Founded on March 10, 1969, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) celebrates its 52nd anniversary this year. March 10 is celebrated as CISF Raising Day. The CISF is a part of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), one of the country’s five security forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs’s authority. It was established in 1969 under the Central Industrial Security Force Act. It has its headquarters in New Delhi and is headed by Director General Subodh Kumar Jaiswal. The force is entrusted with providing security to over three hundred industrial units, government infrastructure projects and facilities and establishments located across the country. On the eve of CISF Raising Day, let’s have a look at ten lesser-known things about the force.
1) It Is The Largest Industrial Security Force In The World
When founded in 1969, CISF only had three battalions to provide integrated security cover to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). Since its inception, the force has steadily grown and now provides security to a range of industrial establishments across the country. The force now has One Lakh Forty-Eight Thousand and Three Hundred Seventy-One (1,48,371) personnel, making it the world’s largest industrial security force. It has an annual budget of around US$ 1.4 Billion.
2) It Wasn’t An Armed Force Until 1983
Initially, the CISF was a force of watch and ward nature. It maintained vigilance and guarded Public Sector Industries. It was made an armed force only after an amendment in 1983. The amendment transformed the force from being custodial in nature and allowed it to maintain law and order.
3) Provides Security To Private Establishments
The horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 raised a lot of security concerns in the private sector in India. Many companies like the Tata Group, Reliance Industries Limited and Infosys requested then Home Minister P. Chidambaram to provide CISF protection to their establishments. An amendment to the CISF Act was introduced in 2008 and implemented in 2009, which allowed CISF to provide security to private establishments.
4) Offers Security Consultancy Services
An amendment in 1999 to the CISF Act enabled it to offer security consultancy services to any private or government establishments. Whenever a private establishment requests CISF to provide consultancy services, a team of experts visits the establishment for a survey. It does security and threat assessments and then gives reports and suggestions. It is paid for these services monthly.
5) Can be Deployed Outside India
The 2008 bombing of the Indian Consulate in Kabul caused many security concerns for Indian embassies abroad. It prompted the Indian Government to improve the security arrangements of Indian Diplomatic Missions. The 2009 Amendment to the CISF Act expanded the mandate of the force related to its service and deployment. It enabled the central Government to deploy the force outside India and provide security to diplomatic missions.
6) Deployed In The UN Mission In Haiti
The CISF personnel were one of the Formed Police Unit (FPU) sent to Haiti deployed with the United Nations Mission for Justice and Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH). 140 personnel from CISF formed the FPU 1 deployed in the country. They served in Haiti for a decade from 2008 to 2019. MINUJUSTH was a successor of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), established in 2004 to reign control Haiti’s anarchical situation.
7) Largest Number Of Women Officers
The CISF has the largest number of women officers among all the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the country. These officers are trained in Filipino martial arts. Thirty-three per cent of constable level are reserved for women. The Government also aims to increase the representation of women in CISF to fifteen per cent. These figures are the highest for ant Central Armed Police Forces.
8) Does Not Follow A Battalion Pattern
The CISF is a need-based force and does not follow a battalion pattern. The deployment of its personnel is decided after assessing the establishment’s security needs and sensitivity that needs to be secured. In other armed forces, personnel are posted after taking into consideration their rank and service record.
9) The Special Security Group
The Special Security Group (SSG) came into existence on November 17 2006. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) recommended the CISF to come with a group to provide security cover to people nominated by the Home Ministry. This group is responsible for the physical protection, evacuation, mobile and static cover to people eligible for the cover. Usually, VIPs are eligible for such protection.
10) Responsible For Airport Security
The CISF is responsible for the security of all commercial airports in the country. Earlier, the Airport Police’s security was managed, which came under the relevant state government’s jurisdiction. However, after the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 in 1999, it was proposed that airports’ security be handed over to CISF. The September 11 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, USA, forced the Indian Government to review security arrangements at its airports. Soon enough, the majority of commercial airports came to be guarded by CISF. Currently, CISF provides security to sixty-four international and domestic airports.