Indian Intelligence Agency – Intelligence Bureau, Investigation Department

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Indian Intelligence Agency is vested with the power to look into serious national security matters, both internal and external. There are categories of intelligence agencies in India that are responsible for looking into matters of security, such as counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. The Intelligence Bureau is one such internal Indian intelligence agency that works at a domestic level & collects information and knowledge while staying in the country.

The Research & Analysis Wing, popularly called RAW, is another Indian Intelligence Agency that is external in nature & therefore works on an international level. It gathers external intelligence with respect to certain cases related to the nation’s security.

What is Indian Intelligence Agency?

As is evident from the title, an Indian Intelligence Agency is responsible for gathering top-level intelligence from various sources and ensuring national security. A specific agency will be deployed for a specific region to ensure a thorough investigation and guaranteed protection. The major reason behind setting up an Indian intelligence agency was to eradicate the issue of lack of information & expertise in such matters.

Indian Intelligence Agencies PDF

A major function of an Indian intelligence agency is also to conduct counter-terrorism tasks. Such intelligence agencies are responsible for averting any kind of threat to the country, such as terrorist attacks.

Top 10 Intelligence Agencies in India

Among several investigating agencies in India, we have listed down the top 10 intelligence agencies in India. Refer to the list of the top Intelligence Agency of India and note them down for future reference.

Indian Intelligence Agency Year of Establishment
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) 1968
Intelligence Bureau (IB) 1887
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) 1963
National Investigative Agency (NIA) 2008
National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 1986

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) 2004
Bureau of Polic Research & Investigation (BPR&D) 1970

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)

Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) 2002

CIA – Central Government Investigation Agency

There are a number of central government investigating agencies in India. All these agencies are responsible for gathering special intelligence that ensures the security and protection of the country in their respective ways. Some of the major agencies in India have been discussed below, such as-

  • Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
  • Intelligence Bureau (IB)
  • Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)
  • National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
  • National Technical Research Organization (NTRO)
  • Bureau of Police Research and Investigation (BPR&D)
  • Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)

Intelligence Agencies of India

An intelligence agency of India is an organization that is responsible for gaining intelligence from various sources for country’s protection. Such an agency is often kept secretive in its functioning & methods. RAW is one such popular and much talked about intelligence agency of India followed by several others. These agencies are supposed to avoid any kind of threat to the country.


The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is an external Indian intelligence agency which is also called the Indian Secret Agency by some people.

It was established in 1968 with the objective of countering the effect of China and Pakistan. This happened post-Sino-Indian War (1962) & India-Pakistan war (1965). RAW has been a dedicated external intelligence agency that has diversified its approach all these years. It has helped in expanding India’s influence all over the world.

  • The idea of the Research & Analysis Wing was originally by the Indira Gandhi government, which gave birth to this agency.
  • RAW is headed by the honorable Prime Minister of India and is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • Its main functions include keeping an eye on the neighboring countries and their military, political, and other developments that can prove a threat to India’s security.
  • RAW is also responsible for gathering foreign intelligence, conducting counter-terrorism & counter-intelligence tasks, safeguarding the nuclear program of India, and giving advice to Indian policymakers.
  • Its current chief is Samant Goel.
  • Rameshwar Nath Kao was the first leader who headed RAW successfully until his retirement in 1977. He has been credited with the growth of the agency to date.

Intelligence Bureau (IB)

Another remarkable and significant Indian intelligence agency is the Intelligence Bureau or IB as famously known. Before the formation of RAW, it was the Intelligence Bureau that was responsible for gathering both internal and external intelligence for the country. It was founded in 1887 by the British Indian government.

  • Presently, IB operates as an internal intelligence agency.
  • It is responsible for collecting information within the country and also conducting counter-intelligence tasks.
  • It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs & is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • The employment criteria of IB include candidates from other law enforcement agencies like the military personnel, IPS, and IRS.
  • The head of IB is the Director who directly reports to the Prime Minister and is also part of the Strategic Policy Group & the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC).

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

The CBI, or Central Bureau of Investigation, is an Indian intelligence agency that is the primary police investigation agency in India. It functions as a protector of the country’s economy. It works under the Department of Personnel and Training.

  • CBI was formed in 1963 through a resolution of the Home ministry.
  • It is also headquartered in New Delhi.
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation was initially formed with the intention of checking up on governmental corruption and the system of bribery.
  • After a short while, it was also vested with the responsibility of investigating matters related to the violation of central laws imposed by the government of India.
  • CBI is known to have investigated a number of crimes falling under various categories, such as special crimes, economic crimes & cases related to corruption.
  • CBI is interestingly not answerable to the provisions of the Right to Information Act.

