Ministry of Home Affairs Current Affairs

Government to create National Database of Arms Licenses system

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is going to create National Database of Arms Licenses system from April 2019. It will include names of all arms licence holders, new or old and they will be issued a unique identification number (UIN). The move is aimed at keeping tab on authorised private gun holders, many of whom are often found involved in crimes and celebratory firing leading to loss of lives. It will also eliminate possibilities of issuing arms licence to persons whose antecedents are not bona

Key Facts

The decision was taken by exercising powers under Section 44 of Arms Act, 1959 (54 of 1959) by amending the Arms Rules, 2016. These rules will be called the Arms (Second Amendment) Rules, 2018. Under Section 3 of Arms Act, it is essential to obtain arms possession licence issued by competent licensing authority, by any person for acquisition, possession or carrying any firearms or ammunition.

Under the new rules, every licensing and renewing authority will enter data in National Database of Arms Licences system from April 1, 2019, which will generate UIN. Any arms licence without UIN will be considered invalid. Besides, any existing licensee holding multiple licences will make application for grant of single licence in respect of all firearms held by him under his UIN to the concerned licensing authority.

In case of licence for restricted category of arms or ammunition, licensing authority concerned will issue new licence under the existing UIN of the licencee. Separate licence books will be generated in case of each licence, separately for restricted and permissible categories of arms and ammunition with an overall ceiling of three firearms under single UIN.

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MHA to upgrade National Information Security Policy and Guidelines to secure government data

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be upgrading National Information Security Policy and Guidelines (NISPG) to secure government data and control access to it inorder to prevent sensitive information making its way to internet. The upgraded and updated policy will cover issues pertaining to the Official Secrets Act.

Background

MHA has been designated as the lead agency for the protection of the “Information” in Cyberspace. In 2013, cybersecurity, which was sole preserve of MHA, was moved to National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) under Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Besides, critical infrastructure was moved to National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and non-critical part to Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY). Recently in June 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had presided over meeting to review evolving cyberthreats and had directed that NISPG to be upgraded and updated for government sector.

National Information Security Policy and Guidelines (NISPG)

NISPG has been prepared by MHA, based on experience of existing security standards and frameworks and global best practices and experience of implementation in the wake of expanding information security threat scenario. It aims at improving information security posture of organization possessing any information, including classified information and does not restrict organizations from adopting additional stringent practices over and above these guidelines. It elaborates baseline information security policy and highlights relevant security concepts and best practices, which government ministries, departments, and organizations must implement to protect their information.

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