Border Management Current Affairs

Home Ministry forms study group to examine problems people residing in border areas

The Union Home Ministry has formed study group to examine various problems faced by people residing near International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir in wake of regular ceasefire violations by Pakistan. It will be headed by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary in Home Ministry.

Composition of study group

Its members are principal secretary (Home) in J&K Government, divisional commissioner of Jammu and divisional commissioner of Srinagar. Joint secretary (J&K) in Home Ministry is member-secretary of group.

Terms of References

The group will meet people living in border areas of Jammu & Kashmir, district administration officials, security forces deployed there and local public representatives and submit its report within two months. It will prepare a detailed report of issues being faced by public living near IB and LOC and submit recommendations for remedial action to be taken to address these issues.

Background

India shares a 3,323 km long border with Pakistan of which 221 km is IB and 740 km is LOC in Jammu & Kashmir. In recent times, there has been sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan. Till August 2017 there were 285 violations by Pakistani forces while the number was 228 for entire 2016 year.

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Intelligence wing of Sashastra Seema Bal launched

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has launched full-fledged intelligence wing of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). SSB is paramilitary force that guards India’s borders with Bhutan and Nepal.

The intelligence wing will gather actionable information in a bid to enhance operational efficiency. It will have 650 field and staff agents to gather actionable information. SSB’s intelligence wing personnel will be deployed on India-Nepal and India-Bhutan borders where there are no restrictions on movement of people on either side due to visa free regime.

Background

India shares 1,751 km-long border with Nepal and 699 km-long border with Bhutan. The border with Nepal touches Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim and border with Bhutan touches Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

India has visa free regime with both countries as border population on both the sides has strong regional, cultural and economic ties. Due to visa-free regime, there is trans-border movement of criminals and anti-national elements which pose major security challenge.

Comment

The intelligence wing of SSB will help to institutionalise a well-knit intelligence network of highest capability that can play important role in comprehensive border management. Based on intelligence SSB can undertake essential operations to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan.

WARB Application

The Ministry also launched Welfare and Rehabilitation Board (WARB) application to facilitate retire CAPFs and Assam Riffles personnel to get their grievances redressed, seek skill development, re-employment and other relevant and important information.

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