M A I N   N E W S

CRPF recruitment drive hits qualification barrier
MHA refuses to relax norms
S Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 20
The special drive by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to recruit youths from the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir has slowed down as it is not getting candidates with requisite minimum qualifications.

Adding to the CRPF’s woes is the threat by militant organisations to the families of prospective candidates. Also, there is a shortage of SC/ST candidates.

As a part of the Congress-led UPA government’s plan to provide employment to youths in the far-flung and border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, especially from the Bakarwal and Gujjar communities, the CRPF and another para-military force, Shasastra Seema Bal (SSB), were mandated to recruit 3,500 and 1,500 jawans, respectively.

The move was aimed at preventing youths from taking to arms and to bring them to the mainstream. However, the CRPF has not been able meet the target due to non-availability of candidates.

Faced with this peculiar situation, the CRPF approached the Ministry of Home Affairs recently with a request to allow relaxation in the minimum educational qualifications from matriculation to middle standard.

However, the request was rejected by the Centre on the ground that it couldn’t fiddle with the “common standards” followed by the para-military forces, sources said.

Meanwhile, CRPF sources said it had gone ahead with the third phase of recruitment even as the Ministry of Home Affairs had rejected their request.

Of the 3,500, the CRPF had already recruited over 2,700 youths in the past one year and was hoping for an adequate response to fill the remaining 700-odd vacancies, the sources said.

Besides the shortage of candidates having stipulated qualifications, another problem that had come to the fore was that many youths were reluctant to apply for the job as their families were receiving threats from militant organisations, the sources said, adding that the CRPF was trying to address the issue.



Will joint mechanism test Pak’s sincerity? India hopes so
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 20
New Delhi believes that the joint anti-terrorism institutional mechanism is the safest, surest and speediest way to test Pakistan’s repeated written assurances on dismantling the terror infrastructure existing on its soil.

Mandarins in South Block have no lofty expectations from the initiative. They know that Pakistan will not deliver them the moon.

A diplomatic brownie point that India hopes to pull off with the latest initiative, even if it were to fail in future, is that it will be demonstrated to the international community that India tried its best.

Significantly, Islamabad has not told New Delhi so far that it has lost all control over terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-Mohammed and they are operating on their own.

It was the Manmohan Singh government’s idea to have a joint anti-terrorism institutional mechanism with Pakistan — an initiative that has come under a brutal attack by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The government’s sense is that New Delhi stands to lose nothing if the countries were to test the waters for some time and see if the mechanism works.

The mechanism would entail face-to-face meetings between the intelligence and security agencies of the two countries, something which has never happened in the history of the subcontinent since the Partition. The proposal to have a joint anti-terrorism mechanism is the closest that the two countries have got to each other ever.



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