J&K, Maoist-affected states to raise 17 India Reserve Battalions

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) The government on Wednesday approved raising of 17 India Reserve Battalions by Jammu and Kashmir and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states with provision to relax age and educational criteria for youth’s recruitment.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Five IR battalions will be increased by Jammu and Kashmir, four by Chhattisgrah, three by Jharkhand, three by Odisha and two by Maharashtra. Local youths will be recruited. To achieve this, the states will relax the age and educational criteria, if required,” an official statement said.

In Jammu and Kashmir, 60 percent of the recruits for the posts of constables and class IV employees would be from the border districts.

For Left Wing Extremism states, 75 percent of the recruits would be from the 27 core affected districts under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme.

According to information given by the government in parliament in August last year, a total of 106 districts in Maoist-affected states are covered under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme. A battalion may include between 900 and 1200 personnel.

The central government introduced the scheme of Indian Reserve Battalions in 1971.

So far 153 India Reserve Battalions have been sanctioned to various states, out of which 144 have been raised and one battalion in Jharkhand has been converted into specialised Indian Reserve Battalion (SIRB) having two engineering companies and five security companies.

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