The Union Government has appointed senior IPS officer Ashok Patnaik as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID).
His appointment was approved by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will continue to hold this post till his superannuation in 2018.
He will succeed Raghu Raman, the first CEO of NATGIRD ended in June 2015. The post was under the additional charge of former special secretary Ashok Prasad till January 2016.
Patnaik is a 1983-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre. Currently he is serving as Additional Director in the Intelligence Bureau (IB). He is son-in-law of former PM Manmohan Singh.
About National Intelligence grid (NATGRID)
- NATGRID is a central agency that aims to have an integrated intelligence grid that will link and store sensitive personal information on citizens from different government agencies for counter-terror investigations.
- It was established to bolster India’s counter-terrorism capabilities by combining 21 sensitive databases of personal information related to various domains.
- The domains are banks, credit cards, cellphone usage, immigration records, motor vehicle registrations, Income Tax records and National Crime Records Bureau.
- The single database will be accessed by authorised officers from 10 central agencies like IB, IB, R&AW, CBI, ED and DRI.
- Thus it is essentially a data transfer tool that seeks to give investigators a 360 degree profile of a suspect.