The CWPF is likely to operate under the National Information Security Policy and Guidelines wing of the Union home ministry’s Cyber and Information Security (CIS) division, which was created last November. It is proposed to be raised on the lines of the Central Armed Police Force.
The other two wings under the CIS division are cyber crime and internal security.
“It’s a policy decision, and the process has already begun. The Army is also planning to do something on similar lines. We hope our unit will operate effectively,” a senior home ministry functionary said on the condition of anonymity, adding that the finer details of the proposed force will be worked out soon.
So far, there has been no decision on the CWPF’s jurisdiction, where it will derive its powers or personnel from, and whether it would be empowered to make arrests. Further information will be shared once the authorities come up with something concrete, the official added.
Meanwhile, the CIS division has already begun operations. The home ministry has already issued a communique asking states and Union territories to consider setting up state as well as district cyber crime coordination cells.
The Centre has suggested that state cyber crime coordination cells be headed by an additional director general or inspector-rank official, and district cyber cells by a deputy superintendent of police or additional superintendent of police-level official. State cyber security cells could likely form the foundation of the centralised CWPF, another home ministry official said.
Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh had recently asked state police and paramilitary forces to lay special focus on cyber crime at the recently held annual director general-level conference in Takenpur, Madhya Pradesh.
The home ministry also asked states to set up systems that will monitor “deep web activities” that enable the “planning and execution of nefarious deals by criminals”. It has further instructed them to maintain a list of suspected profiles linked with child pornography rackets, human trafficking and blackmailing; set up basic forensic labs; and focus on “capacity building”.
The home ministry has released Rs 82.9 crore to states under the Crime Prevention against Women and Children scheme for setting up cyber forensic training labs-cum-centres.