The home ministry has decided to let border-guarding forces relax physical standards for recruitment of the constabulary from border districts during special rallies to ensure that 20% posts earmarked for them do not remain vacant.
The government had reserved 20% of vacancies in the border guarding forces (Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Seema Bal and Assam Rifles) for candidates from the border districts, which fall within the responsibility of the force.
But there have been several instances where this quota is not exhausted even after holding a special recruitment rally in border districts.
To deal with such a situation, the home ministry has allowed the forces to lower the physical standards to the level mandated by the state government to widen the net. General candidates need to be at least 170 cm tall. If the vacancies still remain, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has been told to select waitlisted candidates from the border state rather than just the district.
The decision is reflected in the scheme for recruitment of constabulary of the Central Armed Police Forces declared this month that also incorporates practices introduced after 2009.
Like the one that knocks down the rule requiring aspirants to successfully jump across 11 feet or clear a three-and-a-half feet high jump bar. Under the revised scheme, it is enough if candidates can complete a 5 km race within 24 minutes. Female candidates would be required complete 1.6 km within 8 minutes.
The home ministry had last carried out a comprehensive review of the recruitment scheme in 2009-2010 to streamline the process that had been marred by allegations of bribery in the past. The ministry had outsourced the responsibility of conducting the recruitment to the SSC soon after.
In the revised scheme, the home ministry has stuck to the 18-23 age eligibility but clarified that the crucial date for determining the age would change, depending on when the written examination would be conducted.
It would be January 1, if the written examination is held in first half of the year and August 1, if the written examination is held in second half of the year, the home ministry said.