The UPA Government had initiated the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) project in 2009 as part of its police modernisation programme under the national e-governance project. It was conceived to bring all 16,000 police stations in India under a single network to counter terror challenges.
Objectives of CCTNS
The core objective of CCTNS is to connect all the police stations so that any of the police stations can contact any other police station; thereby facilitate collection, storage, retrieval, analysis and transfer the information among police stations, state headquarters and central police organizations. Other objectives are as follows:
- Facilitate interaction and sharing of info 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
- The project will also be integrated with e-courts & e-prison applications so that all three systems are inter-linked.
Advantages of CCTNS
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. In this way, CCTNS provides both G2G and G2C services.
Implementation of CCTNS
This project has not been implemented so far. Earlier, its deadline was March 2015 with provision for one year extension. In July 2015; the Union Cabinet had approved extending the deadline up to March 2017. 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.
NDA Government on CCTNS
It was a pet project of UPA government, which had allocated Rs. 120 Crore in 2013-14 budgets for its implementation. But under the NDA government, the project found itself plunged into trouble. The reason was that CCTNS was one of many schemes which were thrown to states to implement. In Budget 2014-15, the Union Government provided for only Rs. 23 Crore for CCTNS in Union territories. No allocation on CCTNS was made apart from that.
Majority of the police stations (72%) are today generating FIR in computers. But, CCTNS cannot work unless state databases are ready and have been properly interlinked. It has been reported that the finance ministry might come up with fresh allocation to this scheme. Currently, it is to be implemented by March 2017 and another five year period till 2022 has been given for its operations and management.
After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, three different projects viz. National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC), National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks & Systems (CCTNS) were launched to strengthen India’s safety and security paraphernalia. Each of them has been non-starter due to an array of reasons. Out of them, CCTNS is more important for common man as it is directly related to law & order and crimes. If CCTNS is in place, it will be easier for the law enforcement agencies to track down a criminal moving from one place to another. It will bring more transparency as a person can lodge complaint on-line and get a status report of the complaint on-line too.