Director General, Sashashtra Seema Bal, Archana Ramasundaram
Force Magazine - National Security and Aerospace Newsmagazine

"It’s not Enough to Give all those Modern Equipment to Troops on a Border Outpost; They Have to be Trained too to Make Use of That Technology"
Director General, Sashashtra Seema Bal, Archana Ramasundaram

Given that SSB today straddles two roles — border management and internal security — what are your modernisation plans and priorities?
Our modernisation plan has two components. One pertains to border management, which has very specific requirements. The other component pertains to our infrastructure development and roles other than border management. For instance, seven battalions of Sashashtra Seema Bal (SSB) are deployed in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) area and five battalions in Jammu and Kashmir. In the Northeast too, we have had a Disputed Area Belt since 2014 where one battalion and three companies are deployed.

Hence, our modernisation has to factor-in all these requirements. For border management, we have selected some border outposts (BOPs) and are equipping them with better surveillance tools. We already have cameras but we are trying to see if better technology is available. In some places, we are also introducing X-ray baggage scanners. In our area of operations, we have instances of drug trafficking. Last year, there was a record seizure of narcotics on Indo-Nepal border. We do have sniffer dogs and have been training our people with Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). SSB has its own Dog Breeding and Training Centre at Dera, Alwar in Rajasthan. Technology apart, training is another aspect on which we have been focusing.

A two-week BOP level training module was organised for all the ranks at their respective locations in BOPs with the help of various agencies like Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and NGOs to enhance the overall effectiveness and professionalism of the force. All SSB personnel have undergone this training and are discharging their duties with more clarity and professionalism.

Archana Ramasundaram

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