National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID is the integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies of the Government of India to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies. The data recovery centre of the NATGRID has been constructed in Bengaluru and its headquarters is nearing completion in Delhi. The government of India in July 2016 appointed Ashok Patnaik as the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID). One of the functions of NATGRID is to intelligence sharing network.
Why NATGRID was established?
The 26/11 attacks on Mumbai led to the exposure of several weaknesses in India’s intelligence gathering and action networks which led to formation of NATGRID.
Structure and Functions of NATGRID
- NATGRID is an intelligence sharing network that collates data from the standalone databases of the various agencies and ministries of the Indian government.
- It is a counter terrorism measure that collects and collates a host of information from government databases including tax and bank account details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.
- It is essentially a tool that enables security agencies to locate and obtain relevant information on terror suspects from pooled data of various organisations and services in the country.
- It will help identify, capture and prosecute terrorists and help preempt terrorist plots.
How National Intelligence Grid will be useful?
This combined data will be made available to 11 central agencies, which are:
- Research and Analysis Wing
- Intelligence Bureau
- Central Bureau of Investigation
- Financial intelligence unit
- Central Board of Direct Taxes
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
- Enforcement Directorate
- Narcotics Control Bureau
- Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs
- Directorate General of GST Intelligence.
Implementation of National Intelligence Grid
NATGRID is being implemented in four different phases, the first two of which will be operationalised by 2014 at a cost of Rs1,200 crores and the first data sets will be retrievable by early 2013. The Cabinet Committee on Security approved the first two phases in 2011. The implementation of the third and fourth phases are expected to require amendments to several laws to allow for the sharing and transfer of data on items such as property and bank transaction details and internet usage.
Work on NATGRID has been accelerated after Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently reviewed the progress of the Rs 3,400 crore project, and is to be ready by early 2020
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