IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


29th January, 2024 Defence


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The Union Home Ministry has extended Z+ security cover to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.


  • India employs a multi-tiered security cover system to ensure the protection of high-risk individuals based on threat perceptions.

Special Protection Group (SPG)

  • Description: SPG is an elite force with classified details, exclusively provided to the Prime Minister of India.
  • Significance: It ensures the highest level of security for the country's top leadership, and the details are kept confidential for enhanced protection.

Z+ Category

  • Composition: 55 personnel, including 10+ National Security Guard (NSG) commandos and police personnel.
  • Features: High-level security cover, typically including bulletproof vehicles and advanced security measures.

Z Category

  • Composition: 22 personnel, including 4-6 NSG commandos and police personnel.
  • Details: Offers substantial security with a focus on protection from potential threats.

Y+ Category

  • Composition: 11 personnel, including 2-4 commandos and police personnel.
  • Attributes: A step below Z+, providing a significant security detail for individuals with notable threat perceptions.

Y Category

  • Composition: 8 personnel, including 1 or 2 commandos and police personnel.
  • Characteristics: A moderate security cover ensuring protection based on assessed threat levels.

X Category

  • Composition: 2 personnel, armed police personnel with no commandos.
  • Details: Basic security cover with a minimal number of personnel.

Implementing Agencies and Protocols

  • SPG: Classified force dedicated to the Prime Minister's security, operating under stringent protocols.
  • Z+ and Z Categories: NSG commandos play a crucial role, armed with advanced weaponry and trained in martial arts and combat skills.
  • Y+ to X Categories: Security provided by Delhi Police, ITBP, or CRPF personnel, with varying levels of personnel and convoy support.

Challenges and Criticisms

  • Excessive Deployment: Often, the actual number of deployed personnel exceeds the officially allocated figures.
  • Resource Allocation: VIP security diverts police resources, leading to understaffed police stations and reduced public service.
  • Controversies: Criticized for being a potential misuse of taxpayer money, especially when extended to individuals not necessarily warranting high-security covers.

Security Failures and Controversies

  • Assassination of Indira Gandhi: Highlighting the vulnerability within the security detail of high-profile individuals.
  • Pramod Mahajan's Assassination: A case where a Z-level protectee was shot dead despite security cover.
  • Controversies in VIP Categorization: Instances where bureaucrats were moved down to lower categories while politicians retained high-security covers.


While the security cover system in India is designed to mitigate threats to high-risk individuals, challenges and controversies persist. Balancing the need for security with efficient police resource utilization is crucial, necessitating periodic reviews and adjustments in the security protocols.


Q. Discuss the security protocol for high-risk individuals in India, outlining the categorization and details of the security cover provided. (250 Words)