IIT bombay to help security forces fight terrorism


Staff member
Mumbai October 7:

Capturing images and viewing them at a command station during terror operations will soon be possible in the country. The wireless communication device, used to capture images when American military forces gunned down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, could become a reality in India.

The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay will set up a research centre on homeland security to help police and paramilitary forces use state-of-the-art technology to tackle problems like urban terrorism, naxalism and cyber crime. The institute's electrical engineering department has developed a wireless communication device that will permit beaming live images to a command station.

"Images are transmitted using ultra-broadband services. We are updating the version to shrink the size and make it more cost-effective," a student associated with the project said. The institute has collaborated with a recently set-up anti-terror force and is developing the device for it. However, the product needs to be commercialized to make it deployable. Though many individual efforts have begun at the department level, the institute has drawn up a blueprint to set up the virtual centre.

"Police forces in the country do not have access to technology that could be used to tackle urban crime like terrorism. The institute plans to use its expertise to develop technology for security forces. We plan to make a consolidated approach so that as a centre we can seek funds to streamline research," said Professor Abhay Karandikar, from the IIT's electrical engineering department, and who is involved in the project. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has taken active interest in the institute's projects and some demonstrations of prototypes developed by the institute have been held for some of its top officials.

"Many agencies are interested in the technology we are developing. Once the research centre is set up, we can have focused research activities. Training and educating police officials in latest technology will be important. The police force must understand the threats they are dealing with in the modern world. Training them may become part of the centre's activities," the professor added. The institute has been been involved in training senior police officials in technology for the last few years.

While the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) already works towards developing technology for military forces, there is almost no centre or agency working for police forces in the country. "There are overlaps in requirements of the military and police forces, but there are requirements which are specific to the police force. The police work in urban set-ups in most cases," Karandikar said.