Establishing the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) Across India

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December 9, 2023

Establishing the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) Across India

National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS): Meaning,  History, Working Process, Benefits - Applications


  • The Minister of State for Home Affairs recently disclosed to the Rajya Sabha the successful implementation of the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) at 1022 locations across the nation. This significant development marks a pivotal step in bolstering the country’s crime and criminal-related fingerprint database.

Overview of NAFIS

  • NAFIS stands as a comprehensive, pan-India searchable repository specifically designed to consolidate crime-related fingerprints. Under the administration of the Central Fingerprint Bureau at the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), headquartered in New Delhi, this system functions as a centralized repository, amalgamating fingerprint data from all states and Union Territories.

Operational Features

  • The system operates as an invaluable tool for law enforcement agencies, facilitating real-time uploading, tracing, and retrieval of data from the database on a round-the-clock basis. This seamless functionality empowers authorities to swiftly identify persons of interest, establishing connections to active warrants, warnings, or pertinent information about criminal activities stored within other police information systems.

Functional Mechanism

  • At the core of its operation, NAFIS assigns a distinctive 10-digit National Fingerprint Number to each criminal, leveraging biometrics for identification purposes. This unique identifier remains associated with the offender throughout their lifetime, consolidating various crimes recorded under different First Information Reports (FIRs) as incidents linked to the same National Fingerprint Number.

Structured ID Allocation

  • The allocation of the 10-digit ID follows a systematic pattern: the initial two digits represent the state code where the criminal is registered, followed by a sequential number. This structured partitioning ensures a clear delineation of IDs corresponding to specific states, streamlining the identification process within the system.


  • The establishment and implementation of NAFIS across 1022 locations mark a monumental stride in bolstering law enforcement capabilities. This system’s comprehensive database and real-time functionality serve as a critical asset, enabling expedited identification of individuals involved in criminal activities, thereby significantly enhancing national security measures.

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Establishing the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) Across India | Vaid ICS Institute