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Centre plans app for forces to air complaints, BSF bans cellphones on duty

The project is being conceived by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and will be available to constables for download, officials said.

Written by Rahul Tripathi , Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi |
Updated: January 17, 2017 11:13:18 am
BSf, bSF jawan food, food complaint, BSF video, mobile app BSF, mobile ban, BSF mobile ban, border security forces, BSF condition, jawan food, MHA, tej bahadur, tej bahadur video, NIC, indian express news, india news The app being developed will also have other security features to ensure confidentiality. (Representational image)

AT A time the Centre is planning to develop a mobile app for Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) personnel to air their grievances, the Border Security Force (BSF) has issued orders to all company commanders on field to strictly ensure that the force’s constables on duty do not carry cellphones.

While the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) maintained that the move was necessitated by BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav’s video on poor quality of food supplied in camps, the BSF said that a rule regarding not allowing constables to carry phone exists already but was never strictly enforced.

Read | As Bipin Rawat warns of clampdown on airing grievances on social media, another video surfaces

WATCH VIDEO | Centre Mulls Developing Mobile App For Central Armed Paramilitary Forces To Air Grievances

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According to officials, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is holding consultation to develop an app to cater to 7.2 lakh CAPF constables. The project is being conceived by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and will be available to constables for download, officials said.

Read | Delhi HC refuses urgent hearing on plea seeking MHA report on food for troops

Ministry officials clarified that if the paramilitary forces enforce the rule of disallowing phones on duty, the personnel will have to send their grievances on the upcoming app when they are off duty. “However, this may be a setback, as personnel will not be able to gather photos or recordings (as was done in the recent case) and present evidence before the authorities,” an MHA official said on condition of anonymity.

Read | The constable’s lament


The app being developed will also have other security features to ensure confidentiality. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is learnt to have set a deadline of three months for completion of the project. A separate exercise to collate cellphone numbers of each personnel is also under way. “This app will have filters so that after examining the complaint at the ministry it can be directed to the officer concerned,” an official familiar with the process said.

Sources in BSF said the decision to enforce the rules on mobile phones was taken to save the forces from embarrassment in future. “Mobile phones were never allowed on duty, but company commanders overlooked personnel carrying phones as long (period of) duties on the border, (being) away from family, can increase stress levels,” a senior BSF officer said. “But the rules will be strictly enforced now.”

The officer said that BSF has to ensure that the internal grievance redressal mechanism functions well. “We don’t want every personnel with a grievance to take to the social media. Given the impact it generates, it can cause serious disciplinary issues in the force,” the officer said.


Director General of BSF K K Sharma has already sent a 15-point questionnaire and guideline on grievance redressal to all company commanders.

The letter asks senior officers to point out lacunae and problems in the existing grievance redress system in BSF and explain why a constable had to go on social media to air his grievances and get a response.

The letter also asks senior officers to endure that the force shifts to cashless procurement of ration in the next three months in an effort to eliminate corruption in procurement.

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First published on: 17-01-2017 at 01:50:28 am
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