Difference Between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The significant difference between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency is that Intelligence Agency does not have the power to arrest, whereas the Investigation Agency has the power to arrest. The primary responsibility of the country’s government is to protect the nation. Every country invests significantly in developing intelligence agencies that improve the country’s security system.

Difference Between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency PDF

The CIA of the United States, the KGB of Russia, the ISI of Pakistan, and the IB, NIA, and RAW of India are well-known agencies responsible for the country’s security. In this article we will explore the detailed differences between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency based on various factors.

Difference Between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency

The key difference between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency is that the mandate to investigate offences is not given to IB but to Investigation Agency. Both agencies play a big role in safeguarding the nation. The following table focuses on the comparison between the two agencies.

Intelligence Agency vs Investigation Agency

Difference Between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency

Type of Agency

Intelligence Agency

Investigation Agency


Intelligence Bureau (IB)

Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

National Investigation Agency (NIA)


Gather intelligence

Research and analysis of intel


Terrorist infiltration

VIP security

Carry out arrests and interrogations

Can investigate any occurrence that is classified as a crime under Indian Law

Power to Arrest

Cannot arrest or interrogate

Can carry out arrests


Provide intel for other agencies

Keep an eye on suspicious activities and people

It obtains intelligence from humans, electronic devices, and covert informers.

Government corruption

Financial frauds

Murders or homicides

Terrorism (NIA solely works on anti-terrorism-related probes)

Ways of working

Intelligence agencies use overt and covert means to work on operations.

Do not work covertly


Mostly classified

Not classified

Intelligence and Investigation Agencies of India

Intelligence and investigation agencies both are important for a nation. Nations develop intelligence and investigation agencies to protect themselves from internal and external threats.

There is a stark Difference Between Intelligence Agency and Investigation Agency. Intelligence agencies collect intel or information while the investigation agencies take action on the information.

What is Intelligence Agency?

The Intelligence Bureau can be traced back to British rule in India. After the first war of independence in 1857, the intelligence group was formed to keep an eye on developments of revolt among the soldiers.

  • It was established in 1887 as the Central Special Branch following independence.
  • RAW was established in 1968 as an external research and intelligence agency.
  • Some of the important intelligence agencies include the Intelligence Bureau (IB), National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Investigation Agency

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are the investigation agencies. Investigation agencies like the CBI are responsible for investigating crimes and arresting people involved in unlawful activities.

The different branches of CBI include the Anti-Corruption Division, Special Crimes Division, Directorate of Prosecution, Economic Offences Division, Policy and Coordination Division, Administration Division, and Central Forensic Science Laboratory.

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