In its efforts to create a National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) to seamlessly integrate 21 different intelligence databases in the country conceived in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack the Union home ministry has initiated steps to create the physical infrastructure needed for the grid.
On Saturday,Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde laid the foundation stone of what was described as a NATGRID data back-up or disaster recovery centre on the campus of Border Security Force at Yelahanka in Bangalore. The centre will be built by 2015 at an expenditure of Rs 98 crore,Shinde said.
NATGRID is intended to make data sharing between multiple agencies involved in tracking and investigating terrorism in India more robust,interactive and real time. Currently,the information in the databases exist in isolation of each other.
Shinde said the UPA government has been doing its best to prevent incidents like the 26/11 attack. The hanging of Kasab and Afzal Guru,the arrests of Yasin Bhatkal and Assadullah Akthar and the solving of the Bodh Gaya and Patna blast cases in record time are signs of the governments resolve in handling the issue of terrorism,he said.
The primary objective of NATGRID would be to collect all intelligence,analyse it and decide on courses of action. While the NATGRID data centre will be headquartered in New Delhi,the Bangalore office would provide technical support. We are upgrading our capabilities all the time. NATGRID will link the database of various departments for use by intelligence agencies to enhance counter-terrorism capacities across the nation, Shinde said.
NATGRID was conceived after the realisation that intelligence networks across the country were working in isolation of each other.
Today,each database stands alone. It does not talk to another database. Nor can the owner of one database access another database. As a result,crucial information that rests in one database is not available to another agency. In order to remedy the deficiency,the central government has decided to set up NATGRID, former Home Minister P Chidambaram had stated in 2009.
NATGRID is attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs and has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security for a funding of Rs 1,002.97 crore for implementation of the first phase of the project known as Foundation and Horizon-I.