Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Multi Agency Centre (MAC): A common counter-terrorism grid


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MAC, NATGRID

Mains level : Counter-terrorism ops and security agencies

The Union government has asked the States to share more intelligence inputs through the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), a common counter-terrorism grid under the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

Why in news?

  • States are often reluctant to share information on the platform.
  • There are several gaps in sharing critical information at the right time.
  • Plans are afoot for more than a decade to link the system up to the district level.

About MAC

  • The Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) was formed in December 2001 following the Kargil intrusion and the subsequent overhaul of the Indian national security apparatus suggested by the Kargil Review Committee report.
  • Accordingly, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) was authorized to create a multi-agency centre (MAC) in New Delhi.
  • Now functioning 24×7 as the nodal body for sharing intelligence inputs, MAC coordinates with representatives from numerous agencies, different ministries, both central and state.
  • Various security agencies share real-time intelligence inputs on the MAC.
  • The state offices have been designated as subsidiary MACs (SMACs).
  • As many as 28 organisations, including the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), armed forces and State police, are part of the platform.

Back2Basics: 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 collects and collates a host of information from government databases including tax and bank account details, credit/debit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.
  • It came into existence after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
  • 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 will also have access to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems, a database that links crime information, including First Information Reports, across 14,000 police stations in India.

Note: NATGRID data will be made available to 11 central agencies, which are: Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), National Investigation Agency (NIA), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Directorate General of GST Intelligence.


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