Govt launches online database of sex offenders

• The government on Thursday launched an online National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO) which will have names, addresses, photographs and fingerprint details of persons convicted on charges of rape, gang rape, offences related to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, and stalking.

Important highlights of the online database system

• NDSO is a central database of “sexual offenders” and it will be maintained by National Crime Records Bureau for regular monitoring and tracking by the state Police.

• The portals were launched by Union home minister Rajnath Singh in the presence of women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi.

• Top police and civil officers of the states attended the event via video conferencing.

• The NDSO data will not be available for general public but only to law enforcement agencies for effectively tracking and investigating cases of sexual offences.

• The government promised the database will not compromise the privacy of individuals.

• All states in the US have sex offender registries where information is available to the public online, except in cases where the offenders are juveniles.

• The government also launched another portal, the Cyber Crime Prevention Against Women and Children (CCPWC), to help citizens anonymously report complaints pertaining to child pornography, child sexual abuse material, or other sexually explicit material involving rapes and gang rapes.

• The portal can be accessed at “cybercrime.gov.in” and allow complainants to upload the objectionable content.

• The complaints will be handled by the respective state police authorities.

• If a victim or complainant wants, he or she can track the report.

• Twenty to thirty per cent of sexual assaults take place in shelter homes.

• Home minister Rajnath Singh said the two portals will help in strengthening security of women and children.

• He announced that the police will still have tackle field challenges at the ground level to ensure speedy justice to the victims.

Way forward

• At present the database contains 4.4 lakh entries.

• The state police have been requested to regularly update the database from 2005 onwards.

• The database includes name, address, photograph and fingerprint details for each entry.

• However, the database will not compromise any individual’s privacy,” said a government statement.

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Mains Paper 2: Governance| Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Prelims: Particulars of the National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO)

Mains level: Technology measures for prevention of Sexual Crimes.

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