Delayed by Covid, NATGRID likely to be implemented soon. Check details
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to launch the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), which will enhance India's capabilities to fight terror and crime through technology. The NATGRID was mooted after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
News agency PTI reported that final "synchronisation and testing" of the ambitious electronic database is going on after which it is expected to go live.
Union home minister Amit Shah had said earlier this month that NATGRID was delayed due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. "I am hopeful that the Prime Minister will dedicate NATGRID to the country in some time," Shah had said during the 51st Foundation Day event of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) on September 4.
What it NATGRID?
It is a master database of 21 databases designed to provide real-time information to fight terror and crime. According to people aware of the matter, NATGRID will include data related to credit and debit cards, tax, telecom, immigration, airlines and railway tickets, passports, driving licenses.
It has been envisaged as a robust mechanism to track suspects and prevent terrorist attacks with real-time data and access to classified information.
How will NATGRID work?
The NATGRID will involve high-end algorithms designed especially for the database. The programme has been designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and will be capable of analysing data and behaviour to generate trends and leads for the agencies to follow up.
The Union Cabinet cleared the NATGRID in 2011 and allocated ₹3,400 crore for it but the work slowed down after 2012. PM Modi, who came to power for the first time in 2014, later gave directions for its revival.
Who will have access to NATGRID?
PTI reported that 10 central agencies - including the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, the Enforcement Directorate and Department of Revenue Intelligence - and 21 service providers will be connected with the the master database in the first phase. In later phases, about 950 additional organisations will be brought on board, it further reported.
The government finally plans to integrate more than 1,000 organisations in NATGRID, the news agency said.
According to PTI, other agencies that are expected to be integrated in the programme are Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Cabinet Secretariat, Directorate General of GST Intelligence, Narcotics Control Bureau, Financial Intelligence Unit and the National Investigation Agency.
26/11 and NATGRID
The 26/11 terrorist siege in Mumbai back in 2008 exposed the deficiency that security agencies had no mechanism to look for vital information on a real-time basis.
Lack of quick information was considered to be one of the major hurdles in detecting David Headley's movement across the country during his multiple visits between 2006 and 2009.
Headley had provided key information and videos of terror targets to Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba that carried out the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, including foreigners.