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National Database On Sexual Offenders (NDSO)

National Database On Sexual Offenders

The Indian Home Ministry has introduced the National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO), which is like a central list of people with a history of sexual offenses in the country. This makes India the ninth country globally to have such a database.


  • After the horrific Nirbhaya gangrape case in New Delhi in 2012, the idea of creating a registry was put forward.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported a 12% increase in rape cases in 2016 compared to 2015.Government data from December 2017 revealed a shocking statistic: a child becomes a victim of sexual abuse every 15 minutes in India.
  • In 2016, more than 36 thousand cases were registered under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Key Points

  • NDSO is a program under the National Mission for Safety of Women, aimed at reducing crimes against women and children.
  • It contains details of individuals convicted of sexual offenses like rape, gang rape, POCSO, and eve teasing since 2005.
  • Information includes names, addresses, photos, fingerprints, DNA samples, Aadhaar numbers, and PANs.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) oversees and maintains the database.
  • State Police regularly update and monitor it.
  • The database is designed to protect individual privacy.
  • It currently has 4.4 lakh entries.
  • While not currently included, there are plans to add records of juvenile offenders later.
  • Cases posing low danger are stored for 15 years.
  • Cases of moderate danger are kept for 25 years.
  • Data for repeat offenders, criminals, convicted gang rapists, and custodial rapes is stored permanently.

Why it is Necessary?

  • The NDSO (National Database on Sexual Offenders) is a crucial step in enhancing the safety of women and children.
  • NDSO is especially useful for police when dealing with cases where criminals commit offenses after moving to a different state.
  • The registry enables better tracking of offenders once they are released from prison. This not only ensures public safety but also discourages repeat offenses.
  • Knowing that they are being monitored can act as a deterrent for individuals who might be considering committing the same crime again.
  • NDSO facilitates faster and more efficient legal processes, aiding in the prosecution of offenders and ensuring that justice is served swiftly.


      Privacy Concerns:
      • Putting the data online raises worries about its safety, especially for juvenile offenders. Laws protecting privacy and data in India are lacking, increasing concerns.
      • There’s a need to prevent the misuse of data for harassing individuals post-sentence completion. The state should ensure that the list isn’t misused, avoiding overreach.
      Non-reporting of Crime:
      • In over 94% of reported cases of rape, the offender is known to the victim. A registry may not offer sufficient protection in such cases, and the fear of inclusion might discourage reporting, especially within families and acquaintances.
      • Children are more vulnerable due to societal and family pressures. The fear of the offender being added to the registry may increase underreporting of sexual violence involving family members.
      Prevents Rehabilitation:
      • The registry might permanently damage a person’s life, even if they reform after serving their sentence. The stigma and ostracization faced may push offenders away from society, defeating the purpose of rehabilitation.
      • Offenders on the list may become homeless or compelled to live in distant areas where they face less scrutiny. Studies show that social ostracization and lack of support can increase the chances of re-offending.
      • Families of offenders may also face stigma and isolation. Similar systems in the US have led to harassment and violence against former offenders, hindering their rehabilitation.
      Concerns Regarding Categorization:
      • Those deemed “low danger” may include individuals charged with “technical rape,” potentially encompassing consensual relationships involving individuals under 18.
      Delays in Investigation and Prosecution:
      • The over-burdened and under-resourced criminal justice system might face resource diversion towards the sex offender registry, impacting public safety measures and chances of reform.
      • Law enforcement agencies need sensitization to prevent innocent individuals from being wrongly targeted in these cases.
      • Prolonged court processes raise concerns, as accused names stay in the registry until a judgment is passed. This delay might affect the lives of those accused.

      Way Forward

      The government needs to do more to support survivors of sexual violence in India. It’s crucial that survivors feel safe reporting crimes and seeking justice without facing stigma or threats. The system should offer protection, legal assistance, and proper medical care. India also needs to break down barriers to reporting, educate law enforcement, judges, and medical professionals on handling these cases sensitively.

      Additionally, we should focus on rehabilitating and reintegrating offenders into society. Japan has successful rehabilitation programs and a sex offender registry that has led to lower rates of sexual crimes against children. India can learn from this and establish a coordinated effort between the police and civil society to implement effective rehabilitation measures.

      Read Also: Drought in India: August 2023 Records Lowest Rainfall in 123 Years

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