Career in Intelligence Services

An Intelligence officer is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. The need for contemporary versions of the master detective has been increasingly felt in modern society thanks to the spiralling crime rate especially in cities.

The intelligence services first took shape in British India in the 1860s and were primarily concerned with collection, assimilation, and analysis of information. Eventually the services grew into the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) which has since been immortalised by desi James Bonds in Hindi films.

Over the last hundred years, the face of the intelligence services in the country has changed considerably. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has emerged as the most important investigative body for serious crimes from murder to match fixing. Simultaneously, India has witnessed the growth of the private intelligence service industry comprising mainly of private investigators and security personnel

Nature of Work:
Overview of the career

The main areas of work within the intelligence services are in the following organisations:
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the country\’s leading intelligence agency. Initially the CBI was designated as a special police force. Later it was brought under the Home Ministry of the Government of India. Its jurisdiction now extends to all states and Union Territories. The CBI\’s operations are divided into two departments: Anti Corruption and Special Crimes.
Jobs in the CBI
The CBI has four officer grade posts:
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)
Superintendent of Police (SP)
Deputy Inspector General (DIG)
Inspector General (Commissioner of Police)
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)
Direct recruitment to this post is done through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination.
Superintendent of Police (SP)
Deputy Inspector General (DIG)
Inspector General (Commissioner of Police)
Indian Police Service (IPS)
 officers fill these posts on deputation or promotion. Entry to the IPS is through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination. There are a total of eight Inspector General (Commissioner of Police) posts in the country.
Other personnel in the CBI
Other personnel employed by the CBI include:
Assistant Public Prosecutor
Senior Public Prosecutor (SPP)
Sub Inspectors
Assistant Public Prosecutors and Senior Public Prosecutors
Assistant Public Prosecutors and Senior Public Prosecutors (SPPs) are recruited directly through competitive exams conducted by the state Staff Selection Commissions. Public prosecutors must possess a degree in law. For the post of Assistant Public Prosecutors, the candidate must possess a minimum of five years experience in law. For the post of Senior Public Prosecutors, the candidate must possess a minimum of 10 years experience in law.
Sub Inspectors
Sub inspectors are an important part of the CBI. This cadre is actively involved in investigation of cases in India and abroad. Appointment to the rank of Sub Inspector is through a competitive examination conducted by the central Staff Selection Commission. The exam tests candidates in English language and general knowledge. An interview and a compulsory medical examination follow the test. Graduates (upper age limit is 25 years) are eligible to appear for the examination.
Physical requirements prescribed:
Height: 5feet 6inch(minimum)
Chest: 32inch
All officers who are recruited directly are trained by the CBI at the Police Academy in Ghaziabad (UP). IPS officers are trained at Hyderabad. The CBI also runs a special training centre at Lok Nayak Bhawan, New Delhi.
Essential attributes
Jobs at the CBI are highly demanding. Essential attributes include:
Physical fitness
Mental alertness
Keen powers of observation
Eye for detail
Logical and rational thinking
Willingness to travel
Ability to adapt to long, erratic working hours
Deductive and analytical thinking
Willingness to work in remote and dangerous territories
Investigation Bureau (IB)
The Investigation Bureau (IB) is primarily concerned with the collection and analysis of information; it has no legal powers to investigate.
Jobs in the IB
Grade I and II officers work with the Investigation Bureau:
Grade I
Assistant Director
Deputy Director
Joint Director
Special Director/Special Secretary
Superior posts are usually filled from State Police Service and IPS officers.
Grade II
Security Assistant (Constable)
Junior Intelligence Officer
Assistant Central Intelligence Officer
Deputy Central Intelligence Officer
Assistant Director
There is direct recruitment for the junior posts. Deputy Central Intelligence Officers and Assistant Directors may be appointed through deputation or by direct recruitment.
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
RAW began as an integral part of the Investigation Bureau (IB). However it later emerged as a separate organisation. As thnomenclature implies, RAW is concerned only with research and analysis of intelligence information RAW comprises of two main sections:
The internal intelligence section
The counter intelligence section.
The two divisions of RAW have a strong information network that helps in acquiring sensitive information about crime and counter intelligence from all parts of the country. RAW also works towards offsetting the intelligence offensives of other countries against India. The information collected by RAW is used by several investigating organisations in the country such as the CBI. It also aids important ministries with information such as the Ministry of Defence.
Jobs in RAW
The following personnel are employed by RAW:
Attaché (Undersecretary)
Deputy Field Officer
Field Officers
Senior Field Officers
Appointments are through deputations, promotions as well as direct recruitment.
Other personnel working in RAW include:
Specialists in technical and scientific fields
Foreign language specialists
Essential attributes
Officers in IB and RAW are mainly involved in the collection and interpretation of information. Hence, the following personal attributes are essential:
Sharp, analytical mind
Logical reasoning
Team player
High levels of concentration
Keen eye for details
Inquisitive mind
Private Detective Agencies
Private detective agencies work outside the framework of government departments or organisations.
Jobs in private detective agencies
Private detectives handle commercial, industrial and domestic cases. They may be involved in cases concerning family disputes, industrial espionage, fraud and theft. Increasingly, private detectives are entering the lucrative security business. They provide security cover to VIPs, residences and commercial establishments.
The job of the private detective begins with thorough background analysis of the case. Detectives are involved in collecting relevant information, analysing them and documenting the findings. They may work in association with forensic experts, pathologists, criminologists and handwriting specialists.
Private investigators charge on a daily basis. Depending up on the nature of the case and the size of the detective organisation involved, they may charge between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 5000 per day.
Training in this field is offered through private agencies run by retired CBI, Army intelligence and police officers.
Essential attributes
Private investigators must possess the following personal attributes:
Eye for detail
Inquisitive mind
Persevering bent of mind
Prior experience in intelligence work
Physical fitness and stamina

Education and training
Courses in related fields:
Courses available:
Five year B.A LL.B (Hons)
Eligibility: 10+2 with any stream
Duration: 5 years
Eligibility: Graduates from any stream
Duration: 3 years
Eligibility: Graduation in law
Duration: 2 years
Criminology, criminal administration and forensic Science
Courses available:
Diploma in criminology and criminal administration
Diploma in criminology
Forensic science
M.Sc (criminology)
Diploma in legal science and criminology
Criminal and correctional administration
Eligibility: Law graduates and postgraduates in social sciences and social work are eligible.
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