The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved raising of 17 India Reserve Battalions (IR Bns) by Jammu and Kashmir and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states, said an official communiqué after a Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The forces will include five IR Bns in Jammu and Kashmir, four IR Bns in Chattisgarh, three IR Bns in Jharkhand, three IR Bns in Odisha and two IR Bns in Maharashtra,” said the communiqué.

The Cabinet has identified three major thrusts for raising these battalions and a number of measures have been directed to the states regarding the same. Among other steps, Cabinet said that it will recruit local youths and it has asked states to relax the selection criteria.

“Local youths will be recruited. To achieve this, the states will relax the age and educational criteria, if required,” the statement said.

For J&K, majority recruitment for posts of constables will be from border districts.

“In respect of the 05 IR Bns to be raised by J&K, 60% of the vacancies will be filled from the border districts of J&K for the posts of constables and class IV,” it said.

In four of the 10 states affected with Left Wing Extremism that have agreed to raise these battalions — Odisha, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra — major lot of the vacancies will be filled from 27 core districts under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme.

“For LWE states, 75% of the vacancies of constables will be filled up from 27 core districts under SRE Scheme,” it added.

The LWE-affected states not included in this plan are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

The Government of India introduced the scheme of Indian Reserve Battalions in 1971. The Government of India has so far, sanctioned 153 IR Bns to various States, out of which 144 IR Bns have been raised and one IR Bn in Jharkhand has been converted into Specialized Indian Reserve Battalion (SIRB) having two engineering companies and five security companies.


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