New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on Monday started its first on-field Border Outpost (BoP) training module for its 50,000 personnel guarding the India-Nepal and India-Bhutan borders. The exercise is aimed to refresh critical learning elements and boost the effectiveness and professionalism of the force.
The training module being conducted simultaneously at 270 company locations involving personnel of 625 BOPs was inaugurated by Minister of State for Home Affairs (MoS), Kiren Rijiju through video conferencing here.
The SSB has been mandated to guard the India-Nepal and India-Bhutan borders which touch five Indian states with a total length of 1,751 km and four Indian states with a total length of 699 km, respectively.
An SSB official said that its the first phase of a two-week intensive refresher training programme for BoPs of SSB in which 15,000 personnel will participate.
“Such exercises are shared with SSB personnel in the training camps but this is a first on-field BoP training module. A total of 50,000 personnel guarding Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders will be provided the training in three phases,” the official added.
The MoS expressed his happiness, saying a new chapter has been added to the historic role of the SSB as the force has been transformed into not only a border guarding force, but also a specialized force due to its responsibility to provide services to the VIPs and Left Wing Extremism affected areas.
“Its task becomes more difficult in case of porous borders with some neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan, where there is no fencing. This training module will benefit all SSB personnel,” Rijiju said while speaking on the occasion.
Rijiju also released a handbook for BOPs on the occasion.
Senior officers of SSB, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and a large number of SSB officers and personnel deployed all along the India-Nepal and India-Bhutan borders witnessed the launching of the programme from 49 locations through video conferencing.
The Director General of SSB, Archana Ramasundaram, said that all the battalions personnel deployed along the borders will be able to attend this BOP training module while discharging their routine operational duties.
“The training is very important as it turns a common man into a disciplined soldier. The emphasis has been given on various aspects such as soft skills, stress management, gender sensitivity and health. Several case studies have also been included in the training module,” she said.
“The module has been designed to refresh the critical learning elements with an aim to increase overall effectiveness and professionalism of the force,” she added.
The Director General also said that services of various agencies like Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and NGOs working in the SSB’s operational areas of responsibility have also been taken to make this module more fruitful and professionally enriching.