The Centre for Security Analysis is an independent non-profit organisation. It was formally launched in Chennai, India, on 7 August 2002 as an autonomous centre for research on security issues. The occasion was marked by a glittering function at Taj Coromandel, Chennai. His Excellency Mr. P.S. Ramamohan Rao, Governor of Tamil Nadu, graced the occasion and inaugurated the function. Mr. J.N. Dixit, former Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, delivered the keynote address. Mr. Gowher Rizvi, representative of the Ford Foundation in India, Father S. Ignacimuthu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Madras, Mr. N. Ravi, Editor of The Hindu were the other dignitaries who were present on the occasion.
The Centre is launched with the objective of promoting scholarship and debate on the entire spectrum of security issues, inclusive of both the traditional and non-traditional security. It hopes to fill the void in peninsular India on security analysis and research by providing a platform for both the expert and the laity to discuss, debate and dissect issues of importance to security. The Centre will endeavour to generate a peninsular perspective to national, regional and international issues.
Lt. Gen. (Retd) V.R. Raghavan, Founder President of the Centre, delivered the introductory speech. In his speech he stressed on the growing importance of human security such as economic, societal, political and environmental security. He said that instead of viewing the traditional military dimensions of security as separate from the needs of human security, there is a need to view them in inclusive terms; and the concept of comprehensive security offers that inclusive and constructive approach to security analysis and planning. He also underscored the need for an independent and autonomous institutional base for security analysis in India, more so in regions outside the capital. He added that, keeping in view the above need, the Centre with its base in Chennai would foster security research and analysis in the region.
His Excellency, Mr. P.S. Ramamohan Rao, Governor of Tamil Nadu, India, in his inaugural address, deliberated upon "Some Dimensions of Internal Security". He said that there were many strands to the security fabric - external security and internal security. He pointed out that threats to security from within have become more serious and more burdensome in terms of economic costs, human life and long-term effects on the country's progress. He listed a few of them in the course of his lecture, viz., demographic changes through illegal migration, water disputes, absence of a common and shared appreciation of problems as in the case of naxalite violence in Andhra Pradesh, and uneven economic development. He also touched upon issues of centre-state relations, alienation of religious and linguistic minorities, narcotic trade, growth of mafias, vote bank politics, and lack of basic needs such as water, power and sanitation as aspects of internal security.
Mr. J.N. Dixit, Former Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, in his keynote address, spoke on "Emerging Perspectives on Security: An India Centric Prognosis". He began his lecture by taking note of certain macro-level physical developments and attitudinal changes in the last decade and a half: growing influence of non-state actors in international politics, global shrinkage brought about by the information revolution, incremental erosion of the phenomenon of state sovereignty, end of ideological and politico-military confrontation with the end of Cold War, emergence of a new multilateralism, where the UN and its agencies play a secondary role to multilateral economic and security arrangements, linking of issues of human rights, good governance and management of environment to security issues, and concern about countering terrorism. He said that ensuring security transcends strategic and military factors, and involves political, economic, social, technological and environmental factors and inputs. In this context, he listed India's security concerns.
The external threats posed by Pakistan and China and internal demands for secession in Jammu and Kashmir and the North Eastern provinces are continuing concerns. Further, barring Bhutan and Maldives, India's relations with its neighbours have remained problematic for one reason or another. Foreign military bases and foreign military presence in India's neighbourhood have been a matter of apprehension to India. According to him, India's prime security concern is to cope with a more complex and competitive international situation. In the changed scenario, Indian security concerns and objectives in the coming years would be: to structure suitable equations with the emerging centres of influence and power in the world (Europe, China, ASEAN region and Japan), to ward off externally supported political movements and insurgencies, to manage the continuing adversarial shift in Indo-Pak relations, to establish a stable and friendly working relationships with the neighbours, to ensure access to sophisticated technologies of all categories to meet India's economic and defence requirements, to establish relations with Islamic countries thereby offsetting Pak strategies, to strengthen the UN, to gain admittance to newly emerging regional and sub-regional economic and security arrangements, to oppose all forms of religious and ideological extremism, and to pay particular attention to countering domestic centrifugal trends. He proceeded further to delineate the US framework for international security. He also mentioned about the internal challenges to India's security. In conclusion, he argued that India's response to these challenges has been over-submissive and devoid of calibration and careful calculations. He concluded that the present policies and processes seem to be devoid of any deep understanding of Indian predicaments or its future.