The ambitious intelligence gathering mechanism National Intelligence Grid, or NATGRID, has been allocated twice the amount that it was allotted last year.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said today, in a written response to a question raised in Rajya Sabha, that Rs 109 crore was allocated for the project. Last year’s budget was Rs 49.05 crore.
On the timelines, the minister wrote:
The physical infrastructure at New Delhi and Bengaluru are expected to be completed by 31.07.2018 and 31.10.2017 respectively. The NATGRID framework is expected to be implemented by September 30, 2018.
The idea of NATGRID came up in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008. It was mooted by then-Home Minister P Chidambaram as part of a need to radically overhaul the country’s security and intelligence apparatus.
Through this upcoming intelligence grid, terrorist operations will be monitored through banking, finance and other networks. The relevant intelligence agencies will be able to access citizen data from several government departments who will share it with them through NATGRID in real time.
The idea of having such an intelligence grid has drawn criticism from some quarters. While a compromise in privacy and sharing of personal confidential information were chief concerns, former special secretary V Balachandran questioned if it could even prevent terrorist activities from occurring in the country in the future.
Senior IPS officer Ashok Patnaik is the chief executive officer of the National Intelligence Grid.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.