National Investigative Agency (NIA)

The NIA or the National Investigative Agency of India was established in the year 2008 through the passing of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008. The major event that led to the formation of the NIA was the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The chief of NIA is IPS Kuldeep Singh.

  • Since its inception, NIA has been responsible for tackling terrorism under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • The agency does not require any special kind of permit from the state governments.
  • It looks into all the crimes related to terrorism.
  • It also looks into matters related to Indian personnel living abroad.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is responsible for providing the Indian Police with Information Technology services. It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs. As the name suggests, it is mainly concerned with keeping records of the entire information on crimes to aid the investigation and assist in forming connecting links.

  • The NCRB was established on the recommendation of the National Police Commission (1977) and the Taskforce (1985).
  • The agency was set up by an amalgamation of the Directorate of Coordination & Police Computer (DCPC), the Inter-State Criminals Data Branch & Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI.
  • The present Director of the National Crime Records Bureau is Ramphal Pawar, who is an IAS officer.

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

The NCB or Narcotics Control Bureau is concerned with the control of drug trafficking & consumption of illegal substances. It is an Indian intelligence agency that ensures proper law enforcement with respect to the unlawful usage of drugs.

  • The NCB was established in 1986 with the intention of resisting & controlling drug trafficking in the country as per the NDPS Act.
  • The agency is also responsible for providing guidance to the State with respect to the use of illegal drugs for medicinal purposes as well.
  • The NCB is headed by the Director-General, who is an IPS or IRS.
  • The agency operates via different zones that are located in different cities such as Delhi, Infore, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Jammu, Jodhpur, Chennai, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, etc.

National Technical Research Organization (NTRO)

Another important Indian intelligence agency that came into existence in 2004 was the National Technical Research Organization (NTRO). It is headquartered in New Delhi and its motto is – “ Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions”. This central government investigation agency is answerable to the Prime Minister of India & its parent agency is the Cabinet Secretariat.

  • The NTRO is a technical intelligence agency directly under the purview of the National Security Advisor in the PMO.
  • The agency has its wings spread out in various roles and directions such as gathering data, cyber security, data processing, remote sensing & many more.
  • It is responsible for tracking various threats to the country’s system.
  • The NTRO played a crucial role in the LOC strike of 2016 by providing Satellite intelligence.
  • The agency has also been infamous for having been part of various controversies.

Bureau of Police Research and Investigation (BPR&D)

This Indian intelligence agency was established in 1970. As is clear by the name, this agency was developed with the intention of taking care of the issues & requirements of the country’s police departments and to research & work toward the betterment of the police services while finding new ways of tackling challenges.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)

The DRI or Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, is an Indian intelligence agency that was established in 1957. The main reason behind its inception was to prohibit any kind of smuggling of gold, diamonds, drugs, foreign currency, etc. Shri Balesh Kumar is the current Director General of DRI.

Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)

The Defence Intelligence Agency, or the DIA, was set up in 2002 under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence. It is headquartered in New Delhi, and its motto is – “Service Before Self.” It was created with the intention of providing military intelligence to the Indian Army.

As an Indian intelligence agency, the DIA is also responsible for the coordination of the Defence Information Warfare Agency (DIWA).

TASC India: Reality of the Intelligence Agency of India

TASC refers to the Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell, which was mentioned for the first time in a popular web series. It is said to be a fictional branch created by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the anti-terrorism task force. No reality or proof supports the actual existence of the TASC.

Law Enforcement Agencies in India

Law enforcement is a necessary aspect of maintaining a balanced and just society. This objective is fulfilled by some of the law enforcement agencies in India. Have a look at all the agencies that are responsible for law enforcement in our country.

  • Directorate of Enforcement (DE).
  • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
  • Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
  • Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

These law enforcement agencies work along with the other intelligence agencies of India to achieve the higher objectives of national security & protection. Some of these agencies are –

  • National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)
  • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  • Intelligence Bureau(IB)
  • Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
  • National Technical Research Organisation
  • Defence Intelligence Agency
  • Joint Cipher Bureau
  • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
  • All India Radio Monitoring Service
  • Signals Intelligence Directorate
  • Directorate of Income Tax
  • Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation
  • National Investigation Agency
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
  • Aviation Research Centre
  • Directorate of Air Intelligence
  • Directorate of Navy Intelligence
UPSC Notes
Credit Rating Agencies in India International Energy Agency
International Atomic Energy Agency State Human Rights Commission
National Human Rights Commission Central Vigilance Commission
Delimitation Commission Central Information Commission
National Commission for Women Competition Commission of India
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