Rs 1,100 crore okayed for national intelligence grid

 The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday approved Rs 1,100 crore for purchase of equipment to launch the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) which would be matrix of 21 categories of database accessible to intelligence agencies.

After the CCS meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters the government has given its nod to the proposal of NATGRID for acquisition of certain technological items mentioned in the Detailed Project Report (DPR). The DPR was cleared by the CCS last June.

He said the proposal was for purchase of technological items for Horizon-I and some elements of Horizon-II of NATGRID. However, the minister did not elaborate for what they were meant.

The NATGRID will link 21 categories of information database including railway and air travel, income tax, bank account details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records.

As per the initial plan, access to the combined data will be given to 11 agencies, which include central intelligence agencies and the National Investigation Agency among others.
The CCS had approved the formation of NATGRID on April 8, 2010.

In another security-related development, the CCS gave the home ministry a go ahead to give three more years for completing the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) project till March 31, 2015. 

The Rs 2,000 crore CCTNS project aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system linking police stations for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing through e-governance.

The CCS has also authorised the MHA to release unutilised funds beyond March 2015 to the states and Union Territories.

The scheme launched four years ago could not be completed in due time given till March 2012.

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