Monday 17th Jun 2024
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National Security

Concerns Arise as Indian University Assigned to Profile Maldivian Security Officials

In an unprecedented move that has raised eyebrows across the nation, the Maldives has delegated the responsibility of creating psychological profiles of its top security officials to an Indian university, National Forensic University (NFU) in Gandhinagar, according to Indianexpress.com. This arrangement has sparked a conversation about the potential risks of providing sensitive data about high-ranking security officials to a foreign entity.
Notably, the task of assessing the high-level officers' psychological leanings towards different security-related issues is to be carried out by NFU. While such assessments may have their merits, there is growing concern about the extent to which such personal data is being shared with an external institution.

Strikingly, neither the Defence Ministry nor the Ministry of Home Affairs had previously revealed that the government was planning to sign such an agreement with an Indian university. This lack of transparency about the decision has stirred unease among Maldivians.

NFU's campus director, Shakaro Chunar, confirmed the agreement. He shared that the Maldives has indeed enlisted India's help in creating psychological profiles of the newly recruited security services officers.

The university is not only involved in psychological verification of national security services officers, but also prepares psychological profiles for other categories, an NFSU official reported. They use a range of techniques, including polygraph tests, to prepare these profiles, which further intensifies the debate around privacy and data protection.

The person heading the profiling project, Vishal Parmar, revealed that the process includes examining the officers' moral values, past criminal records, and potential future threats from them.

While some argue that these profiles might help identify weaknesses and potential avenues of influence among officers, others worry that such personal information of key security officials landing in the hands of a foreign institution could have unpredictable repercussions.

Interestingly, the NFU's profiles are not being used to recruit officers for security services in Gujarat, the university's home state in India.

This decision by the Maldives government marks a sharp departure from traditional practices concerning national security. While it might be seen as an innovative step towards improving security services, the move has also caused considerable apprehension due to the potential privacy implications and the handing over of sensitive information to a third country.