India will have a single anti-terror network soon: Chidambaram

      Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram said here on Friday that, his ministry has initiated a project to bring all the over 16,000 police stations in the country under a single network to counter terror challenges. Inaugurating a conference on small entrepreneurship Chidambaram said, the project, which would attract an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore, would be operational by 2012. "We are working on Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS). That will link each of the 16,000 police stations in India so that any of the police station can contact any other police station," he said Chidambaram also said the Multi Purpose National Identity Cards (MNIC) will be issued to 1.1 billion resident Indians after the completion of enumeration work next year. "After successful completion of the pilot project of biometric identity card system (MNIC), the government will cover 3,331 coastal villages and the Andaman Nicobar Islands this year under the scheme," he said. He said over 1.1 billion people would be enumerated for the biometric identity card system. "This year we are covering 12 million people in 3,331 coastal villages and the whole of Andaman Nicobar Islands. Following that we will issue a unique identity number to every resident Indian," he said. Chidambaram said the unique number would be applicable for income tax, excise duty, and public distribution system cards, old age pension and schemes like NREGA and others. He elaborated that the State Governments have appointed nodal officers and all of them have signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for its early completion. "Once the CCTNS is completed, it will mark a quantum jump in country's ability to counter various challenges to internal security, particularly terror threats," Chidambaram added. He also called on the technocrats to help the government to build a National Counter-terrorism Centre on the lines of the US. "If the US can have a National Counter-terrorism Centre, why can't we have one in India. So, I wish that your entrepreneurial activities will help us build a sound technology-based system that will enhance the security and efficiency in India." Chidambaram said.

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