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MoU between NATGRID and NCRB

MoU between NATGRID and NCRB

Context: 

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between The National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The objective is to access the centralized online database on the first information report (FIR) and stolen vehicles. By December 2020 the project aims to go live.

Importance:

  • Access: The MoU between the will give NATGRID access to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) database. CCTNS platform links around 14,000 police stations. All-State police are mandated to file FIR in the CCTNS.
  • Safeguarding from leaks: Presently, the security agencies directly contact an airline or a telephone company if they are on a suspect’s trail. The data is shared through international servers (Google). The NATGRID will also ensure that such sensitive information is shared through a secure platform, safeguarding information from leaks.
  • Information: The MoU enables the NATGRID to get information about suspects as mentioned in the FIR (his/her father’s name, telephone number, etc).
    • NATGRID will act as a link between both intelligence as well as investigation agencies.
  • Initiated at a budget of Rs 2,800 crores, NATGRID will be a medium for at least 10 Central agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) to access data on a secured platform.
    • The data will be procured by NATGRID from 21 providing organizations such as telecom, tax records, bank, immigration, etc.

Concerns:

  • Earlier the Civil Aviation Ministry and various airline companies had raised concerns regarding providing information to another agency (NATGRID). The airlines claimed that they already provide information to the Bureau of Immigration and the Customs authorities.
  • The deliberations with the airlines are still on and once NATGRID is operational, all agencies will have to route their requests through the secured platform.
    • However, the State police will not be part of the grid and they could directly contact the airlines or railways for information.
  • NCRB is only a repository and the data pertaining to FIRs of a particular police station are a State subject it does not violate any legal provisions as FIRs are shared with all the police stations.
  • NATGRID  was conceptualized in 2009. It seeks to become the one-stop destination for security and intelligence agencies to access databases related to immigration entry and exit, banking, and telephone details of a suspect on a “secured platform”.
  • The information accessed by one agency through NATGRID will not be accessible to other agencies. It will be an automated system and through this, the request will link directly with the concerned department. No two agencies would know about the request generated by the other.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB):

  • NCRB was set-up in 1986 on the recommendations of the National Police Commission (NPC) and the MHA’s Task Force.
  • It works under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • It publishes Crime in India report.
  • Functions:
    • It is a repository of information on crime and criminals. It also assists the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
    • In 2009 NCRB developed CCTNS with an objective to create an integrated system for effective policing at all levels.

Source: The Hindu