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Context: Home Ministry push to Intelligence Bureau’s counter-terrorism grid i.e. Multi Agency Centre (MAC).
About Multi Agency Centre:
- Multi Agency Centre (MAC), a common counter-terrorism grid under the Intelligence Bureau (IB) that was made operational in 2001 post-Kargil war.
- 28 organisations, including the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), armed forces and State police are part of the platform .
- There are around 400 secured sites connected with the MAC headquarters.
Concerns with MAC:
- System existed to share information, but it was not being implemented effectively.
- States are reluctant to share information on the platform, it was also highlighted in the parliamentary standing committee report in 2020
- Gaps in sharing critical information at the right time, although all the States have a subsidiary multi-agency centre (SMAC) located in all State capitals.
Why there is need of intelligence sharing?
- Lack of quick information to intelligence and enforcement agencies is considered to be one of the major hurdles in mitigating crimes.
- For handling and mitigating the continued threats of terrorism and global terror groups, terror financing, narco-terrorism, organised crime-terror nexus, illicit use of cyber space, movement of foreign terrorist fighters.
- Help in building better coordination and synergy among the central and state security agencies in countering the ever-changing counter terrorism and security challenges.
India’s other counter-terrorism platform
- National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) aimed at providing cutting-edge technology to boost India's counter-terror capabilities.
- NATGRID is conceptualised as a seamless and secure database for information on terrorists, economic crimes and similar incidents to help bolster India's capabilities.
- It track suspects and prevent terrorist attacks with real-time data and access to classified information like immigration, banking, individual taxpayers, air and train travels.
- 26/11 prompted India to launch the NATGRID database
How will NATGRID work?