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Security gets boost as budget allocates Rs 1.96 lakh crore to MHA

The Union budget has allocated Rs 1.96 lakh crore to Amit Shah-led Union Home Ministry

Security gets boost as budget allocates Rs 1.96 lakh crore to MHA

Giving top priority to strengthening national security, the Union budget has allocated Rs 1.96 lakh crore to Amit Shah-led Union Home Ministry.

The budget has defined eight core areasuse of technology in collecting and analysing intelligence for thwarting terror attacks, tracking inimical foreign elements entering the country, threats in cyber space, modernization of state police forces, boosting investigation techniques by pumping money into forensics, disaster management, improving jails and building safe cities for women.

Coming a year ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls where the BJP is likely to project the success of a terror free regime in the hinterland and decline in militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, the budget's focus on strengthening border security while following a policy of zero tolerance for terror is noteworthy .

But at the heart of all these measures is the focus on technological interventions in law enforcement.

The biggest example is the National Intelligence Grid which has got a huge jump from Rs 96 crore last year to Rs 200 crore in 2023-24.

The NATGRID was a project initiated by the UPA regime post 26/11 attacks, but it did not see the light of the day.

The MHA is now keen to see it delivering results after it has been set in motion in the last few years by linking databases like bank accounts, travel details as an input in combating terrorism.

It intends to create a facility to improve capability to counter internal security threats.

The IVFRT (Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration and Tracking) is yet another technology supported system to ward off threats and keep a tab on travellers into the country, that has got Rs 229 crore compared to Rs 175 crore last year.

The core objective of IVFRT is to develop and implement a secure and integrated service delivery framework that facilitates legitimate travellers, while strengthening security.

Impetus has been given to criminology and forensic sciences which has been allocated Rs 109 crore compared to Rs 87 crore last year; modernization of forensic capabilities has got Rs 700 crore allocation against Rs 250 crore last year.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre , which is handling rising cyber crime cases across the country has been given Rs 94 crore against Rs 25 crore last year.

The Inter Operable Criminal Justice System, which is another key area to enable seamless transfer of data and information among different pillars of the criminal justice system like courts, police, jails, forensic science, has got a five fold boost with Rs 590 crore outlay against Rs 105 crore last year.

There is also a huge focus on modernization of prisons with Rs 250 crores being allocated for it, giving a fillip to official languages (Rs 93 crore) and infrastructure for disaster management.

The National Disaster Response Force has got an increase from Rs 1,419 crore to Rs 1,601 crore. Most importantly, the schemes for safety of women have seen an increase in funds; the safe city project of the MHA has again got a huge increase from Rs 165 crore to Rs 1,100 crore.

The grants in aid to states has also seen an increase from Rs 1,305 crore to Rs 2,538 crore.

The allocation becomes important as law and order is a state subject and the onus of safety and security of citizens lies with the local law enforcement authorities as well.

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