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Govt to recruit 20,000 women in paramilitary forces in 3 years

New Delhi The government is planning to recruit 20,000 more armed women personnel in paramilitary forces in the next three years.

According to the new plan formulated by the Home Ministry, all paramilitary forces - CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP, SSB and NSG - will essentially have 5 per cent of their total force strength as women personnel in three to five years and 10 per cent in the subsequent five years.

These women will be hired and deployed for general guard duties, patrolling, frisking suspects and other normal policing activities undertaken by their male counterparts.

Subsequently, the government plans to enhance the facilities being offered to women security personnel.

"We have to construct more barracks for women, toilets, crèche, day-care centres besides being more considerate in granting leave. We hope that in 10 years, there will be generational shift in the paramilitary forces," an official said.

The CRPF is the first Central force to have inducted women personnel in its combat ranks. The force presently has two operational battalions (2,000 women) while the third (around 1,000 personnel) is being raised currently. The total strength of CRPF is about 3 lakh personnel, making it the country's largest paramilitary force.

The government has also begun to induct the first batch of 650 women personnel in the BSF for border guarding duties. The BSF has more than two lakh personnel on its rolls.

Other forces which have women in combat roles are the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), with about 700 women personnel, and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force with about 800 women combatants. The total strength of SSB and ITBP is about 50,000 personnel each.

The CISF has about 1,500 women personnel on its rolls out of the total strength of about 2 lakh personnel.

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