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National Repository of Photographs

Published: 18th Jul, 2019

The Central government wants to create a “repository of photographs of criminals” in the country.


The Central government wants to create a “repository of photographs of criminals” in the country.

More on News

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has invited bids for Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS).
  • To begin with, a repository of 1.5 crore ‘criminals’ is being planned.
  • The primary objective was to track missing children and identify unclaimed bodies through the photo records.


  • Data Protection: The data protection law must be passed by the Parliament because this crucial data needs to be protected against threats like unauthorised access to database or application, accidental modifications or deletions, confidentiality, encryption/decryption engine etc.
  • Secured Access: The Access Control Policy of the system must be based on the use of logins, passwords, fingerprint login and multi-layered security.
  • Privacy: The authorities must place suitable safeguards in the system so that the fundamental right to privacy of the citizens is not violated.
  • Dynamic Aspect: The system should be able to “add photographs obtained from newspapers, raids, sent by people, sketches etc in real time. Also, the system should be able to generate quick alerts if any of the subject images matches with the registered faces in the database.

About Facial Recognition Technology

  • Facial recognition is a way of recognizing a human face through technology. A facial recognition system uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video.
  • It compares the information with a database of known faces to find a match. Facial recognition can help verify personal identity.

Working of Facial Recognition Technology

  • Step 1: A picture of a face is captured from a photo, video or directly.
  • Step 2: Facial recognition software reads the geometry of your face. Key factors include the distance between your eyes and the distance from forehead to chin. The software identifies facial landmarks that are key to distinguishing your face. The result: your facial signature.
  • Step 3: Your facial signature — a mathematical formula — is compared to a database of known faces.
  • Step 4: A determination is made. The faceprint may match that of an image in a facial recognition system database.


  • The repository shall act as a foundation for a national level searchable platform of facial images
  • The system would also enable handheld mobile with applications to capture a face on the field and get the matching result from the backend server.

Other E- Governance Initiatives for Crime Management

  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems
  • CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt of India.
  • The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project was launched in 2009 in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks.
  • It aims at establishing seamless connectivity among 15,000 police stations across the country, and an additional 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers.
  • It keeps track of the progress of Cases, including in Courts.
  • It also reduces manual and redundant records keeping.


  • NCRB is nodal agency under Union Home Ministry for authentic source of data on crime on various parameters including accidents, suicides from across all the states of the country and prisons for policy matters and research. 
  • It was established in 1986 as the central police organisation.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It also imparts training in Information Technology (IT) and Finger Print Science for Indian Police Officers as well Foreign Police officers.
  • NCRB publishes 4 annual publications on Crime, Prison Statistics, Accidental Deaths & Suicides and Finger Prints. These publications serve as principal reference points on crime statistics.

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