What role is being played by Satellites in India's border management currently? Elucidate.
India has a huge territorial and coastal boundary and the real challenge is the management and monitoring of such a vast area. Difficult terrain and geographical features make the monitoring more complicated. Technology in general and space technology in particular play a prominent role in border security. Defence forces already use space technology for monitoring, on the other hand, border forces depend on intelligence from central agencies like IB, RAW. Due to lack of coordination among various agencies, the intelligence sharing is very poor. In order to provide real time information to border security forces, Government is planning to provide a dedicated satellite bandwidth to BSF, ITBP and SSB for better border management through the sky.
Currently, The Armed forces are using 13 satellites, which are used to monitor land and maritime boundaries. Indian Navy has dedicated military satellite, Gsat-7(Rukmini) which is being used to monitor the Indian Ocean Region. Satellites help in monitoring and navigation. This enables border forces to monitor the movement of Pakistani and Chinese troops in real time, effective communication in remote areas, terrain mapping and apart from assessing the strength of cross border forces. Also, satellite technology along with ground based technology is used to monitor immigration. Also, satellites help security forces in mapping border areas and keep an eye on infiltrators.
Apart from satellites, enhancing technological capabilities of border forces through modern electronic surveillance equipment like night-vision devices, thermal imagers is necessary to keep an eye on borders.