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Technology, innovation crucial to combating terror: Chidambaram


New Delhi : Pointing out that the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike was the tipping point for revamping the country’s security, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Monday said security and police agencies have to depend increasingly on technology and innovation to combat new-age terror.

“This conference must mark the beginning of a process of reinventing the security system in the country. We must learn from our past mistakes. We must also learn from the experience of other countries,” said Chidambaram while addressing a three-day conference of police chiefs at Vigyan Bhavan here.

“It is the neglect of tried and tested methods that has led us to a situation where we seemed unequal to the challenges that face the internal security of the country,” Chidambaram said.

However, it is not enough to walk with firm steps on the path that is known. We must also lay out a path forward that will draw heavily upon technology and innovation.”

In this context, Chidambaram pointed to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) and the National Grid (NATGRID). The two ambitious projects, when fully rolled out and implemented would mark a quantum jump in police forces’ ability to counter challenges, the home minister said.

The CCTNS with an outlay of Rs.20 billion aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the police station level through adoption of principles of e-governance.

It also provides for the creation of a nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system around investigation of crime and detection of criminals in real time.

The home minister, who was impressed with New York’s National Counter Terrorism Center (NATC) during his US visit last week, said he wanted to replicate the same in India as well as enlarge the scope of the Mutli-Agency Centre that analyses intelligence inputs.

“There is the need to enact a model police Act. Mega-city policing is a new requirement, and there is much to learn from the experiences of other mega-cities. I wish to sharply upgrade our Forensic Science Laboratories and make them among the best in the world.”

“Prison reform is also on my agenda,” he said.

The home minister exhorted police chiefs to throw up more ideas and suggestions that would, when implemented, give people a security system they deserve and that will render India a country that is safe for all its people and for all those who visit it.