From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NATGRID
Mains level : Not Much
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has curtailed the tenure of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and moved him to the Border Security Force (BSF).
What is 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/debit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.
- It will also have access to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), a database that links crime information, including First Information Reports, across 14,000 police stations in India.
- As of 2019, NATGRID is headed by an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Ashish Gupta.
- 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.
Access to NATGRID
- Prominent federal agencies of the country have been authorized to access the NATGRID database.
- They are the:
- Central Bureau of Investigation
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence,
- Enforcement Directorate
- Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs
- Central Board of Direct Taxes (for the Income Tax Department)
- Cabinet Secretariat
- Intelligence Bureau
- Directorate General of GST Intelligence
- Narcotics Control Bureau
- Financial Intelligence Unit, and
- National Investigation Agency
- According to the first phase plan, 10 user agencies and 21 service providers will be connected with the NATGRID, while in later phases, about 950 additional organizations will be brought on board.
- In the following years, more than 1,000 organizations will be further integrated into the NATGRID.
- These data sources include records related to immigration entry and exit, banking and financial transactions, and telecommunications.