Ashok Patnaik, a senior IPS officer, was on Thursday appointed the CEO of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), an ambitious intelligence network project of to strengthen counter-terror capabilities of law enforcement agencies. Patnaik, a 1983-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer, is currently serving as Additional Director in the Intelligence Bureau.
NATGRID was approved by Centre after the 26/11 Mumbai attack to create an intelligence-sharing network by collating 21 sensitive databases received from various government agencies and departments for quick access to the 10 Intelligence and Security agencies. Patnaik is the son-in-law of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He is married to Daman Singh, Manmohan Singh's second daughter, a writer based in Delhi. Patnaik's appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The appointment of the NATGRID CEO will be effective from the date of assumption of charge of the post up to December 31, 2018, the date of his retirement on superannuation or until further orders, whichever is earlier," it said. Patnaik's security was downgraded last year from Z+ to Z cover. A senior official said Prime Minister Narendra Modi picked up Patnaik for the job as it poses many challenges. Despite push from previous UPA and now NDA government, the ambitious project is yet to be fully implemented. A seasoned officer, Patnaik was awarded special duty medal in 1994, police medal in 1999 and President's police medal in 2007.