the NCC.
This organization was established in the pre-independence period. Citizens can join the Home Guard and assist in the defence of the country. Any citizen, man or woman, between the ages of 20 to 35 years can join the Home Guards. This force has the following tasks: Maintain public security, supply of milk, water, and other essential services during riots or strikes, regulate traffic, to help people at times of natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, etc.
Challenges to India’s Security:
- Right from the time of independence, Pakistan and China have tried to threaten India’s National Security. There are several disputes between India and Pakistan. For example, the Kashmir issue, disputes over river water sharing, the problem of infiltrations, disputes over the border, etc. India has continually tried to solve these issues through discussion and negotiations.
- India and China are important countries in Asia. In 1962, we had to go to war with China. As China is trying to establish its hegemony over countries that are India’s neighbours, there are tensions in Sino-Indian relations. There is also a dispute between India and China over their borders.
- India’s security is not only threatened by outside powers but also from within. It is not just the difference between external security and internal security that is important anymore. Religion, regionalism, several rebellious movements based on ideology, race-ethnicity, and economic inequality are creating instability. For example, the Naxalite movement is a threat to India’s internal security.
- Terrorism is the biggest challenge to India’s internal security. It is a global problem and India is making efforts to end terrorism.
In the post-Cold War period, the concept of national security changed and became broader. National Security is not just the security of the country but also the people living in it, because security is ultimately for the people. Hence, human security refers to human-centric thinking. In human security, it is expected that human beings should be protected from all sorts of dangers and they should be given opportunities for education, health, and development. The concept of human security also includes the idea that a conducive environment should be created for everybody to live a respectable life by overcoming illiteracy, poverty, superstition, backwardness, etc. Human security necessitates the protection of the rights of minorities and weaker sections.
Challenges to Human Security:
- The biggest challenge to human security is that of terrorism. Terrorism targets common, innocent people. It aims at creating terror or fear in their minds, so that they begin to feel insecure. Thus, to protect human security, it is necessary to put an end to terrorism.
- Pollution and other changes in the environment have threatened human life. Diseases like AIDS, chikungunia, swine flu, and ebola have presented a big challenge. Protecting human beings from such diseases is also considered as a factor of human security.
In this chapter, we have studied India’s defense system. We have also tried to understand the change in the concept of security from national security to human security.
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