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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 04 February, 2021

  • 12 Min Read

Border Security: ‘Smart walls’ for Indian borders

Border Security: ‘Smart walls’ for Indian borders

  • United States President Joe Biden stopped the construction of the much-publicised “border wall” between the U.S. and Mexico as part of a series of executive actions, in a development that was long-awaited.
  • It was confirmed, however, that an alternative has been offered — a ‘smart’ wall that replaces the physical and armed patrolling with advanced surveillance tech is the proposed future of border security now.
  • The ‘smart wall’ technology could solve border security issues without the need for a physical barrier.
  • The wall would use sensors, radars, and surveillance technology to detect and track border break-ins, and technology capable of performing the most difficult tasks dedicated to border security.

USA-Mexico border concept

  • The concept is not new and the novelty of it cannot be directly associated with Mr. Biden. Interestingly, the U.S.-Mexico border wall proposed by Donald Trump envisaged this concept.
  • A technology firm was sought to be hired by the Trump administration, and it was indicated that artificial intelligence shall be used at a novel scale to complement the steel barrier (border wall) project of Mr. Trump.
  • It was stated that hundreds of mobile surveillance towers would be deployed, and along with them, the complete system of a virtual wall would consist of a radar satellite, computer-equipped border-control vehicles, control sensors and underground sensors.
  • Along with surveillance towers and cameras, thermal imaging would be used, which would help in the detection of objects.
  • The system would even be capable of distinguishing between animals, humans, and vehicles, and then sending updates to handheld mobile devices of the U.S. patrol agents.

Why should India use “smart walls” for Indian borders?

  • India has been struggling with the problem of terrorists and smugglers infiltrating into the country and efforts are ongoing to secure our borders and curb cross-border infiltration.
  • Therefore, it is proposed that it is high time we start envisaging the use of technology to help India secure its borders.
  • A critical factor that must be considered to enable the usage of such a system along Indian borders is that the terrain in the region is rugged, and, furthermore, not even clearly defined.
  • Hence, erecting fences, walls or any physical structures is extremely difficult.
  • A “smart” wall, however, makes use of systems that would be designed in such a way that they can operate even in rugged areas.
  • Imperatively, in the U.S., various other benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, less damage to the environment, fewer land seizures, and speedier deployment are being noted that give the “smart wall” concept an edge over traditional physical borders.
  • Notably, such a system, even if not feasible for our long boundaries, may still be deployed to enhance critical security establishments of the country and complement the already-existing physical fencing and walls.
  • The attack on the Pathankot Air Force base highlighted that often, it may become difficult to secure establishments due to their vast size.
  • Further, it is imperative for Indian armed forces to be well-equipped and simultaneously have the latest technological advantage over its enemies.

BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique)

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has setup the project BOLD-QIT under CIBMS (Comprehensive Integrated Border Management system) on India-Bangladesh border.
  • CIBMS is a robust and integrated system for border security by seamlessly integrating human resources, weapons, and high-tech surveillance equipment.

It has 3 main components:

  1. New high-tech surveillance devices such as sensors, detectors, cameras, etc. as well as existing equipment for round-the-clock surveillance of the international border.
  2. An efficient and dedicated communication network including fiber optic cables and satellite communication for transmitting data gathered;
  3. A command and control centre to which the data will be transmitted providing a composite picture of the international border.

Way Forward

  • Experts must explore this idea to effectively counter the problem of cross-border infiltration.
  • Is it unfathomable to deploy a security system that clubs technology with traditional set-ups due to terrain and other problematic factors?
  • This is a question for Digital India to answer.

Source: TH


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