New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai addressed the 187th Raising Day celebrations of the Assam Rifles in Shillong today as the Chief Guest. Shri Nityanand Rai also paid tribute to the brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for the country. The Director General of Assam Rifles, Lt Gen P.C. Nair, senior officers and jawans of Assam Rifles and their families from across the country also attended the function through video conferencing.
In his address, the Union Minister of State for Home, Shri Nityanand Rai said that the Assam Rifles was established in 1835 as the “Cachar Levy”. Assam Rifles has the unique distinction of being conferred with the most number of gallantry awards among all paramilitary forces during its long history. The force has emerged as an organization with effective fighting skills.
The Union Minister of State for Home said that the Assam Rifles during its glorious history has contributed significantly to the maintenance of peace and harmony in the insurgency affected areas of the North East and Jammu and Kashmir and has performed exemplary work in preventing drug trafficking. Assam Rifles is an all-rounder force, it has two battalions stationed in Jammu and Kashmir and one NDRF battalion, which is playing its active role in case of natural calamities. Shri Nityanand Rai said the interests of the security forces along with the interest of the country have always been of paramount importance for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Government has taken many decisions for the welfare of the security forces and their families. The Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah has said that the Assam Rifles are the watchdog of the North East and the oldest paramilitary force in the country with a rich history of valour and courage. Shri Rai said the Ministry of Home Affairs has given in-principle approval to the formation of five additional battalions so that after field postings, jawans can get an opportunity to live with their families in a friendly environment. Keeping this in mind, the government has given the Assam Rifles the powers under the NDPS Act. This was a well thought out decision, as a result of which Assam Rifles has seized narcotics and drugs worth about Rs. 40 crore during the last year.
The Union Minister of State for Home said that with the objective of enhancing the structural operations and functionalities of the force, work is on for recruitment and cadre review. The previous cadre review was in 2003, the new cadre review will help in meeting the needs of the times and improve organizational efficiency. Shri Rai said the plan for modernization of Assam Rifles has also been approved and is presently in the implementation stage. Along with this, infrastructure for state-of-the-art weapons, communication, surveillance and training will also be strengthened. Shri Rai said that despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the force has accomplished a commendable job by recruiting 5,192 personnel. Apart from this, recruitment of 4,000 personnel is in progress.
Shri Nityanand Rai said that Assam Rifles has made concerted efforts for gender equality and women’s empowerment which has resulted in the induction of 1,187 women into the force. The Minister of State for Home expressed the hope that the number of women soldiers in the force will increase further. He said that the deployment of the women’s team in the Democratic Republic of Congo strengthens our aspirations to make the country a superpower in the world. Although India has been contributing to the UN peacekeeping for many years, the addition of the Riflewomen Team of the Assam Rifles adds another social and human dimension to our commitment to the community of nations. I would like to congratulate all the riflewomen who have made this achievement possible, and look forward to doing even better work in the future. The Assam Rifles deserves accolades for their significant contribution towards women’s empowerment, which is reflected in the skills of these riflewomen.
The Union Minister of State for Home said that all ranks of the Assam Rifles have to face many difficulties for the security of the country, therefore their welfare is paramount for the government. It has launched several welfare schemes like e-Awas portal which displays the commitment of the government to ensure the welfare of soldiers. The Government’s “Bharat Ke Veer” initiative has made a financial contribution of about Rs. 5.57 crore since 2016 to families of 44 brave soldiers who laid down their lives. In addition, in order to provide wide opportunities for education to children of serving and retired personnel of the force, the government has provided reservation in MBBS / BDS seats in selected medical colleges of, which are being fully utilized by the force.
Shri Nityanand Rai said that medical camps, women’s empowerment schemes, national integration tours and other activities are being run by the Assam Rifles for local citizens under the Civic Action Program. These should be continued for the weaker sections of society to provide a foundation for the social uplift of the North East region. About 31 lakh trees have been planted which is the highest among all the forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs. He said the triple dose of COVID-19 vaccination has been given to all personnel of Assam Rifles, thus achieving the target set by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in a very short time.
The Union Minister of State for Home said today, on the occasion of 187th Raising Day of Assam Rifles, I want to tell the brave soldiers of this force engaged in the service of the Motherland that the government shall always takes care of them. He said that I wish that soon the Assam Rifles is established as a paramount force not only in the country but also at the international level.