CCS approves Rs 1,100 crore for NATGRID
Government on Thursday approved Rs 1,100 crore for purchase of technological equipment to kickstart the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) which plans to link 21 categories of databases for ready access by intelligence agencies.
The cabinet committee on security, at a meeting chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh, gave its nod to the proposal of NATGRID for acquisition of certain technological items mentioned in the Detailed Project Report (DPR), home minister P Chidambaram told reporters in Delhi.
He said the proposal was for purchase of technological items for Horizon-I and some elements of Horizon-II of NATGRID.
NATGRID is conceptualised as a constantly evolving tool that will mature over several horizons with additional functionalities and enhancements over a period of time.
The NATGRID will have access to 21 categories of database like railway and air travel, income tax, bank account details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records.
The project is expected to facilitate robust information sharing by security agencies and law enforcement agencies to combat terror threat.
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 idea was floated after the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Many feel that had NATGRID existed, Lashkar-e- Taiba operative David Headley would not have a free run prior and after the 26/11 strike.
The CCS had approved the setting up of NATGRID on April 8, 2010. As mandated by the CCS, a DPR on NATGRID was prepared. The CCS accorded its "in principle" approval to this DPR in on June 6, 2011.