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CCTNS: Connecting Police Rajinder Kumar Vij

There has been a paradigm shift in the fundamental concept of governance in the recent years. More emphasis is now being given to the citizen centric services. Automation levels have gained new heights. The service delivery channels have been gradually increasing. Though the private sector has taken a lead in leveraging the benefits of the Information and Communication Techniques (ICT), the governments have also been making sincere efforts to tap its potential by systematic transformation of its traditionally rigid and opaque style of functioning to a more accessible and transparent one. Even the oft criticised police, which perceives itself a victim of digital divide has acquired a better preparedness to reap the benefits of the ICT. The e-Cop application of Andhra Pradesh police and networking of all Police Stations (PS) using Virtual Private Network (VPN) by Karnataka police speaks volumes about the capability of the police to harness the potential of the ICT. It’s time to turn things around, do more with less by using these modern tools in every day policing; know more, in order to make better decisions as well as increase public confidence in police forces, and share information. Therefore, in order to modernise the police force and bring uniformity in dealing with its important functions, the ‘Crime & Criminals Tracking Network and Systems’ (CCTNS) project has been conceptualised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI) as a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). CCTNS- Scope The aim of CCTNS is to create a comprehensive and integrated system for effective and efficient policing at all levels through a nationwide network with a bottom-top approach in accordance

with the principles of e-Governance. The key objectives of the CCTNS project therefore include: • providing enhanced IT tools for investigation, crime prevention, law and order maintenance and other functions; • increasing operational efficiency by reducing manual and repetitive tasks; • better communication and automation at the back-end; • sharing crime and criminals’ databases across the country at state and central levels; • sharing intelligence on real-time basis, and • improving service delivery to the public and other stakeholders The Police Station (PS), a basic unit of policing, has been conceived as a core unit of the project. The First Information Report (FIR) shall now be written and saved in digital format. Evidence pertaining to the scene of crime could also be captured on a real time basis. This would solve the problem of alleged overwriting, cuttings and illegible handwriting to a large extent. Complainants would be able to keep track of their report without visiting the PS. The Chief of Police would be able to talk to a remote PS staff at will. Record-keeping would improve and mundane tasks of report making would be minimised. The project covers all PSs (approx. 14,000) and about 6,000 higher offices that come under the ambit of all states and union territories. However, the states that have already implemented similar schemes of their own, have the freedom of leveraging the CCTNS funds for improving their existing systems. The system components covered under the project include core application software (CAS) to be provided centrally by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), hardware and communication

infrastructure including state-level Data Centres, capacity building & handholding and, digitisation of historical records of last 10 years through System Integrators. Roles and Responsibilities: To ensure proper and timely implementation of the project, NCRB has been designated as the central nodal agency. Besides defining the functional scope of CCTNS and providing specifications, it has been given additional responsibility to develop CAS. Nevertheless, the implementation model is in alignment with the NeGP guidelines of ‘centralised planning and decentralised implementation’. Accordingly, states have to play the lead role in implementing this project. In order for state governments to plan, implement and monitor CCTNS in their own states, they need to constitute appropriate governance structures that include committees like State Apex Committee, State Empowered Committee, State Mission Team and District Mission teams which are already in place. Simultaneously, states are required to select a State Project Management Consultant to advice the State Empowered Committee in preparing a Detailed Project Report, identifying a System Integrator and developing the functional specifications for the enhancement of CCTNS applications not covered by NCRB. Similarly, in order to monitor the progress of CCTNS at the state level and support the state governance structures, states need to engage a State Program Management Unit. The role of SI is unique for the project which would act as single point of contact and accountability for the implementation and performance of CCTNS. It is required to customise and implement the core application provided by NCRB, develop additional functionalities, procure hardware and communication egov

