Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2012: National Counter Terrorism Centre

In the Indian context, the National Counter Terrorism Centre, that will be an important pillar of the new security architecture, is based on the following premises:

  • That, under the Constitution of India, countering terrorism is a shared responsibility of the Central Government and the State Governments

  • That terrorists do not recognise boundaries between countries or boundaries between States belonging to a country

  • That many terrorist organisations have foot prints in several countries and have the capacity to commit terrorist acts across borders or boundaries

  • That human resources alone are not sufficient to counter terrorism; technology is the key weapon in this conflict.

  • That we have obligations to the international community under the Resolutions of the Security Council.

  • That given India's 7516 km coastline, 15, 106 km of international borders with seven countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar) and a number of international gateways, State Anti-Terrorist Forces would have to necessarily work with a number of agencies of the Central Government, especially when there are threats in the domain of sea, air and space.

  • In the aftermath of 26/11, the home minister announced a new security architecture to fortify the country against terrorist attacks. Instead of a maze of competing bureaucracies for intelligence, security and enforcement, there would be central coordination-a networked intelligence database (NATGRID), a National Investigation Agency (NIA) and a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), which would be ultimately responsible for piecing together information and acting on it.

State's Criticism of NCTC

  • Like other counter-terror mechanisms around the world, NCTC would process and interpret the deluge of intelligence data from across the country. However, unlike most global models, the proposed NCTC would also involve itself in investigation and operational supervision.

  • While acknowledging the need for a unified anti-terror apparatus, State chief ministers have been united in their alarm about the proposed anti-terror body's apparently untrammelled authority-it will give the Centre powers to search, seize and arrest, cutting into the state's policing domain. They expressed worry about the wisdom of exempting such a powerful agency from parliamentary scrutiny.

  • These concerns are valid, and should have been addressed at the very start. However, this government's inability to engage and persuade allies and states has turned the NCTC issue into a confrontation over federalism.

Courtesy: The Hindu