Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTN): Notes for UPSC

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) is a scheme created in the light of a non-plan scheme namely – Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA). The system includes a nationwide online tracking system by integrating more than 14,000 police stations across the country. The project is being implemented by the National Crime Records Bureau.

For more topics in current affairs, visit the linked article.

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) Latest News

Mr. Bibek Debroy, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM has observed that CCTNS is just a tool that facilitates police work, but it does not guarantee improved performance.

CCTNS aims to standardise, integrate, and harmonise the country’s criminal justice system and with over 97% of India’s police stations equipped with CCTNS software and connectivity, it is possible to digitise data, ensure data migration, integrate FIR registration, and launch citizen portals.

  • The project is implemented by the National Crime Records Bureau.
  • It has a national database of crime and criminals and connects police stations in the country. It also digitises FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets.
  • There are 5 steps that to be followed to protect a bonafide and punish mala fide when a crime is committed. They are (1) investigation; (2) FIR; (3) a charge-sheet; (4) prosecution; and (5) successful conviction. 
  • And of these, the last 2 have to do with the Criminal Justice System and the other 3 links are related to the Police. Weakness in each of these links varies in rate depending on the state and the nature of the crime.

But it is to be noted that there are issues at each of these links.

  • Investigation: For IPC (Indian Penal Code) crimes, the all-India average investigation rate is just over 72%. But it can vary from over 90% in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and West Bengal to less than 40% in Assam.
  • Absence of a  standardized, integrated, and harmonized criminal justice system
  • Under-staffing (both vacancies and filling of vacancies) of police personnel.
  • Both police and prisons are in the State List of Seventh Schedule:
    • The model prison manual introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2016 has not been adopted or updated by many states. E-prisons or enrollment and upgradation of Aadhar of prison will make prison administration easier but it won’t complete the prison reforms recommended.
    • Similar to the model prison manual, nothing notable has emerged through the Model Police Acts (Bills).
    • We are far away from the principle of one country – “one police” and “one prison”.
  • In this context, we need to understand that CCTNS is just a tool that facilitates police work, but it does not guarantee improved performance.
To complement your preparation for the upcoming exam, check the following links:

Background of CCTNS

Criminal tracking systems had not (and still haven’t) changed much since the days of British Rule in India. Most of the work is done manually despite advances in technology. The problem is compounded further with police stations across the country having gaps in technology, while some have state-of-the-art systems, others don’t. Even the ones with advanced technology cannot handle the sheer volume of criminal cases.

This problem was further magnified following the catastrophic attacks of 26/11, there were growing calls for a system that tracked and reported criminal and well as anti-state elements. The idea was first proposed by P. Chidambaram, who served as the home minister then. The scheme was approved by the cabinet and allocated a fund of Rs, 2000 cr, with the pilot phase being launched in 2013 by the home ministry.

How will CCTNS be implemented?

The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network will be implemented through integration of all criminal data and records into a Core Application Software (CAS). Developed by Wipro, the CAS is itself being installed in police precincts across the all the 28 states and 9 union territories of India. The implementation of this software will integrate different software and platforms used by these states under a unilateral platform that will track criminals across the nation at ease. The CCTN project will also involve the training of police technology in using the latest technology. It also fulfills the additional objective of strengthening e-governance across the states.

  • The Project will interconnect about 15000 Police Stations and additional 5000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country
  • It will digitize data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all police stations.
  • It would help in developing a national database of crime and criminals
  • The full implementation of the project with all the new components would lead to a Central citizen portal having linkages with State level citizen portals that will provide a number of citizen friendly services.
  • The total outlay for the project is 2000 crore rupees, and also includes Operation and Maintenance phase for additional five years up to March 2022.

Some Related Links:

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) – A Brief Overview Tackling Crime Against Women: RSTV – The Big Picture
Sexual Harassment At Work Place Violence Against Children

What are the objectives of the Crime and Criminal Tracking network & systems?

The objectives of CCTN are as follows

  • To facilitate a citizen friendly functioning of the police.
  • Automating the functioning of police stations for greater accountability and transparency.
  • To Advance delivery of people-centric services through effective usage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
  • To Enhance the functioning of the police in several other zones such as Law and Order, Traffic Management, etc.
  • To Enable sharing of information and interaction among police stations, districts, State and Union Territories’ headquarters and other police agencies.
  • To Support senior police officers in the enhanced management of Indian Police Force.
  • Maintain the appropriate track of the development of cases, including in Courts.
  • Decrease manual and redundant records keeping.

Frequently Asked Questions about Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS)


Is the CCTN initiative the first of its kind or were there similar schemes before?

Several initiatives have been introduced in the past to make use of technology in police functioning. Some of these initiatives include centrally initiated programs such as the CCIS (Crime and Criminals Information System) and CIPA (Common Integrated Police Application) and State-led initiatives such as e-COPS in Andhra Pradesh, Police IT (in Karnataka), but limited funding and the prospect of overhauling the entire police network was a daunting task with few takers.

Who are the stakeholders of the scheme?

The CCTN impacts the following stakeholders:

  • Citizens/ Citizens groups
  • Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)/National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
  • State Police department
  • External Departments of the State such as Courts, Passport Office, Transport Department, Hospitals etc.
  • Non-Government/Private sector organizations

CCTN – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

For more information about the IAS Exams and other preparation materials visit the linked article.

Multiple Choice Question

Consider the following Statements

  1. The National Crime Records Bureau, abbreviated to NCRB, is an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analyzing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL).
  2. The Crime and Criminal Information System (CCIS) was implemented at the district level during the period 1995-2004. Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) was implemented at the police station level during the period 2004-2009 in three phases.
  3. National Investigation Agency acts as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is empowered to deal with terror-related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
  4. The National Investigative Agency Bill and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill on Tuesday, 30 Dec 2008, became law as President Pratibha Patil gave her assent to the legislation which was passed in the last session of the parliament.

Choose the correct answer from the below-given options

A) Only Statements 1 and 2 are correct

B) Only Statements 1 and 3 are correct

C) All the above statements are true.

D) None of the above statements are true.

Answer: C

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