Saturday, July 16, 2011

Unaccountable Natgrid Is Not A Panacea For Intelligence Failures Of India

Intelligence Failures in India are in abundance. This is not necessarily due to the fault of Intelligence Agencies of India but in majority of cases this happen due to non sharing of intelligence information among themselves in a timely manner. Overall, Intelligence Infrastructure of India is in a bad shape.

This is the reason why Projects like National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), etc assume significance. These are ambitious Projects that must be implemented in a Constitutional and Planned manner. Here lies the real problem.

While NCTC is out of picture for some more years yet NATGRID Project is based upon “Faulty Premises” and “Improper Management”.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram is pressing hard for the NATGRID Project upon the premises that it would solve all the Intelligence and Terrorism related problems. This is not true. NATGRID Project cannot and would not stop terrorist attacks and it would play almost no role in the absence of good Intelligence Gathering and Analysis Capabilities. It can supplement intelligence capabilities but never supplant the same.

Secondly, NATGRID Project of India is badly implemented. There is no sign of any sort of “Accountability and Transparency” in the dealing of NATGRID Project. Even Parliamentary Scrutiny is missing and in an environment where E-Surveillance has already gripped India, this is a bad news.

There is no “Public Information” about NATGRID Project nor are there any “Procedural Safeguards” that can prevent the possible misuse of this E-Surveillance Project. Civil Liberties are at stake as there is no protection of Human Rights in Cyberspace.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram must understand that NATGRID Project of India is “Not a Panacea” for all National Security problems in India. If at all NATGRID Project would work, it must be made more “Systematic and Planned”. Of course, it must also be “Constitutional”. Presently NATGRID Project is not meeting any of the abovementioned requirements.

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