In news- The National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID is expected to be launched soon.
- The NATGRID is the integrated intelligence master database structure for counter-terrorism purpose connecting databases of various core security agencies under Government of India.
- It collects comprehensive patterns procured from 21 different organizations including tax and bank account details, credit/debit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.
- It will also have access to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), a database that links crime information, including First Information Reports, across 14,000 police stations in India.
- It came into existence after the 2008 Mumbai attacks and was mooted by the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram in 2009.
- As of 2021, NATGRID is headed by IPS officer Ashish Gupta.
- It is accessible to only authorized people from 11 security agencies on a case-to-case basis for investigations into suspected cases of terrorism.
- They are– Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), NIA, 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 National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) are two organisations established in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.
- Unlike the NCTC or the NIA which are central agencies, the NATGRID is essentially a tool that enables security agencies to locate and obtain relevant information on terror suspects and will help identify, capture and prosecute terrorists and help preempt terror plots.