Multi Agency Centre (MAC)

What is MAC ?
After the incursion of Pakistan in Kargil in 1999, the Government of India constituted the Kargil Review Committee and subsequently set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to review the National Security Apparatus in its entirety. The relevant recommendations of the Group of Ministers given in the year 2001 are as under :-

"In view of the increasing internal security threats arising from extremists and separatist movements, aided and abetted from abroad, much greater co-ordination is required between the Central and State Intelligence Agencies (or State Special Branches) as well as para-military intelligence branches. They must not only formulate intelligence priorities, needs and requirements, but also devote special attention to streamlining intelligence operations. Towards this end, appropriate informal arrangements should be worked out by the MHA so that the concept of a Joint Task Force on intelligence is actualized.

A permanent Joint Task Force on Intelligence (JTFI) should be constituted, in which the IB would play a lead role, in association with the MHA and along with the representatives from the intelligence branches of the concerned States and Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs), to determine intelligence priorities as well as intelligence needs, requirements and training facilities country-wide. It would assign specific responsibilities to appropriate organizations, to ensure a coherent multi-intelligence approach to all aspects of collection, processing and analysis. The JTFI would have a responsibility for tasking and evaluation. It would attempt to streamline technical assets by combining the collective technical intelligence capabilities of different agencies – in Signal Intelligence (Signint), Communication Intelligence (Comint) and Photographic Intelligence (Photoint)/Imagery Intelligence (Immint) – to effectively support intelligence needs. The JTFI might from time to time carry out an inter-agency review, to identify problems that may need a common protocol and merit joint handling, as they can have a critical bearing on national security".

As per GoM recommendation Multi Agency Centre (MAC) was created at Delhi and Subsidiary Multi Agency Centres (SMACs) in various states comprising representatives from various security agencies, for streamlining intelligence efforts. Later Union Home Minister of India reviewed the security situation and issued Multi Agency Centre (functions, powers and duties) order, 2008 was issued on December 31, 2008. MAC-SMAC is functioning since 2002 and has been re-operationalized with effect from 2009. As a follow up of the above order, 24x7 Control Rooms have been set up at Multi Agency Centre (MAC) at New Delhi and the Subsidiary Multi Agency Centres (SMACs) at State Level and at Headquarters of Intelligence Wings of other agencies to ensure timely sharing of information and better co-ordination between intelligence agencies Daily meetings of Nodal Officers of 25 member agencies are being conducted on every working day. Presently, MAC-SMAC network has 416 nodes spread across the country and connected to MAC HQ at New Delhi. This includes 31 SMAC HQs & 32 SSBs located at State Capitals. These nodes are connected by 2 Mbps leased lines of BSNL/MTNL. As of March 14, 2013, 362 nodes, out of total 416 have been installed and made functional.

MAC is a multi-agency centre for Counter Terrorism whose mandate is to share terrorism related inputs on a day to day basis.