Union Home Minister Current Affairs - 2020

Census 2021: Foundation stone of Janganana Bhawan (Census building) laid

Union Home Minister Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of Janganana Bhawan or Census Building in New Delhi. It is the office of the census authority. The upcoming Janganana Bhawan is being built on a Green Building concept. This shows Government’s commitment of taking forward and popularising the concept of Green Buildings in the country.  It is a seven-floor infrastructure which is being built with a cost of Rs.44 crore and is expected to be completed by 2021.

Key Highlights

The 2021 census is the 16th Indian census. It will continue till February 2021 and culminate on March 1 midnight.

In the upcoming 2021 nationwide census exercise the process of a ‘Pen-Paper Census’ will be transformed to a ‘Digital Census’ by using the latest technology. The future potential of an efficient and scientific digital Census process is high, as it could lead to provision of public services through one platform.

Besides maintaining the data in paper forms, availability of data in digital form will not only help in detailed multi-dimensional analysis but also for utilization for public welfare, using latest software.

National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) to be ready by January 2020

The work on National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) set up to track any terror suspect and prevent terrorist attacks with real time data, has been accelerated. This move comes after Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently reviewed the progress of NATGRID project. In all probability, NATGRID will start functioning by January 2020.

What is National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)?

It is a robust intelligence gathering mechanism related to banking, immigration, individual tax payers, air and train travels. The project is worth Rs.3400 crore and was conceptualised following 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

NATGRID will have data related to all immigration entry and exit, air flyers, credit card purchases, banking and financial transactions, individual tax payers, telecom, and train travelers among others to generate intelligence inputs.

The data recovery centre of the NATGRID has been constructed in Bengaluru, Karnataka and its headquarters is nearing completion in Delhi.

Phase I: In 1st phase, 10 user agencies and 21 service providers will be connected with NATGRID. In later stages 950 organisations and then another 1,000 organisations will be connected with it.

10 agencies which will be able to access NATGRID data on real time basis are:

  1. Intelligence Bureau (IB)
  2. Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW)
  3. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
  4. Enforcement Directorate (ED)
  5. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
  6. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
  7. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)
  8. Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)
  9. Directorate General of Central Excise and Intelligence (DGCEI)
  10. Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

Initially, no state agencies will be given direct access to NATGRID data but in case any relevant information is required, they can approach NATGRID through any of 10 user agencies.

NATGRID can also have readily available data on banking transactions and immigration as both sectors are equipped with real time mechanism.

Background

In the wake of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the lack of real time data and information was considered to be one of the major hurdles in detecting U.S. terror suspect David Headley’s movement across India during his multiple visits between 2006 and 2009. He was main individual who had provided key information and videos of terror targets to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out attacks that claimed 166 lives.

Thereby on 8 April 2010, the Cabinet Committee on Security had given approval to NATGRID project but its work slowed down after 2012. On June 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a review meeting on the NATGRID and this is when the then Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi gave a detailed presentation on ambitious project  and the project was again taken up to complete.