The R&AW, which is a wing of the Cabinet Secretariat, reports to the Prime Minister and its chief known as Secretary (R) has the right of privileged access to the prime minister.
The Intelligence Bureau, which is a wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs, reports to the Home Minister, but its chief too, known as the Director, IB, has the same right of privileged access to the prime minister as Secretary (R). We should not change the present channels of command.
However, India is one of the very few democratic countries, where there is no independent monitoring of the working and performance of the intelligence agencies by Parliament. Independent monitoring by a parliamentary oversights committee will improve efficiency and performance and prevent misuse of the agencies by the Executive for partisan political purposes. Since 1989, the question of having an independent parliamentary oversights committee has been under consideration from time to time on the pattern of the oversight committees in the US and the UK.
The idea has remained a non-starter not because of any opposition from the agencies, but because of the reluctance of all political parties to dilute their control over the agencies by sharing the responsibility of the Executive with Parliament. It is important for the public to exercise pressure on the government to implement this idea at least now.