This subject was also discussed on this blog last year.
Unlike the times of yore, there has been a welcome change in the way the facilities and benefits of the men and women of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) are being administered.
Despite the fact that the appointments of Director General of all CAPFs and CPOs are not held by cadre officers but by members of the Indian Police Service, almost all officers heading these forces have firmly taken a stand for their personnel with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the said Ministry has also responded positively to their requests, needs and requirements. Troopers, Subordinate officers, Cadre gazetted officers and IPS officers posted in CAPFs are also much aware of their rights and benefits and make it a point to constructively highlight the same in one voice without any infighting or peer jealousy.
The latest issue resolved by the Home Minister of India, Sh Rajnath Singh, is the grant of ex-gratia compensation to military veterans contractually employed with the CRPF at par with regular CRPF employees. Families of such contractual ex-servicemen were not being allowed the benefit of ex-gratia @ Rs 15 lakhs in the event of unfortunate demise during operations. However, the MHA has agreed to grant such regular benefit to the families of 2 veterans who were recently killed in action. Of course, on the basis of parity, the action is expected to be extended to all similar deaths in action.
Even the Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme, which has remained elusive for Military Doctors despite a Supreme Court decision in their favour has already been extended to uniformed combatised doctors of the CAPFs and the same was also smoothly given retrospective effect on directions of the Karnataka High Court.
On the litigation front, minimal court decisions rendered by Courts in favour of CAPF personnel and their families are challenged by the legal departments of these forces or the MHA. Most judgements are respectfully adhered to and there are no appeals based on administrative egotism. The complete approach is positive and there is cohesion of thoughts.
With the MHA and the force leadership firmly standing behind their men and women in uniform, the day is not far when as a career option, the CAPFs would become more attractive for youth than the defence services. Already personnel recruited in CAPFs have the benefit of retiring at the age of 57 years whereas their military counterparts start retiring at the age of 34 and above depending upon the rank attained. With more and more facilities and benefits being extended to CAPFs and with a supportive Ministry, these forces are definitely experiencing achhe din.
I compliment the Heads of the CAPFs, the MHA and also the Home Minister for bringing a complete turnaround in how personnel and welfare policies of CAPFs and CPOs are being managed. Despite the poor working conditions in many areas, members of these forces are now proud of their respective organisations, a situation much different than say 20 years ago.