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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014
Guarding the nation
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 15, 2012
First Published: 14:22 IST(15/8/2012)
Last Updated: 14:26 IST(15/8/2012)
Frontier force: With the motto ‘Duty unto death,’ the Border Security Force prevents illegal activities such as smuggling as well

The lowdown
The Border Security Force is India’s border patrol agency, under administrative control of the Union ministry of home affairs. Part of the country’s paramilitary forces, the BSF was born in 1965. Its primary role is to guard the international borders in peace time. The BSF also prevents transnational crimes, smuggling and other illegal activities and gives a sense of security to residents of frontier areas. In war time, it needs to hold ground in less threatened sectors, protect vital installations, assist in controlling refugees and discharge anti-infiltration duties in specified areas. It boasts being the world’s largest border guarding force. It sends personnel on UN missions too

Clockwork
An average day of a BSF officer: 
6.30am: Attend physical training session
7.30am: Take reports coming in from field locations
8am: Breakfast 
9am: Reach office 
10am: Check the key points of the border on a vehicle/camel 
2pm: Lunch
4pm: Weapon maintenance work
At dusk: Issue instructions for night duty. Oversee deployment of troops at night
11.30pm: Surprise visits at key check posts/installations
12.30am: Call it a day

The payoff
DG: Rs. 80,000 (total pay per month); special DG: Rs. 59,100; additional DG: Rs. 59,100; inspector general: Rs. 53,000; deputy IG: Rs. 49,100; commandant: Rs. 46,100; second-in-command: Rs. 29,500; deputy commandant: Rs. 25,350; assistant commandant: Rs. 21,000

Skills/TRAITS
* Functional intelligence 
* Excellent physical fitness and good communication skills 
* Good team player  
* Ability to endure tough working conditions in inhospitable terrain

Getting there
The first posting as an officer is that of an assistant commandant (AC). An aspirant should be a graduate in any discipline. An NCC ‘B’ or ‘C’ certificate or outstanding achievements in sports will be added qualifications. Eligible candidates need to go through the UPSC selection process. For physical and other requirements, visit bsf.nic.in

Institutes and URLs 
There are no official institutes that train you to become a BSF officer. However, there are private coaching academy for competitive exams related to recruitment

Pros and cons 
* Opportunity to serve the nation 
* Frequent transfers
* Remote location and exposure to extreme climate

The key to the success of a force ... such  as the BSF is patriotism, integrity and commitment to give the best possible performance by each of (its) members, U K Bansal, director general, Border Security Force


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