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infrastructure and manage change for capacity building. Thus SI, central to the entire project would be responsible for the outcome of the program, and its payments would be linked to the progress of the project. CCTNS, being a ‘Mission Mode Project’, is a 100% centrally funded scheme. Rs. 2,000 crore have been earmarked for the project up to 2011-12. But the release of funds has been linked to the progress of implementation and achievement of pre-defined milestones. Further, each state has to identify a ‘State Designated Agency’ (SDA) that shall serve as a channel for transfer of funds from GoI to states and from governments to the vendors implementing CCTNS. Capacity Building Starting and maintaining an ICT project to fight crime and promote community safety requires a sustained commitment. An ICT project’s success or failure will depend heavily on the organisational capacity to manage and respond to the information transmitted by the technology. The development, implementation, and communication of policies and procedures will help citizen trust that information collected, stored, and disseminated through ICT tools will be handled thoughtfully, legally, and ethically. Capacity building, the most vital component therefore has been appropriately addressed for the successful implementation of the project. Funds have been earmarked not only for the enhancement of training infrastructure at district headquarters, State Crime Record Bureau (SCRB) and training centres, but also for providing various training programs to the police staff. Various target groups identified for the training include investigating officers, station house officers, senior police officers, police personnel providing technical support and training support to CCTNS. Specialised courses have been designed for sensitisation and awareness creation in basic ICT and computing skills, role specific training for different CCTNS user categories and ‘training for trainer’. Almost all training programs are to be delivered by the System Integrator engaged by the states. Once the systems are in place, handholding will be provided for 6 months. Expected Outcomes Implementation of any project is never complete without measurement of the 22

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“Citizen satisfaction may not depend on how fast data is uploaded on the system. Since the internet access is quite limited in rural areas, the real improvement in service delivery can be brought about only by inculcating attitudinal changes in the policemen. Therefore, focus should be on people and not on systems.” expected outcomes and subsequent impact. The CCTNS project envisages the following (indicative only) outcomes: Citizen Services • Ease of reporting petitions and complaints • Web interface to keep track of complaints • Quick responses on general service petitions like NOC External Department Services • Quick responses to interdepartmental service requests Police Department Services • Quick response to queries • Quick feedback from senior officers on identified crime patterns • Easy compilation of crime data and reporting • Less time spent on non-core back office tasks Thus, to ensure ‘Reliability, Availability, Supportability, Performance’ of system, operational Service Level Agreements are to be agreed upon between the SI and the S-PMU. Some of the measurable parameters to be monitored include application, data availability and accuracy, network availability, functional requirement upgrade, uptime of back office servers etc. Challenges Ahead Though the project has been conceptualised keeping in mind the past experience of implementation of ‘Common Integrated Police Application’ (CIPA) and requirements of modern policing, the real challenge lies in identifying the constraints for effective implementation and sustainability of the project and employing appropriate methodologies to overcome them. The flow of funds is ensured until 2011-12. Beyond this, the state governments have to own the project (as per the signed MoU) for its sustainability and divert some minimum funds towards it. Unless such funds are committed, sustainability of the project cannot be assured.

Secondly, connectivity of PSs may pose a major challenge in difficult terrain covered by hills and dense forest. Many PSs are still devoid of regular supply of electricity. Even maintenance of a meagre ‘Generator Set’ may be difficult to ascertain constant flow of data. Thirdly, although, sufficient funds have been provided for enhancement of training infrastructure and capacity building yet, unless the change management is carefully planned and implemented, the project may not take-off with the required momentum. ‘Expect the resistance and plan for it’; must be the slogan for managing change. Change is a process and therefore must be planned accordingly. Fourthly, citizen satisfaction may not depend on how fast data is uploaded on the system. Since the internet access is quite limited in rural areas, the real improvement in service delivery can be brought about only by inculcating attitudinal changes in the policemen. Therefore, focus should be on people and not on systems. Fifthly, states must be supplemented with additional funds for upcoming PSs and other police units as and when required. Therefore, if sufficient provision of funds is not made for the additional units, the very purpose of sharing information will be defeated. Lastly, the successful implementation of any e-Governance project primarily depends upon the leadership of the organisation. Unless the command comes from the top, commitment loses its sheen. The top brass must own the project for timely implementation and effective usage. Moreover, at state level, envisioning by state to integrate an ongoing evaluation system that monitors the effectiveness of daily operations and allows responding to problems and making mid-course corrections in a timely fashion for this project, is paramount. \\

Rajendra Kumar Vij

IGP, Chhatisgarh Police State Nodal Officer for CCTNS


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