Saturday, June 16, 2012

Natgrid Project Of India: The Do Or Die Stage

The National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) Project of India is one of the most ambitious Projects of India. It has been passing through rough weathers in the past. The good news is that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved an Rs 1,100-crore allocation for the NATGRID and has also granted an extension to it. The CCS has also allowed NATGRID to acquire certain technological items mentioned in the Detailed Project Report (DPR).

The bad news is that till now we have no Accountability and Transparency about the NATGRID Project. Another major lacuna of NATGRID Project is that it is beyond the reach of Parliamentary Oversight in India. Similar problems are also plaguing the National Counter Terrorism Centre of India.

Recently the Department of Telecommunication (DOT) refused to allow the Home Ministry of India to intercept private communications disregarding individual Privacy under the pretext of National Security. Civil Liberties Issues have been raised from time to time in India vis-à-vis National Security Projects like NATGRID. They cannot be ignored in India any more.

I hope these “Shortcomings” of the NATGRID Project and NCTC would be removed very soon and NATGRID Project and NCTC would be a valuable tool for strengthening National Security of India. I also hope that Indian Government would maintain a “Balance” between National Security and Privacy Protection requirements in India while implementing Projects like NATGRID.

Now coming back to the recent new lease of life that has been given to NATGRID by CCS. The funds granted to NATGRID would be utilised for procuring equipment, technology and for building a data centre. We need to have High Security Infrastructure and Secured Communication Lines, opined NATGRID Chief Raghu Raman.

I also believe that this “Technological Upgradation” is a must for NATGRID Project to successfully complete the next stage. However, this is not an easy task especially keeping in mind the Red Tape that is hindering the successful implementation of NATGRID Project of India.