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Day 95 – Q 2.What is NATGRID? Examine its significance for India’s internal security? Why hasn’t the NATGRID project really taken off? Analyse.

2. What is NATGRID? Examine its significance for India’s internal security? Why hasn’t the NATGRID project really taken off? Analyse. 

NATGRID क्या है? भारत की आंतरिक सुरक्षा के लिए इसके महत्व की जांच करें? NATGRID परियोजना पूर्ण रूप से शुरू क्यों नहीं हो पायी है? विश्लेषण करें।


After 26/11 Mumbai attack, government of India enacted NIA act on 31st December 2008 which gave birth to national Investigation agency which is presently functioning as premier central counter terrorism law enforcement agency in India.

It is the integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies of the Government of India to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies. It utilizes technologies like Big Data and analytics to study and analyse the huge amounts of data from various intelligence and enforcement agencies to help track suspected terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks. 


Significance of NATGRID for India’s internal security

  • In a data-driven, digitised world, the big data holds immense power and potential to provide real time tip-offs and predictive intelligence to deal with the terrorist threat.
  • It would also help the police and the Intelligence Bureau keep a tab on persons with suspicious backgrounds. The police would have access to all his/her data and any movement by this person could be tracked with the help of this data base.
  • It will help identify, capture and prosecute terrorists and help preempt terrorist plots.
  • Thus, it will help to collate scattered information into a transparent, accessible, integrated grid and do away with the inefficiencies associated with information asymmetries that leads to delayed counter-terror operations.

Reasons for NATGRID project not really taking off

  • Human resource – The personnel are taken from IPS, IRS, Central armed police force etc. on deputation and do not have their own personals. The Union Home Ministry has raised the issue that it couldn’t get qualified IT professionals to fill vacant posts in the NATGRID, this despite India being in the forefront when it comes to IT.
  • Finance – Depends on Budgetary allocation without sufficient funds.
  • Technology – Lack of advanced technology to tackle.
  • Expertise – Lack of experts and specialists.
  • Federal spirit – Law and Order is state subject and it is accused as encroaching on state subject.

Making NATGRID more effective

  • When so much sensitive information about individuals is available on a single source, the potential for its misuse would dramatically go up. Keeping in mind the poor track record of the Indian security and intelligence agencies on individual privacy and liberty it is necessary to strengthen security of the database.
  • To attract good talent the government needs to offer remuneration commensurate with that of the private sector to attract the most qualified professionals.
  • If states are to actively contribute towards updating the NATGRID database in the spirit of cooperative federalism, they should be among the ones who benefit from it.


In its present form, NATGRID suffers from few inadequacies, some due to bureaucratic red tape and others due to fundamental flaws in the system. If the government takes enough measures, NATGRID has the potential to become India’s go-to grid for a 360-degree perspective to prevent and contain crises. 

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