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Immigration rush IB to hire 550 ex-CAPF personnel at airports

Officials say aim of the first-of-its-kind move is to boost the strength of Bureau of Immigration (BoI)

Gulf News

New Delhi: In a unique move, the Centre has decided to hire 550 ex-paramilitary personnel to bolster manpower of short-staffed immigration counters at airports, including the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has written to various Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), seeking nomination of their recently retired officials in the rank of sub-inspector.

Officials privy to the move said the aim of the first-of-its-kind move is to boost the strength of Bureau of Immigration (BoI) as passenger traffic sees a rise every day at international airports. Passengers have to stand in long queues for obtaining immigration clearance, especially at IGI, one of the busiest airports.

Ten new immigration counters were recently made operational in the departure area of the IGI airport after passengers complained of arduous queues. The home ministry subsequently had to make an intervention in the matter.

The IB has sought hiring of 550 ex-CAPF personnel who have served in forces like the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to “assist in clearance of passengers” along with the BOI staffers.

A good knowledge of the English language and basic computer operations has been made an essential criteria for the recruitment, the officials said.

The ex-SIs of these forces will be hired on a three-year contract basis and will be paid a remuneration of Rs36,000 (Dh2,038) per month.

“These personnel, to be hired early next year, will be primarily posted at the IGI airport. However, their services will be utilised at other international airports too in the future,” a senior officer said.

There has been a 30 per cent increase in international passengers at the IGI airport in the last two years, which has led to serpentine queues at immigration desks, officials had earlier said.

The grant of e-visas to citizens of over 160 countries in the recent past has also led to the arrival of a large number of tourists to Delhi and other Indian cities, they said.

P S Nair, general secretary of the All-India Paramilitary Forces Ex-servicemen Welfare Association, said it was a “positive move” in ensuring proper rehabilitation of ex-CAPF personnel and will help the government get trained and quality manpower for important security-related tasks.

“This is the first time the government has sought recruitment of ex-paramilitary personnel. Such a post-service offer was always available to defence personnel, but for us, this is the beginning,” he said.