New Delhi, Mar 8: In a maiden initiative undertaken for women empowerment in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the government has decided to recruit young female officers in the force and deploy them at select locations like Nathula Pass along the Indo-China frontier.
ITBP is the designated security force to secure 3,488-km of the Line of Actual Control with China and since its raising in 1962, the force has never directly inducted women officers in its ranks considering the arduous nature of its task along the icy and inhospitable frontier running along the Himalayan mountain ranges.
"An in-principle approval has been given by the government to recruit women officers in ITBP for the first time. The Union Home Ministry will soon issue orders for amending the recruitment rules in this regard. The UPSC is expected to issue advertisements for these posts this year itself," a senior official in the security establishment said.
The government, in a gradual manner, has begun the exercise of hiring young women officers in two other border guarding forces of BSF (in 2013) and SSB (in 2014), but ITBP was since being ignored in this regard as its border posts and deployment of units are located in some of the most difficult areas on India's eastern flank.
"Women will be recruited as Assistant Commandants, which is the direct entry level for officers in central paramilitary forces. ITBP has suggested they could be deployed at border interaction points like Nathula in Sikkim and at battalion or sector command units of the force in eastern states like Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand," the official said.
The women officers can supervise the working of their border guarding contingents under their command and also undertake patrolling at some select stretches.