16 Non-Traditional Security Issues India Should Worry About

End of the cold war and the rise of globalization has changed the concept of national security among the nations. As a consequence ‘Non-Traditional Security Issues’ are gaining the limelight against the traditional security issues. In this article, we discuss in detail about 16 non-traditional security issues faced by India, its challenges and possible remedies.

What are non-traditional security issues?

“They are defined as challenges to the survival and well-being of peoples and states that arise primarily out of nonmilitary sources.”

– Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony (Secretary General, Consortium on Non-Traditional Security Studies in Asia).

Non-Traditional Security Issues and Non-State Actors

In general, non-traditional security threats as those threats which are emanated by the non-state actors.

These are challenges to the survival of the state and well-being of people that arise primarily out of nonmilitary sources, such as climate change, cross-border environmental degradation and resource depletion, infectious diseases.

How are non-traditional security issues different from traditional security issues?

The difference between traditional and non-traditional security threats is not so water-tight now as it appeared in the last century.

The traditional concept of security envisages the use of military means to deal with the threats to the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of a state.

Now, a level of ‘permeability‘ has evolved.

Features/characteristics of non-traditional security

  • Non-military in nature.
  • Transnational in scope-neither totally domestic nor purely interstate.
  • Transmitted rapidly due to the globalization and communication revolution.

Non-Traditional Security Issues India Should Worry About

India faces unique challenges related to non-traditional security. We shall see each of them with the remedies.

1. Food security 

When all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (UN definition)


  • India’s population is still growing and will not stabilize until 2050/2060.
  • Ranked among least developed nation when it comes to the problems of malnutrition and stunning.


  • We can learn from countries in Latin America, who have adopted short and long-term policy choices, categorized as consumer, producer and trade orientated policy approaches to national food security.
  • The holistic approach includes political dialogue not only at national levels but intergovernmental levels encompassing the various government departments to effectively implement PDS.
  • Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme based on the micro-planning basis at the district level of Rajasthan can be replicated.

2. Climate Change and Environment Pollution


  • India’s development trajectory has had to contend with increasing environmental challenge. Ex- Indian cities are ranked among the most polluted cities in the world.


  • A successful example of Netherlands and France based on raising taxes on polluting inputs which are then invested in sustainable infrastructural development rather than to merely raise revenue can be implemented.
  • India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) problem of lack of transparency can tackle through Brazilian model involving a ranging number of stakeholders under the umbrella group Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (CIM).

3. Water Scarcity and Contamination


  • With a huge population, there is pressure on scarce water resources despite having abundant rain.
  • Unsustainable water harvesting structure.


  • Denmark model which a focuses on collaborating research institutions adjoin to national universities in which the government awarded grants to follow up on clean water technologies.
  • Collaboration with Israel in water technology can open new water conservation technique.

4. Energy Security Issues


    GDP growth rate and high dependency on the imported petroleum from the unstable Middle East.


  • Laws like Tunisia’s “energy conservation system” law should be passed which relies on the National Fund for Energy Management to encourage renewable energy investment and enhance skills capacity in the sector.
  • Learning from China can be a great help based on looking beyond its neighbourhood and imports fuel from far and wide using a combination of economic diplomatic tools, and various other financial incentives.

5. Public health issues – infectious diseases, epidemics etc


  • Poor health infrastructure, high out of pocket expenditure. Ex- Gorakhpur BRB Hospital case, which led to the death of many children.


  • ‘Chilean Model’ based on Explicit Guarantees and Universal Access (AUGE) programme, which commits to providing universal health care for all citizens made through its two-tier system of Public Health care should be adopted.

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