RAW Full Form

The full form of RAW is known as Research and Analysis Wing. It is considered as the primary foreign intelligence agency of India. Headquartered in New Delhi, RAW operates directly under the Prime Minister, and was intentionally established as a “wing” instead of an “agency”  as an agency requires to report to Parliament’s Right to Information Act The structure, rank, pay and perks of RAW are kept secret from Parliament., accordingly, it is difficult to find detailed information about the organization. Samant Kumar Goel, an Indian Police Service officer of 1984 batch is the current Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing.

RAW Full-Form | What is the full-form of RAW?

This article contains the full form of RAW along with its brief history, objective, successful operations, bodies of RAW and recruitment process.  


India’s defeat during the 1962 Sino-Indian border war and the consequences of the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war reinforced India’s need for a separate and distinct external intelligence organization. This resulted in the formation of RAW in September 1968 under the guidance of Rameshwar Nath Kao, with a staff of 250 people.


RAW undertook two primary missions:

  • Maintain awareness of the military, economic, scientific, and political intelligence of neighboring countries, primarily China and Pakistan, 
  • Augment the control over the transport of weapons and ammunition from and into India.

Being one of the top ten best intelligence agencies in the world, the RAW plays an instrumental role in keeping India protected against terrorist attacks through covert and overt operations, providing security of nuclear programs and monitoring developments in other countries which could directly affect India. Raw holds good relation with CIA (Intelligence agency of the US) and Mossad (external intelligence agency of Israel) 

Intelligence support provided by RAW resulted in many successful operations,

  • RAW provided weapons and training to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) insurgency to promote instability in Sri Lanka.
  • It assisted with training and weapons to Mukti Bahini, a group of East Pakistanis fighting for the separate state of Bangladesh, which led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.
  • It played a significant role in defeating Pakistan during the Kargil conflict of 1971.
  • It Provided Covert assistance to the African National Congress’s anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.
  • It led to the accession of Sikkim in 1975.
  • It promoted the increase of Indian influence in Afghanistan. 

 The organization has been granted legal permission to “spy” on Indian citizens by intercepting in Indian citizens’ phone calls, emails, and electronic communications.

Attached Bodies or Autonomous Bodies

  • Aerial Reconnaissance Centre is responsible for the collection of high-quality overhead imagery of activities and installations in neighboring countries. 
  • Special Frontier Force has functions independent of RAW; however, it often supports covert and overt RAW missions. 
  • National Technical Facilities Organization/National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) is suspected to be technological espionage.


  • Generally, RAW recruits personnel who are either serving in Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) or any other government institution.
  • UPSC candidates may be hired for the job in RAW.
  • RAW Allied Service (RAS), a special test is organized by RAW to absorb better candidates.
  • People serving Intelligence Bureau (IB) are also been recruited.

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