Home Ministry Current Affairs
Union Home Ministry has released more than Rs. 113 crore to six border states under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) as part of its plan to ameliorate the problems of people living in isolated locations. These six states are Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
Till now, Home Ministry has released total of Rs. 637.98 crore during 2018-19 period to states having International Border. The funds released are in addition to the Rs. 1,100-crore released in 2017-18 for the all-round development of villages located along International Border in 17 states. India shares land border with seven neighbouring countries viz. Bangladesh (4,096 km), China (3,488 km), Pakistan (3,323 km), Nepal (1,751 km), Myanmar (1,643 km), Bhutan (699 km) and Afghanistan (106km in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir).
Border Area Development Programme (BADP)
The umbrella BADP scheme is being implemented by Union Home Ministry in 367 border blocks of 104 border districts in 17 states. Its objective is to meet special developmental needs and well-being of people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near international border areas. It also seeks to saturate border areas with entire essential infrastructure through convergence of Union, state, BADP, local schemes and participatory approach.
Sub-schemes under it include construction of primary health centres (PHCs), connectivity, schools, supply of drinking water, community centres, drainage to enable sustainable living in border areas. It also covers schemes or activities relating to skill development programmes, promotion of sports activities in border areas, promotion of rural tourism, border tourism, protection of heritage sites, Swachhta Abhiyan, construction of helipads in remote and inaccessible hilly areas, which do not have road connectivity.
Skill development training to farmers for use of modern and scientific techniques in agriculture, organic farming is also part of BADP now. As many as 61 model villages are being developed under BADP to improve the quality of life for people living near border areas. A total of Rs 13,400 crore so far have been released since BADP programme was initiated in 1986-87.
Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sanctioned five new battalions of anti-riot and crowd control Rapid Action Force (RAF). These new battalions will be stationed at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesg), Hajipur (Bihar), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Mangalore (Karnataka) and Nuh (Haryana). With these, the total number of RAF battalions in the country has gone up to 15. Varanasi will be fourth base of RAF in Uttar Pradesh- the three others being in Meerut, Allahabad and Aligarh.
Rapid Action Force (RAF)
RAF is a specially trained and equipped wing of Central Reserve Police Force, the country’s largest paramilitary force or Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) with over 3 lakh personnel. It was formed in 1992 to deal to deal with riots, riot like situations, crowd control, rescue and relief operations and related unrest. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Its motto is “Serving Humanity with Sensitive Policing”
RAF battalions are based in various parts of the country in order to cut down response time and rush the teams in shortest possible time to counter an incident. The 10 old RAF battalions are based in Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Aligarh, Delhi, Coimbatore, Jamshedpur, Bhopal and Meerut.
Single RAF battalion has strength of just over 1,000 personnel and it is equipped with gadgets and non-lethal weapons like, tear smoke grenade launchers, pump action guns and others to enforce security and law and order in case of protests or riot-like situations.