The Punjab Security Training Institute at Police Recruits Training Centre (PRTC), Jahan Khelan, has become a source of skilled security guards for public and private sector companies. Started in 2008, it has churned out more than 5,000 trained security personnel, including about 300 female security guards and all have been employed.
The Indian government has authorised the institute as a Vocational Training Provider (VTP) under its Skill Development Initiative Scheme (SDIS).
The institute is managed by Punjab Police Security Corporation, constituted under the Companies Act, with Punjab government's approval. The DGP is the ex-officio chairman of the corporation. It also has a placement officer, whose job is to liaise with the industry and business establishments to impart training and arrange placements.
The trainees are imparted two-month free training as per the syllabus prescribed in the Punjab Private Security Agencies Rules, 2007, which consists of physical fitness, parade, unarmed combat, physical security, fire fighting, crowd control, evacuation during emergency surveillance, identification of documents, handling of different types of weapons, first-aid, knowledge of law, use of security related electronic gadgets including CCTV, smart cards & biometrics controlled access entry, wireless and mobile communication. Minimum qualification for enrollment is Class 10.
"Raised security concern has meant increased demand for private security and people want skilled and smart guards. Even before they complete their training, security agencies queue up to engage them. They have found placements not only in different parts of the state, but also in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha, Gujrat, Maharshtra and Madhya Pradesh," claimed PRTC commandant RK Bakshi.
"Earlier, security services were hired by financial or industrial units only. However, today realty and other segments are also seeking their services," he added.
Chairman of Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) and National Skill Development Council, Kunwar Vikram Singh, who was the brain behind setting up of the institute, the first one in the country, said that female security guards trained at Jahan Khelan were working in a French diamond mining company in Madhya Pradesh.
"I have recommended to the Punjab government to train the youth for foreign jobs as there is huge demand for skilled security guards in other countries. If the government agrees, CAPSI would facilitate standardisation of curriculum and provide other required assistance," said Vikram Singh, who is one of the board members of the state security corporation.
He claimed that private security industry was growing at 25% annually. "There are immense possibilities in this field. The area is untapped and if nurtured properly, it can open up opportunities for the unemployed," he added.
He added that CAPSI had recently received a demand of 15,000 security guards from West Bengal.
"On Wednesday, we have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kerala government to start an academy of security excellence," Vikram Singh said.
"Relying completely on the government to provide security is impossible, because the areas the apparatus has to handle are so vast. This is where the role of private security becomes important and can also contribute to the maintenance of law and order," he said.