SOURCE: INDIA TODAY
The Intelligence Bureau is all set to enhance its network of information gathering aiming to tab inputs swiftly by doubling its ground locations across the country.
India’s internal intelligence agency, that is flooded with 150 inputs a day ranging from terror alerts from conflict hit Kashmir, north east states, Maoist zones and suspicious terror activities in urban India, is looking at expanding its network to 825 locations from the current 374 that work under the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) set up in 2001 after the Kargil conflict of 1999.
The Union Home Ministry shared the details of the blueprint of the proposed expansion with a parliamentary panel.
“A total of 374 locations are presently on the network. In phase III, the network is being extended to 475 districts selected in consultation with State police chiefs. Out of 475 identified locations, 451 locations have been found feasible for providing connectivity, out of which 174 districts have already been connected. When completed, the network will cover 825 locations around the country,” the Home Ministry said.
The panel was told that MAC was established as a comprehensive system of communication and connectivity to share, disseminate terrorism related information and data.
MAC is a common platform for inputs coming in from various intelligence agencies where it is collated and passed on for further action.
“For this purpose, the national capital was connected with 25 central member agencies and all state capitals. In the State capitals, the network links the SMAC (housed in the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau/SIB), State Police Special Branch, and offices of all central and other counter-terror agencies. The government has now planned to expand the MAC network base, the home ministry response said.
“On an average, every day MAC gathers, collates, stores, shares and disseminates about 150 inputs to concerned agencies. Special alerts are also issued as and when called for.”
The network works on two software platforms-an intelligence sharing tool called Threat Management system (TMS) and a database tool called National Memory Bank (NMB).
MAC underwent an overhaul in December 2008 after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
The Union Home Minustry said the inputs are broadly divided under four heads – Jammu and Kashmir, North-East, Left Wing Extremism and rest of India. “LWE- related inputs form the largest proportion of total inputs received by MAC currently, reflecting the spread of the problem across several states,” the home ministry said.
It added that government has designated MAC as the nodal point for sharing of intelligence with Bangladesh and Myanmar. In this capacity, inputs on terrorism are regularly shared with counterparts in these countries.