The cabinet committee on security on Thursday is expected to take a call on setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), a one-stop counter-terrorism group that home minister P Chidambaram had called his “unfinished agenda”.
The centre — proposed to be a lean body heavily seeped in technology — will be powered by intelligence officers and analysts drawn from different security agencies such as Research & Analysis Wing and Military Intelligence, with a clear mandate to prevent terror attacks.
Once it is set up, Chidambaram will dispense with his daily meetings with intelligence chiefs, a practice he began to ensure that available intelligence does not slip into the cracks or agencies don’t share information with each other.
In its final form, the NCTC does not bear any resemblance to the overarching super-structure — with all security agencies reporting to it — as envisaged by Chidambaram in 2009.
It will be a stand-alone body headed by a special director rank-officer from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and will have powers to seek information from any agency, piece the inputs into the intelligence jigsaw to project coherent threat assessments.
In principle, most of its proposed functions are already carried out by the IB. But there was a view that the IB had too much on its plate.
The only body to be subsumed into the NCTC — to be set up by an executive order rather than a law — will be the Multi Agency Centre.