Shri R.Swaminathan, a former leading China expert of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), passed away in a New Delhi hospital in the early hours of the morning of December 8,2010, after suffering a heart attack. He was 78. He was the President and Director-General of the New Delhi based International Institute of Security & Safety Management and Vice-President of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. He had gone to Delhi from Chennai where he was living to attend a meeting of the Institute.
2. Shri Swaminathan joined the Indian Police Service ( IPS) in 1954. After his training in the Central Police Training College (CPTC), Mount Abu, he was allotted to the cadre of the then undivided Madras State. He was transferred to the Andhra Pradesh cadre when Madras was divided and Andhra Pradesh was formed.
3. After spending a few years in the State, he joined the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India under the IB's earmarking scheme. Under this scheme, officers who had done exceptionally well during the training at the CPTC were taken permanently into the IB after they had done their district training in their State of allotment. He joined the R&AW after its formation in September,1968.
4. In the IB, he belonged to a small hard core of officers under the leadership of the late R.N.Kao set up by B.N.Mallick, the then Director of the IB (DIB), after the Sino-Indian war of 1962 to revamp the capability of the IB for the collection and analysis of China-related intelligence. He continued to specialise on China after joining the R&AW. Even though he was a generalist officer from the IPS, he acquired a remarkable capability for the collection and analysis of human and technical intelligence relating to China. Technical intelligence was his forte. Kao used him for setting up and supervising the China-related monitoring set-up of the R&AW.
5. There is hardly any specialsed set-up of the R&AW and the Directorate-General of Security (DGS) in which he had not served. He was a highly-regarded expert in the collection of technical intelligence from ground stations as well as aerial platforms. He did the spade work for the visit of Kao to China in October,1984 and subsequently served as the Principal Staff Officer to Shri G.C.Saxena when he headed the R&AW. In 1985-1986, he played a very active and highly-commended role in the negotiations of the Government of India with the Mizo National Front, which ultimately brought peace to Mizoram.
6.He retired in December,1990, as Special Secretary, DG (Security), Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India. After his retirement, he settled down in Bangalore for some years and then shifted to Chennai. He was living alone in Chennai after the death of his wife four years ago.
7. He played an active role in organising the activities of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. The Centre greatly profited from his knowledge of China. He was also associated with other non-governmental organisations based in Chennai such as the Catalyst, focusing on improving governance, the Chennai Chapter of the Observer Research Foundation in which he was a frequent speaker on national security related issues and the Centre For Asian Studies. (8-12-10)