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At present, CAPF personnel get a total of 75 days annual leave. The 100-day leave policy aims to reduce work-related stress and enhance the happiness quotient.
The Union Home Ministry is working on the contours of a policy to allow the jawans of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to spend at least 100 days with their families. The policy — mooted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah — aims to reduce work-related stress and enhance the happiness quotient of about 10 lakh jawans and officers “who undertake arduous duties in some of the most challenging environmental conditions and remote locations”.
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At present, CAPF personnel get a total of 75 days' leave per year. This number, however, can either go lower or higher in case of specific operational requirements, hard area deployment and posting in remote areas. To ensure fast implementation of the leave policy, several rounds of meetings — the latest being early this month — have been held by ministry officials. According to a media report, quoting a senior CAPF officer, the “Home Ministry is expected to take a final decision by the next month as to how the welfare measure can be implemented”.
Need for the policy:
In December 2021, Shah, while addressing Border Security Force (BSF) jawans in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), had said that the government was working to improve the housing satisfaction level for CAPF personnel. He added that much progress would be achieved on this front by 2024. The proposal was floated in the backdrop of security forces battling regular cases of suicides and fratricidal killings.
"The jawans are deployed for the security of the country in 50-degree heat and minus temperatures in the cold seasons. The Central government is making efforts so that every soldier who gives his golden time to the country can spend about 100 days in a year with his family. This is a big responsibility of the government, which will be fulfilled soon,” asserted Shah.
A comprehensive policy: The proposal has been in the pipeline since October 2019 after Shah reviewed the working and operational preparedness of CAPF, BSF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). After the personnel of these armed forces are provided with the 100-day leave, the policy could be rolled out for three other central forces, including the Assam Rifles, National Security Guard (NSG) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
A CAPF officer told PTI that the 100-day leave policy can come to fruition if the casual leave component is increased from 15 days to 28-30 days. To facilitate the implementation of this policy, it has also been proposed that jawans could be posted at units that are close to their hometown or where their family lives. This will allow them to travel and stay with their families when there are no operational emergencies.
Significantly, the government is also considering creating new facilities or refurbishing the establishments of armed forces so that the families of the troops can come over and live at the location of their posting for a limited period.
Even after the implementation of the policy, it would be reviewed periodically. According to defence experts and ministry officials, the policy, once implemented, could prove to be a “game-changer” with regard to the welfare of the CAPF personnel.
Other welfare plans: Earlier this year, the Union government issued a statement saying that it provided about 35 lakh ‘Ayushman’ health cards to CAPF personnel and their families and they can now avail "cashless treatment" at 24,000 empanelled hospitals of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY across the country. These health cards have no limit on the expenditure incurred under this scheme, which is a joint initiative of the Home Ministry, Health Ministry and National Health Authority.