Around 60 percent of officers selected to be posted in the Border Security Force (BSF) have refused to join this year amid growing tension with Pakistan along the border.
Of the twenty-eight candidates selected for the post of assistant commandant in the BSF, 16 of them refused to join despite facing the risk of being barred from appearing for paramilitary post exams ever again.
BSF has had a poor intake over the last couple of years. According to the Home Ministry, they currently have a vacancy of 522 gazetted officers against a sanctioned strength of 5,309.
“The second-class treatment meted out to paramilitary forces as compared to the armed forces and reports of stagnation of career, particularly in the BSF, were among factors that influenced their decision,” said the candidates.
Vivek Minz, one of the selected officers said he didn’t join because his first option was CISF. He is even appearing for his civil service exams and becoming an IAS officer is his goal.
A post in paramilitary force guarantees a government job safety as one tries to become an IAS or IPS officer. “In all these forces, all the top posts are held by IPS officers. As a BSF officer, I can never rise to the top. I have even heard that there is a serious stagnation of career in the BSF. Many officers don’t even reach the level of commandant by the time they retire and even the pay is not upgraded in a time-bound manner,” said one candidate who didn’t want to be identified.
Another candidate, Puneet Mehta said he was not mentally prepared for such a tough job on the border. “There is no problem with the job. After all, it’s a government job which you rarely get. But there is no parity with the army. It also does not earn you as much respect in society as the army. The job is so tough but there is no recognition. They are confused for army people. They don’t even get martyr status when they die. Even when you are getting married, people prefer an army groom to a BSF groom,” said another officer hailing from Punjab.
Most of these candidates have seen the videos of a dismissed BSF constable who spoke about poor quality of food served in their camps and they felt there should be a system in place to sort such issues instead of airing videos on social media.
The BSF spokesperson refused to comment when asked about people not joining the force. “BSF, CRPF and ITBP have some of the toughest postings. Among them, the BSF and CRPF are in war zones. That is why they are not the first preference for most candidates,” said a senior BSF officer.
By Indian express