The Defence Ministry recently received a request from the Indian Army, in which officials from the Army urged the ministry to approve and support the raising of 370 new platoons of the Defence Security Corps (DSC) with improved training and weapons such as the light machine guns and AK-47 assault rifles. Reports indicate that this approach from the Indian Army is to strengthen security around important military camps and establishments across the country.
This recent move to strengthen the security came after the submission of a report by the Tri-Service committee, which is chaired by the former Army Vice-Chief Lt. Gen. Philip Campose. The report severely criticized the security infrastructure of defence installations in India.
Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the Indian government has not yet started the implementation of Campose committee’s wide-ranging recommendations that were submitted in the month of May last year, even though some of the military bases in the country encountered a series of terror attacks. The Defence Ministry stated that the “broad guidelines” on the basis of the recommendations from the Campose committee’s have already been issued to the Indian Navy, Army, and IAF headquarters, and added that, “The three services have carried out security audits of their establishments, and steps have been initiated to address any weaknesses.”
The recommendations from the Campose committee, after the attack on the IAF’s Pathankot base last year, included the pressing need for installing modern “access control, perimeter security-cum-intrusion detection systems.” They also stated the need for an improved intelligence response mechanism for providing bulletproof jackets, night-vision devices, and a new weapon to the personnel who guard the military bases.
In addition to that, the committee also called for a major revamp of the DSC. The DSC currently consists of more than 64,500 jawans who were re-employed after retirement from the Indian Armed Forces. The recent proposal from the Indian Army asks for equipping all of the 370 new platoons with a minimum of two light machine guns and a light 2.5-tonne vehicle.
One of the officials stated that, “The initial cost for raising the 370 platoons will be around Rs 1.3 crore. There will, of course, be manpower, equipment and other recurring costs later.” Reports indicate that these improvements will certainly strengthen the security within the Army bases.