India’s intelligence monitoring system gained a major boost on Wednesday with the inauguration of NATGRID campus in Bengaluru, giving the authorities 21st-century tools to monitor crimes in the country and beyond.
The campus provides a solution to the increasing complexity of crimes in the modern-day scenario. According to the Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, the new infrastructure would enable the Intelligence and legal agencies to have access and harness the full spectrum of critical data to conduct operations in a better way. “With the help of data analytics and information technology, there should be a paradigm shift in the current way of working of agencies,” he said.
The minister also mentioned that the government is also working to develop a database to monitor illegal funding, transactions, counterfeit currency, terror threats, narcotics and money laundering. The recent COVID-induced lockdowns had shown an increase in online activity and data theft, making it imperative for the security agencies to have a centralised system to track down the culprits. The relevant systems are being developed by C-DAC, the government’s premier autonomous agency for developing high-performance computing hardware and softwares.
The National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) is a centralised intelligence database used by 11 intelligence agencies, i.e. Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), National Investigation Agency (NIA), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Directorate General of GST Intelligence.
The NATGRID is not an intelligence agency in itself, but an information resource used by different agencies to conduct operations, surveillance, and target terror suspects.