“India’s first Cybercrime Police Station and first Cyber Crime prevention unit AASHVAST ”
In 1999, Karnataka became the first state in the country to set up a Cyber Crime Investigation Cell. Since then, it had been concentrating on equipping the state’s police personnel with necessary resources and wherewithal to tackle cybercrimes. However, the need for a separate station dedicated to the high-tech crime was felt and a proposal on this was being finalised by the COD. It would shortly be handed over to the government for early approval.
India’s first cybercrime police station is located in the city of Bangalore, Karnataka. It was inaugurated in the year 1999 at the COD campus in Bangalore. In the next coming months and years, they started receiving cases in a four digit on daily basis. A multi-disciplinary group of experts helped the investigating agency in the beginning days as many officers and constables were not aware of the technology and hence needed training. Further help was offered by the experts from Indian Institute of science’s supercomputer centre and software giants such as Infosys and Tata.
The station was headed by a DYSP rank officer, stipulated under the Information Technology Act,2000 and also assisted by another three inspectors at the station. Currently this station deals with computer crimes such as vandalism, creating and distributing viruses, stealing computer time, hacking, theft of intellectual property, software piracy, espionage, manipulation of computer system and financial frauds. The COD headquarters in Bangalore would be a ‘virtual station’ with the jurisdiction covering the entire state to check such malpractices, COD inspector general of police R Srikumar said. ”The new agency will be the nodal agency to receive complaints regarding all computer-related crimes. It will investigate with the help of multi-disciplinary group of experts drawn from various fields including renowned software companies, academic institutions, and IT consultants,” Srikumar elaborated. ”Time is a crucial factor for investigating cybercrimes. Skilled investigators can easily trace the culprits if they were informed about it well on time,” he added.
Union Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah on January 10, 2020, inaugurated various projects of Gujarat Police and Indian Postal Department in Gandhinagar Gujarat. The Projects include:
VISHWAS: “Video Integration and StateWide Advance Security” Project
NETRANG: Project to establish Command and Control Room in 33 districts
AASHVAST: an online portal to pay e-Challan and Cyber Crime Prevention Unit
Cybercrimes have been rising at an alarming rate in India with figures almost doubled between 2016 and 2017 according to NCRB. To take the required measures and stop the constantly increasing cybercrimes, the AASHVAST project has been launched.
The Cyber AASHVAST is a unit that will act to prevent cybercrimes with the help of VISHWAS and NETRANG. It will own an exclusive online portal that will have dedicated service helpline for victims of cyber-crimes. The AASHVAST will also monitor, prevent, and control cyber-crimes in the state. Along with AASHVAST and VISHWAS, project NETRANG was also launched. It will establish command and control rooms in 33 districts in Gujrat.
The Government recently launched the I4C (Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre) and established the Cyber and Information Security Division (C&IS). The C&IS will implement NATGRID (National Intelligence Grid), NISPG (National Information Security Policy).
The NATGRID is an intelligence grid that connects databases of security agencies operating under GoI. The National Information Security Policy aims at the protection of information in cyberspace. It elaborates security concepts and best security practices to be implemented. These practices will be made mandatory for the ministries to implement in order to protect government data.
By Paritosh Garg