Young women have finally been allowed to join India’s Border Security Force (BSF) as officers.
Four years after the BSF first inducted women constables to keep an eye on the Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangladesh borders, the home ministry has changed the rules to allow women officers to serve.
The BSF is the second national border force to get the home ministry’s nod to induct women officers. The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which is deployed at the Nepal border, was the first. The SSB has been recruiting women constables since 2007 and has 750 of them.
“Since we have around 900 women in the constabulary, it makes sense to have women officers too,” a BSF officer said, adding that the presence of women constables has enabled the frisking of women.
The Union Public Service Commission kicked off the process to induct women officers over the weekend, with its examination notice for recruitment to the central police forces — including the CISF and CRPF — on Saturday. Women candidates will be eligible to apply for 304 out of the total 424 posts.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the higher reaches of the mountains along the Indo-China border, is still out of bounds for women.
The selection process will take over a year after which candidates will undergo a 56-week demanding training before being inducted as assistant commandants.