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With an eye on China, Union Cabinet clears 7 ITBP battalions

Published: 16th Feb, 2023

Context

The Union Cabinet sanctioned seven new battalions and an operational border base with a fresh strength of 9,400 personnel for the India-China LAC guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

About

Key-highlights

  • This would entail recruitment of 9,400 personnel for deployment in Arunachal Pradesh where 47 new border outposts and 12 staging camps are under construction.
  • The outposts were sanctioned in January 2020. In all, there are 176 outposts of the ITBP along the 3,488-km China border.
  • The armies of India and China are engaged in a standoff in Ladakh since 2020.

About Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF)

  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF) is a Central Armed Police Force functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
  • The ITBP was raised on 24th October 1962 during the India-China War and is a border-guarding police force specializing in high-altitude operations.
  • Presently ITBP has been guarding India-China border in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh states from the Karakoram pass in Jammu Kashmir to Jechap La in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Force is also deployed for Anti-Naxal operations and other internal security duties.

    Central Armed Police Forces:

    The Ministry of Home Affairs maintains seven CAPFs:

    • The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), assists in internal security and counterinsurgency.
    • The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), protects vital installations (like airports) and public sector undertakings.
    • The National Security Guards (NSG), is a special counterterrorism force.
    • Four border guarding forces, which are the Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), SashastraSeemaBal (SSB), and Assam Rifles (AR).

     Need

    • The decision to raise additional battalions was taken keeping an eye on the need for effective monitoring in the border areas and the battalion and sector headquarter would be raised by 2025-26.
    • New ITBP battalions were last raised in 2011 and the present decision has been in the pipeline since 2014.

    Impact

    • The decision will increase the strength of the ITBP from the current 88,000 to 97,000, making it the fourth largest Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).

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