Defence & Security Current Affairs - 2019

Defence Current Affairs of 2018-19 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters for SSC, States Civils, UPSC and Other Competitive Examinations.

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National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) to be ready by January 2020

The work on National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) set up to track any terror suspect and prevent terrorist attacks with real time data, has been accelerated. This move comes after Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently reviewed the progress of NATGRID project. In all probability, NATGRID will start functioning by January 2020.

What is National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)?

It is a robust intelligence gathering mechanism related to banking, immigration, individual tax payers, air and train travels. The project is worth Rs.3400 crore and was conceptualised following 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

NATGRID will have data related to all immigration entry and exit, air flyers, credit card purchases, banking and financial transactions, individual tax payers, telecom, and train travelers among others to generate intelligence inputs.

The data recovery centre of the NATGRID has been constructed in Bengaluru, Karnataka and its headquarters is nearing completion in Delhi.

Phase I: In 1st phase, 10 user agencies and 21 service providers will be connected with NATGRID. In later stages 950 organisations and then another 1,000 organisations will be connected with it.

10 agencies which will be able to access NATGRID data on real time basis are:

  1. Intelligence Bureau (IB)
  2. Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW)
  3. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
  4. Enforcement Directorate (ED)
  5. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
  6. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
  7. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)
  8. Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)
  9. Directorate General of Central Excise and Intelligence (DGCEI)
  10. Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

Initially, no state agencies will be given direct access to NATGRID data but in case any relevant information is required, they can approach NATGRID through any of 10 user agencies.

NATGRID can also have readily available data on banking transactions and immigration as both sectors are equipped with real time mechanism.

Background

In the wake of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the lack of real time data and information was considered to be one of the major hurdles in detecting U.S. terror suspect David Headley’s movement across India during his multiple visits between 2006 and 2009. He was main individual who had provided key information and videos of terror targets to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out attacks that claimed 166 lives.

Thereby on 8 April 2010, the Cabinet Committee on Security had given approval to NATGRID project but its work slowed down after 2012. On June 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a review meeting on the NATGRID and this is when the then Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi gave a detailed presentation on ambitious project  and the project was again taken up to complete.

Home Minister launches ERSS, E-Beat Book System and E-Saathi App

Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah launched three citizen centric services of Chandigarh Police, in Chandigarh. The services launched include- Emergency Response Support System (ERSS – Dial 112), ‘E-Beat Book’ System and ‘E-Saathi App’. Home Minister observed that the beat officer system has been cornerstone of Indian Policing system for ages and by such Citizen Centric Services in Policing, a SMART Police force can be built in India. He congratulated Chandigarh Police to have taken a lead in introducing such Citizen Centric Services in Policing.

These valuable public services would effectively reduce response time of police to address distress calls of public as well as strengthen police-public interface endeavour of community policing.

About Emergency Response Support System (ERSS – Dial 112)

ERSS is one of the key projects of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under Nirbhaya Fund. It has been designed to play a pivotal role in mitigation/preventing escalation of crime, predominantly against women and children.

ERSS service provides-

  • Single emergency number ‘112’: Citizens can send their emergency information via call, SMS, email as well as through 112 India mobile app.
  • Computer aided dispatch of field resources to location of distress.

‘Dial 112’ emergency response service is an initiative to strengthen proactive community policing that would end confusion amongst distress callers, who at times end up dialing 100 (for police related services) in case of fire/medical emergency cases, therefore, after starting this service, public will not face these problems.

In future, Emergency Number for Road Accidents (1073),Women Helpline (1091, 181), Child Help Line (1098), including other Helpline services would be added under 112 unified emergency response number.

About ‘E-Beat Book’ System

It is a web and mobile based application which will ease collection, updation and analysis of information related to crime and criminals in real time basis. E-Beat Book would be linked with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), which would help in a real time updation of crime/criminal data.

At present, Chandigarh has been divided in 54 divisions and in each division, there is one ‘Atal Sehbhagita Kendra’ that is under supervision of a Beat Officer, having an Android Phone to use app. The citizen can directly approach ‘Atal Sehbhagita Kendra’ for redressal of their grievances and can render their suggestions too.

About ‘E-Saathi’ App

It would help general public, including senior citizens, to remain in touch with police and also give suggestions to facilitate participative community policing: Your Police at Your Doorstepinitiative.

The beat officer would be able to provide services such as servant verification, character certification, passport verification, tenant verification etc. at a click of a button through app, without the people needing to visit police station.

With this initiative, on one hand, where beat officer would become more efficient in their work, this would make police-people communication a two-way process, on the other.