When it comes to law and order, Gujarat is one of the best performing states. This is established by the all India level data collected by many reputed Central Government agencies. The data released by the National Crime Records Bureau shows that Gujarat has lowest instances of crime against women. In fact, it is Delhi comes out as one of the most unsafe big cities for women in India. The data also shows many other states in North India are in poor light as far as crimes against women are concerned.
One of the reasons why law and order is being better managed in Gujarat is also related to the speedy implementation of most innovative information technology initiatives in the police forces. Recently the Government of Gujarat launched a very ambitious information technology project called the eGujCop. Through this system all of Gujarat Police’s 1,000 police stations and other departments with the Home Department are being connected through the electronic platform.
The programme, running under the Information Technology Enabled System (ITES), has been designed to bring a simple, fast, transparent and effective connection between the police departments converting the procedures online through a specially designed database. The Central Government has acknowledged that the Rs. 150 crore project is a successful model for modernisation of the police forces.
This project will bring a paradigm shift in the functioning of the Police Department by reducing their workload through the e-Document system. The job of linking over 1,000 police stations, jails, home guards, the forensic science lab, the Prohibition and Anti-Corruption Bureau, located in the far-flung areas of the State, is not an easy task. The project will later head to converting the FIR into e-FIRs, when police officers will lodge complaints directly on the computer and begin investigation. But Gujarat has managed to do it in a timely and efficient manner.
As the system makes it possible for the police to have access to the updated databank of criminals on a real time basis, it has made law enforcement much easier. There is fear among the criminals and the morale of the police forces is quite high. The task of investigating difficult crimes has also become much easier. All the police stations have already been outfitted with computers and other hardware for running this system.
Even in the implementation of the Central Government’s flagship scheme Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and System (CCTNS), Gujarat is far ahead of most other states in the country. In fact, Gujarat is now regarded as the first state in the country to have a completely integrated police ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning, a software integrating all aspects of an operation) system. The project, known as Home Department Intelligent Information System (HDIITS), has been rolled out across all police stations, jails and special police branches.
As a part of the project, the Home Department in Gujarat has created a complete biometric database of the convicts, jail inmates and suspects using biometric, iris and face recognition technologies. The database on criminals is being stored at the central server of the police system and is seamlessly available to police stations across the state. A complete case management system has been rolled in across the State, so that the police officials do not write First Information Reports and other cases manually.
As all the work is conducted on well-networked online systems it ensures that all the cases get documented in a transparent manner and are also monitored by higher authorities at the headquarters, in real time.
Today it is possible for citizens to apply for verifications, licenses, etc., online, and also use the online or in many cases SMS systems to check progress of their application.