Indian RAW Agency: Functions, Selection, Benefits

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The term RAW Stands for “ Research and Analysis Wing”, it is India’s External Intelligence Agency. It was founded in the year 1968 with a main motive to primarily counter China’s influence but as time progressed, it shifted its focus on India’s other traditional rival, Pakistan, which also has a spy agency of its own named “Inter-Services Intelligence” (ISI). ever since then, the two agencies have been engaged in covert operations against each other for decades now.

Ramwshwar Nath Kao, RAW’s first leader, led the agency till his retirement in the year 1977. He is credited for its success by many experts that contributed to RAW Agency during its initial phase. Some of the success stories include India’s Triumph over Pakistan in the 1971 war and India’s covert assistance to the African National Congress’s Anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa.

Functioning of RAW 

Since it’s a covert spy agency, not much is known as to how RAW actually functions. 

The RAW Agency started with 250 people and it has since expanded to several thousand working personnel but the staffing and posting of those personnel is not disclosed. Unlike the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or Britain’s MI6, RAW directly reports to the Prime Minister instead of the Ministry of Defence. Some of the officers of RAW are members of the Research and Analysis Service, but others also serve on deputation from other services such as the Indian Police Service and the chief of RAW is Designated Secretary (research) in the Cabinet Secretariat. Immediately after its formation, RAW had 2 priorities. In order to strengthen its capabilities, RAW worked on intelligence gathering on Pakistan and China.

RAW’s objectives have broadened over time and now include seeking the control and limitation of military hardware supply from European countries, the US and China, to Pakistan. Other objective includes monitoring the political and military developments in adjoining countries, the ones that have a direct bearing on the National security of India. 

Some experts say that RAW asserts influence on Inida’s Foreign Policy, others say that RAW has direct Access to the head of the State, to whom it provides input and analysis. 

From the very beginning, RAW had a secret Liaison relationship with Mossad, Israel’s External Intelligence Agency. The purpose of the same was to benefit from Israel’s knowledge of West Asia and North Africa and to learn from its counterterrorism techniques.

Selection Process

Various criteria are needed to be fulfilled to join RAW Agency. which is mentioned as follows:-

Requirements to Join RAW

These involve the educational qualification, age limit, and experience of the applicant. 

Educational Qualification

Candidates have to graduate from a reputed university/organisation to apply for an Intelligence Officer post. In the case of RAW Agency, candidates should have a good education from a reputed University. Along with that, learning one foreign language is necessary to become a RAW agent.


There is no official record of a RAW agent’s remuneration, but approximately it falls in the range of Rs. 80000 to Rs. 130000 per month. There are additional benefits of being a RAW agent and they are as follows:

  • The officials are paid for an extra two months each fiscal year.
  • The officials stationed abroad receive a special Dearness Payment along with a foreign service allowance.
  • The officials receive a unique security allowance. This allowance may also exceed their income.

Must Read: Best Foreign Language to Learn in 2021

Age Limit

For a job in the Bureau, the age of the applicant has to be under 56 years. And in order to become a RAW agent, 20 years of experience. 

Other Criteria

The candidate has to be a citizen of India and not have any criminal record or background and should not be a drug addict. 

How to Get into RAW Agency

To get recruited in RAW Agency, the process is tough. The candidate has to give a written examination which is then followed by an interview.  The individual has to appear for the Combine Graduate Preliminary Exam (CGPE) which is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). Then the individual has to take the “Group-A” Civil Services examination which falls under the Central Staffing Scheme. All the stages of the respective examination have to be cleared and the qualified candidates will then be allowed to write the RAW Agency test.

Also Read:- How to join RAW in India?

Benefits of working in RAW Agency

Working in RAW Agency does come with a lot of benefits and perks such as traveling to multiple locations in different countries. The salary of a RAW agent is approximately in the range of 80,000 to 1,30,000 INR per month. And every financial year they also get 2 months of extra pay. According to the assignment that has been assigned to them, they also get special security allowance and foreign service allowance. 

After retiring, the individual can apply to various state departments.  



#1. Who found RAW?

#2. Which body conducts CGPE?

#3. What is the age under which only, can the individual apply for recruitment in RAW?


We hope you have understood everything regarding the RAW agency. If you want to know more such information on civics and polity, you can visit our general knowledge page.   

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