Parl panel ‘disappointed’ on ‘abysmal’ women numbers in CAPFs

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on Monday expressed disappointment at the “abysmal” 3.68 per cent women representation in the Central Armed Police Force (CAPFs).

The reaction of the panel, headed by Congress’ Anand Sharma, came in its report on ‘Demand For Grants’ on Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), submitted to the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The Committee observed that in 2016, it was decided by government to reserve 33 per cent posts at constable level for women in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to begin with and 14-15 per cent posts at constable level in border guarding forces such as the Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

“The Committee is disappointed to note that women constitute only 3.68% of the total strength of CAPFs. The Committee recommends that MHA should take concrete steps to increase the representation of women in CAPFs,” the report said.

It also recommended that phase-wise recruitment drives for women may be conducted on fast track, particularly in the CISF and the CRPF, and also that steps should be taken to create a conducive environment in the border outposts by creating separate arrangements, so that women are motivated to join security forces.

The Parliamentary Standing committee on MHA, in its 237th report, had also expressed aanguish over women being abysmally under-represented in the state police force as they constitute only 10.30 per cent of the entire police force.

According to the Bureau for Police Research and Development, the total sanctioned strength of women in the state police forces is 20,91, 488, whereas the actual strength is as low as 2,15,504.

The panel, in the latest report, also observed that that the CAPFs function under much stress, given the nature of their duty which requires their postings in harsh climatic conditions. So, to ease their mental state and reduce stress, leaves at appropriate intervals are a necessity, so that they can spend time with their families, it recommended.

It also noted that the MHA is examining/deliberating on increasing the leaves of CAPFs personnel while the proposal should be considered positively and finalised at the earliest, as it would boost the morale of the CAPFs. “Proposals for additional posts may also be positively considered for enabling the decision,” the report said.

Referring to deferred work of Census 2021, the Committee was of the view that the census being a pan-India decadal exercise should present the culture, traditions and diversity of the different regions of the country along with the numerical data.

It sad that the number of questions in the census have increased but the annual reports have not been written by the registrars/officers for the past few censuses.

“Therefore, the Committee recommends that the MHA may take up with Registrar General of India (RGI) to restart the publication of annual reports from the upcoming census onwards,” the panel report said.

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