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Home ministry pulls the plug on WiFi plan for North Block offices, cites security reasons

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-06-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Plans to install WiFi services in the North Block will have to be shelved as the home ministry has categorically declined to offer the facility citing security reasons.

The home ministry categorically said that it cannot allow WiFi service in the North Block where its own different divisions and the ministry of personnel are located as it may compromise security of the building, an official said.

However, the WiFi facility is available for the officials of the adjoining finance ministry, located in the same North Block. “We cannot allow WiFi in the home ministry area,” the official said.

Home minister Rajnath Singh, his two deputies, union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, several joint secretaries handling sensitive divisions, the Intelligence Bureau and the ministry of personnel are located in the east wing of the North Block.

The issue of WiFi was first raised by the ministry personnel at a recent meeting where it was also informed that the WiFi facility is available for officers working in the ministry of finance, which is located in the west wing of the same North Block.

A newly appointed joint secretary in the ministry of personnel, Srinivas Ramaswamy Katikithala, had called the meeting to discuss modalities for computerisation of office work. During the meeting, it was conveyed to the officer, who is on his first central deputation, that the use of WiFi had been restricted on the premises for security reasons following instructions from the ministry of home affairs, according to the minutes of the meeting. Security concerns raised by its building mate have blocked DoPT’s access to WiFi, a wireless network used for accessing the Internet, the meeting was informed.

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