Daily News Analysis

Multi Agency Centre

6th January, 2022 Polity

Figure 1: No Copyright Infringement Intended

Context:

  • During a security review meeting with state police officers, the Federal Secretary of the Interior called for more openness in sharing more and practical information through the Multi-Agency Center (MAC).

 

Multi Agency Center:

  • The MultiAgency Center (MAC) is a hub for exchanging intelligence information between different institutions.
  • About 28 institutions are part of the MAC, and organizations that are somehow involved in the war on terror are members of this mechanism.
  • This includes organizations such as the Research and Analysis Bureau (R & AW), the military, and state police. Various security agencies share real-time intelligence inputs on the MAC.
  • The Information Bureau (IB) is the hub of the MAC.

 

Working of Multi Agency Center:

  • At the MAC level, all these authorities meet almost daily to bring the findings of the last 24 hours to the table, discuss them, and formulate or agree on follow-up measures.
  • A national-level MAC based in Delhi was established in 2001 after the invasion of Kargil. The state also has an auxiliary MAC (SMAC).
  • There are about 400 secure sites connected to MAC
  • It is also proposed to extend the connection from SMAC to the district level.

 

Concerns / issues regarding how MAC works:

Low / passive contribution from government agencies:

  • Government contributions to MAC are small compared to the total contribution of MAC at the national level.
  • There are also some cases where some government agencies are hesitant to share intelligence with MAC. Such situations can affect the availability of practical inputs from the ground.

Coordination challenges:

  • With so many institutions involved, one of the biggest challenges in how MAC works is to coordinate and respond to the inputs collected by these entities.
  • At times, the lack of coordination and distrust between these intelligence agencies prevented them from taking timely measures to prevent terrorist attacks.

Implementation challenges:

  • The IB move to connect the district to an anti-terrorist intelligence network faced issues such as leased lines and encryption.

Recommendations:

  • Government agencies need to provide sufficient information through anti-terrorism networks. This process needs to be slimmer.
  • You need to assign a focus of adjustment to address the challenges of adjustment. This role can be delegated to the Ministry of Home.
  • The Secret Service works with friendly foreign counterparts at the district, state, and regional levels as well as at the international level to coordinate and collaborate to develop and exchange information to mitigate and neutralize threats