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No more physical police verification for passports

Context:

The physical police verification for getting a passport may soon be dispensed as the government plans to connect the procedure with the Crime and Criminal Tacking Network and System Project (CCTNS).

Introduction:

  • The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS) is expected to link with the passport service of the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • It will replace physical police verification for passport applicants with online verification in a year.

Background:

  • Ministry of Home Affairs conceptualized CCTNS project as a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
  • The project was first conceptualized by the previous UPA government in 2009
  • The National Criminal Information Infrastructure Protection Centre had been roped in for the task.

What is CCTNS?

  • CCTNS is an exhaustive national database of crimes and criminals that will check the antecedents of applicants at the click of a mouse, was expected to be linked with the passport service of the External Affairs Ministry.
  • CCTNS is a project under Indian government for creating a comprehensive and integrated system for effective policing through e-Governance.
  • The project is being implemented by the National Crime Record Bureau.
  • CCTNS has enabled 13,775 out of 15,398 police stations to enter 100 per cent data into the software.
  • As of now the CCTNS national database has around 7 crore data records pertaining to past and current criminal cases
  • CCTNS aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at all levels through the adoption of e-governance.

Functioning:

  • It will minimize contract of an individual with police and reduce time for getting passport.
  • This project will interconnect about 15,398 police stations and 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers across the nation.
  • The mandate of the CCTNS had been expanded by incorporating citizen-centric services such as tenant verification, quick registration of FIR in any crime and connecting the network with criminal justice delivery system.
  • It will digitize data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all police stations.
  • The full implementation of the project with all the new components would lead to a Central citizen portal having linkages with State level citizen portals that will provide a number of citizen friendly services
  • The total outlay for the project is 2000 crore rupees, and also includes Operation and Maintenance phase for additional five years up to March 2022.

Objective:

  • Facilitate interaction and sharing of information between police establishments in the country
  • Automation and computerization of FIRs
  • Make police functioning citizen friendly
  • Provide latest information technology to investigating officers
  • Improve police functioning in Law & Order; Traffic Management
  • Keep track of the progress of Cases, including in Courts
  • Reduce manual and redundant Records keeping
  • Easy access to police services.
  • Improve investigation system in the country.
  • The project will also be integrated with e-courts & e-prison applications so that all three systems are inter-linked.

Advantages:

The CCTNS system has its own advantages for all stakeholders in law & order.

  • For senior officers, it provides an online monitoring system for effective supervision and a real time analysis of crime reports.
  • For investigating officers, it provides access to information on crimes and criminals.
  • It also envisages integration of Forensic labs, Finger Print Bureaus, Police Control Rooms and Police stations.
  • For junior police staff, it provides one time data entry of information and real time generation of reports and records.
  • For citizens, it provides ability to online register complaints and grievances. They can download various forms and initiate verification of servants, tenants, senior citizen registrations etc.
  • Significant reduction in maintenance of manual records/register.
  • Elimination of duplicate and inconsistent record keeping.
  • Timely information sharing for crime detection and thereby better convictions, crime prevention, leading to better law and order situation and internal security

Problems in implementation:

There are several problems with the implementation as follows:

  • Police, Law and Order is a state subject in India; and systems across States are not uniform.
  • Under CCTNS, each state needs to prepare and finalize the Request for Proposal (RFP) for selection of a State System Integrator (SI).
  • State System Integrator is basically a firm or individual who works as nodal point of contact and accountability for the implementation, integration and performance of CCTNS.
  • Many of the states have delayed the selection of SIs.
  • There has been delay in establishment of the National Data Centre.
  • The core applications which were developed originally needed frequent updates and changes because of performance issues and additional requirements.
  • The commissioning of WiMax and VSAT sites got delayed.

Conclusion:

The project will help in creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing

 

 

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