Social Scientist. v 2, no. 21 (April 1974) p. 59.

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Intelligence Work Through Collaborative Research in India


COLLECTION of sensitive information, both inside and outside the country, by nation states has now come to be accepted as one major governmental sovereign function. Their scale of operation and managerial aspects depend largely on the nature of influence a country wants to exercise over its own citizens and, of course, those living in other countries. Big and powerful countries want this to be done on a bigger scale not only because they can afford it but also because of the fact that they want to retain their power and influence where it exists and extend it to areas where it does not. Elaborate institutional networks exist for doing this kind of operations.

Whereas it is easier to obtain sensitive information about the citizens of the same country, it is difficult to do so with regard to the foreign countries and foreign nationals. Doing espionage and intelligence work too openly in a foreign country is always fraught with serious consequences and, as such, most nations have used 'under cover' methods to continue this work. Common channels used are diplomatic and trade missions of the country interested in collecting information, its journalists based in other countries, its elites collaborating with others in different fields taking help of their men in host countries.

This, paper discusses firstly, in general terms, how intelligence system operates vis-a-vis our elite research and academic institutions and secondly, illustrates it by giving a case study of one of our apex institutions in the stranglehold of this mechanism. In the final section, the consequences of such exercises for the country are examined. I

The elite and elite institutions have a privileged position in all the societies in as much as their opinions are respected by the government and the people. In most cases the elitist diagnosis is asked for by governmental and non-governmental agencies and their prescriptions stand a chance of being considered if not accepted in toto. The elites, engaged as they are in developing, enlarging and maximizing the human resources, are, therefore,

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