Tihar to make virtual visit a reality

Tihar to make virtual visit a reality

Tihar to make virtual visit  a reality

The Tihar Jail’s software will soon be connected with cloud computing, making e-visit or virtual meeting between inmates and their visitors possible in the near future.

The country’s largest prison houses over 13,000 inmates and more than half of them are from outside Delhi. Once started, Tihar would be the first jail in the country to allow convicts to meet their families virtually.

Presently, prisoners are allowed to meet visitors twice a week inside the jail premises. Many visitors come from far flung areas and wait for their turn to meet the inmates. After the implementation of the project friends and relatives would be able to meet inmates from their own city.

“The idea is to connect Tihar with all the jails of the country through cloud computing. So, if a person from any part of the country wants to meet a Tihar inmate, he can do so through virtually via video conferencing,” said an engineer working on the project.

Cloud computing allows data to be stored in a centralised data centre remotely placed from the computer. To make the system work, three things — software, connectivity and desired equipment — are required, said the engineer.

“We are moving in the right direction. Our aim is by early 2016... this system should materialise in Tihar,” he added. Tihar is a pioneer in computerisation process. E-visit is part of a larger programme called E-Prison which calls for the computerisation of many of Tihar Jail’s functions.

However, the facility is not without risks. Making inmates talk to their relatives in other parts of the country can allow them to pass on secret information. Project developers of the programme are working on plugging the loopholes and make the system foolproof before it is ready for use.

“When a prisoner comes to Tihar Jail, he gives ten names to prison officials who can meet him. Only after verifying the ten people, are they allowed to meet the inmate. Same precaution can be adopted while using E-visit also. We can also record the meeting and scrutinise it if we find any suspicious activity happening among them,’’ the engineer added.

The NIC video conferencing division of the Central government is working on the project. The jail has video conferencing facilities at present, but it is only used in court hearings.

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