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Internal Security is one of the most interesting topic during mains preparations. It is also a topic where one can get assured marks easi...

Internal Security


Internal Security is one of the most interesting topic during mains preparations. It is also a topic where one can get assured marks easily with relatively little effort. Around 3–4 questions worth around 40 marks is asked in GS 3 every year. Moreover, its useful for other GS Papers as well. In mains 2018 an essay worth 125 marks was asked from here (Management of Indian Border Disputes- a complex task). Therefore, a holistic preparation of this part of the syllabus is crucial for success in the exam.

UPSC Syllabus includes the following-

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


  • Generally, sources like monthly current affairs booklets by Coachings, test series questions, and model answers are helpful to get the content. Selective reading of newspaper articles on topics like Naxalism, the role of media in security, etc., & IDSA articles can also be done.

PYQ
A few questions that were asked in the UPSC mains from this topic are given below:
2013
  • Article 244 of the Indian Constitution relates to the Administration of Scheduled areas and tribal areas. Analyze the impact of non-implementation of the provisions of the fifth schedule on the growth of Left Wing Extremism.
2015
  • The persisting drives of the government for development of large industries in backward areas have resulted in isolating the tribal population and the farmers who face multiple displacements with Malkangiri and Naxalbari foci, discuss the corrective strategies needed to win the left-wing extremism (LWE) doctrine affected citizens back into the mainstream of social and economic growth.
2017
  • The north-eastern region of India has been infested with insurgency for a very long time. Analyze the major reasons for the survival of armed insurgency in this region.
2018
  • Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still affects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE.
Cybersecurity, social media and internal security challenges, money-laundering
  • This is a very relevant topic for the times. Many terrorists claim to have been influenced by social media sites and social media preachers for their terrorist acts.
  • With easy accessibility and a wide reach, social media is proving to be a challenge in tackling crimes of all nature.
  • Mob violence is also fuelled by social media messages that take no time to go viral.
A few UPSC questions are given for reference.
2013
  • Money laundering poses a serious threat to country’s economic sovereignty. What is its significance for India and what steps are required to be taken to control this menace?
  • What is digital signature? What does its authentication mean? Give various salient built in features of a digital signature.
  • What are social networking site and what security implications do these sites present?
  • Cyber warfare is considered by some defense analysts to be a larger threat than even Al Qaeda or terrorism. What do you understand by Cyber warfare? Outline the cyber threats which India is vulnerable to and bring out the state of the country’s preparedness to deal with the same.
2015
  • Religious indoctrination via digital media has resulted in Indian youth joining the ISIS. What is ISIS and its mission? How can ISIS be dangerous for the internal security of our country?
  • Considering the threats cyberspace poses for the country, India needs a “Digital Armed Force” to prevent crimes. Critically evaluate the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 outlining the challenges perceived in its effective implementation.
  • Discuss the advantage and security implications of cloud hosting of server vis-a-vis in-house machine-based hosting for government businesses.
2016
  • Use of Internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major concern. How have these have misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat.
2017
  • Discuss the potential threats of Cyber attack and the security framework to prevent it.
2018
  • India’s proximity to two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What counter-measures should be taken to prevent the same?
  • Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cyber crimes. The Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weakness sof the Report relating to protection of personal data in cyber space?
Terrorism
  • Very important topic and dynamic too.
  • The newspapers are the most important sources for material. IDSA website is also a good source.
  • Management of border areas, linkages between organised crime such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, human trafficking and their links with terrorism are to be studied.
UPSC questions on this topic from the past year papers are given below.
2013
  • How far are India’s internal security challenges linked with border management, particularly in view of the long porous borders with most countries of South Asia and Myanmar?
2014
  • China and Pakistan have entered into an agreement for development of an economic corridor. What thread does it dispose for India’s security? Critically examine.
  • In 2012, the longitudinal marking of the high-risk areas for piracy was moved from 65° East to 78° east in the Arabian Sea by International Maritime organisation. What impact does this have on India’s maritime security concerns?
  • How illegal transborder migration does pose a threat to India’s security? Discuss the strategies to curb this, bring out the factors which give impetus to such migration.
  • The diverse nature of India as a multireligious and multi-ethnic society is not immune to the impact of radicalism which has been in her neighbourhood. Discuss along with the strategies to be adopted to counter this environment.
  • International civil aviation laws provide all countries complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above the territory. What do you understand by airspace? What are the implications of these laws on the space above this airspace? Discuss the challenges which this poses and suggests ways to contain the threat.
2015
  • Human rights activists constantly highlight the view that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian act leading to cases of human rights abuses by the security forces. What sections of AFSPA are opposed by the activists? Critically evaluate the requirement with reference to the view held by the Apex Court.
2016
  • Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management.
  • The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions.
  • “Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement.
2018
  • The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same.
Security Forces and Their Mandate
  • External and internal security forces such as the military forces (army, navy, air force), CAPF, IPS, intelligence agencies such as IB, RAW, etc.
  • You can refer to the official websites of these agencies for authentic information. Check out this link which gives precise information on them for a quick reference.

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