Context: Recently, the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
About National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
- It is the integrated intelligence master database structure for counter-terrorism purpose connecting databases of various core security agencies under Government of India.
- It is accessible to only authorized people from 10 security agencies on a case-to-case basis for investigations into suspected cases of terrorism.
- It is part of the radical overhaul of the security and intelligence apparatuses of India after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Key Highlights of the MoU
- NATGRID will have the access to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) database.
- The NATGRID will ensure that the contact between security agencies and airline or telephone company is shared through a secure platform, safeguarding it from leaks.
- The MoU enables the NATGRID to get information about details of a suspect as mentioned in the FIR such as his/her father’s name, telephone number and other details.
- The State police will not be part of NATGRID and they could directly contact the airlines or railways for information.
- It 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 organisations such as the telecom, tax records, bank, immigration etc.
- The NATGRID will act as a link between intelligence and investigation agencies.
Issues or Concerns associated with MoU
- The MoU infringes on the federal system of the Constitution as the NCRB under the Union government is only a repository.
- The Civil Aviation Ministry and airline companies had raised concerns in providing information to NATGRID as airlines contended that they already provide information as asked for to the Bureau of Immigration and the Customs authorities.