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Govt nod to 3,000 more personnel in ITBP, two new commands for guarding China front

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The Union government on Wednesday approved a full cadre review, resulting in creation of over 3,000 new posts, and creation of two operational commands for the ITBP that guards the LAC with China.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the cadre review exercise of the force has been conducted after 18 years, the last was done in 2001.

The review, for Group 'A' general duty (executive) cadre and non-general duty officials, will create over 3,000 new posts, including 60 in the top command, and will also allow it to raise two commands along the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China that the force guards.

The cabinet meeting that cleared the about-1.5-year-old proposal of the force was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The decision comes on the eve of the ITBP's 58th Raising Day.

The two commands, western to be based at Chandigarh and eastern at Guwahati, will be headed by Additional Director General (ADG)-rank officers and will have several frontiers under them that will oversee troops and battalion deployments along the China front, starting from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

The Border Security Force, that guards Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, has a similar command structure that allows better planning of operations and resource mobilisation in times of peace as well as war.

A senior official said the new commands are expected to be in place by next year and will help in effective domination and control of the LAC that is marred by harsh weather and high-altitude locations.

The Union government, this year, had moved the North West (NW) frontier of the force from Chandigarh to Leh for better dominance of the front.

The frontier is headed by an Inspector General-rank officer who is equivalent to a Major General of the Indian Army.

Leh also houses the 14 Corps of the Army that was raised in the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil war.

The about-90,000-personnel force under the Union home ministry is trained for mountain warfare.

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