Analyse the multidimensional challenges posed by external state and non-state actors, to the internal security of India. Also discuss measures required to be taken to combat these threats. UPSC 2021, 15 Marks

Q19. भारत की आन्तरिक सुरक्षा के लिए बाह्य राज्य और गैरराज्य कारकों द्वारा प्रस्तुत बहुआयामी चुनौतियों का विश्लेषण कीजिए  इन संकटों का मुकाबला करने के लिए आवश्यक उपायों की भी चर्चा कीजिए  (250 शब्दों में उत्तर दीजिए)
Q19. Analyse the multidimensional challenges posed by external state and non-state actors, to the internal security of India. Also discuss measures required to be taken to combat these threats. (Answer in 250 words) 15


India very nature of association with the world makes it closely precarious whether its history, geography or its changing position in the present world order. It has been facing challenges on the front of internal security since independence from various state and non-state actors.

The External State actors refer to those groups which have formal backing of a sovereign state for carrying out any intended action that goes against the interest of the ensuing state. While on the other hand the Non state actors have a considerable power that  influences the international events and they lack a formal state backing.

         How do External State actors are responsible for posing a challenge to internal security:

  • Countries surrounding India are indeed exploiting the volatile situation through a turmoil in the northeast and the other bordering regions to use it against the interests of these regions. They do so by providing them with a political backing, economic assistance, logistic support, military training or arms supplies. 
  • These actors provide support to the various insurgent groups and add fuel to fire in an already volatile situation. Be it the Naxalites, or separatist groups through funding, training or logistics.
  • They also indulge in carrying out cyber warfare through hacking and other espionage.

How do Non state actors creates problems of security for India:

    • Insurgency North-East suffers from violent movements and clashes based upon ethnic identities. China is alleged to support such acts for instance. 
  • Terrorism Pakistan is an exporter of terrorism to India. Non-state actors like terrorist groups for instance Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad are a continuous threat.
  • Non state actor -sponsored terrorism, motivated by fundamentalist ideologies, backed by secretive financial networks, use of IT, clandestine access to chemical-biological and nuclear materials, and illicit drug trafficking, has emerged as a threat to international stability. They largely aim at destabilising the country. Done through sporadic terrorist strikes, that spreads terror and panic. And adversely affects the ability of the Indian state to pursue economic modernisation.
  • Naxalism the Left wing extremism badly affects states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Drug trafficking and Human-trafficking  Inter and Intra state trafficking takes place, through golden crescent and golden triangle routes.
  • Excessive usage of the Counterfeit currency that corrodes the economy from inside, it facilitates black money and money laundering activities demands for fake currency, thereby creating a positive feedback loop. 
  • Communalism Propagandas are run and funded by the minds of the enemy country and other non-state actors (NGOs and CSOs) to destabilize India by damaging the socio-religious fabric.
  • Cross Border Cyber attacks meted against the critical infrastructure of the state. 

Strategies to curb the challenge posed on our security 

  • India must develop indigenous counter radicalisation programme to disseminate a political and a liberal counter narrative.
  • Specialised task force, research wings and think tanks be formed.
  • Civic society must play a critical role in combating threat that affects the multitude of the population. 
  • Educational achievement, awareness campaigns and interfaith discussions must be carried upon. 
  • India must be vary of cyber indoctrination 
  • There must be a strong law and order apparatus to resist threat in the first place. 
  • Avoid radicalisation along religious and ethnic lines. 
  • Reducing illegal trade of the narcotics and smuggling through a strong law enforcement been put at a place.
  • Economic growth in order to minimise the regional disparities.
  • Enhancing the technical surveillance.
  • Enhancing the intelligence gathering infrastructure.
  • Increasing operational efficiency and better border management. 


Both state and non-state factors from outside have created problems in our internal security framework. It is very essential  to guard our borders and strengthen our diplomacy. And also we must make sure that the socio cultural ethos be revitalised and adequate and effective breathing spaces be provided so that the security of the state both internal and the external sphere is well guarded.

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