With last year’s horrific Mumbai terror attacks still fresh in mind, India Inc is not taking any chances on security management.
The queue of firms seeking to avail the services of the government’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to guard their establishments is growing by the day. On last count more than 90 applications were pending with the ministry of home affairs.
Information technology major Infosys became the first company to deploy CISF personnel in July 31 to guard its Bangalore campus months after the government amended the CISF Act allowing private establishments to engage CISF for securing their offices.
So far, 169 CISF personnel are deployed in two private establishments—Infosys and Electronics City, Bangalore where 101 and 68 personnel are guarding the campuses.
Infosys’ competitor Wipro is among those who have sought government approval to deploy CISF personnel in their respective campuses, a senior government official said.
Approvals of about of a dozen of these applications, based on threat perception and importance to national economy, are expected shortly, said the official who did not wish to be identified as he was not authorised to the speak to the media.
“We have the mandate to carry latest weapons and use them to neutralise any attack,” a CISF spokesperson said.
The Private Security Agency Regulation Act passed four years ago mandates that every guard would have to undergo at least 100 hours of training. There are about 5 million private guards in India. Industry observers pegged the size of the private security industry at about Rs 10,000 crore.
“We have sought cover for its centers at other cities as well. The cities are confidential as of date,” Mohandas Pai, director Infosys said.
A Wipro spokesperson confirmed the company has sought CISF’s services for its campuses. “Yes, Wipro has approached the home ministry to get CISF cover,” said Laxman Badiga, chief information officer of Wipro.