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Bharath asked: How about a website for RAW and can we recruit more people from outside UPSC route? we got to change

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  • Rana Banerji replies: Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW)was not conceived as a Central Police Organisation. Initially, in-house slotting of IPS officers from within IB was done, partly on the basis of options and partly, by screening. The ‘old boys’ network’ played its role in who joined or who got left behind.

    Recruitment to the Research & Analysis cadre (RAS) - began in 1971. Several lateral entrants got absorbed in this service in the first flush- from 1971 to 1977 -through an elaborately framed system of written examinations followed by personality and psychological test and interviews. A second phase of direct recruitment was taken up from 1985, through examinations and interviews for the first two years directly and then, from 1987 through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This continued till 1992.

    A combination of deputation from the IPS and other Central Services as well as direct recruitment through the UPSC continues to be the method of recruitment to R&AW till date. However, this practice has suffered from the ‘tail-end syndrome’ in recent times. Only those at the bottom of the entrance lists, who get allotted to the not so popular, challenging or glamorous civil services are offered for interview and personality tests before the screening board set up for the purpose. The quality of these candidates is not always up to the mark. Many of the candidates finally selected do not join, preferring to remain with their parent services already assigned instead of opting for further training or language assignation, which follows selection to the R&AW.

    It is recommended that direct recruitment through the Union Public Service Commission, after a written examination and interviews be adopted as the method of recruitment to intelligence organizations as is now done in most advanced countries in the West. Rigorous security vetting is undertaken before final selection.

    With regards to the issue of a website - the mindset in most intelligence agencies in India is overwhelmingly security and secrecy centric. So unless there is a political decision in this regard, official websites are a far cry at present

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