Private Security Industry In India

Like in other parts of the world the private security industry in India has come of age and growing rapidly.It is the largest security industry in the world as of today. It is the highest employment generating sector and has left behind the much talked about agriculture sector

Life and liberty is very fundamental to human living.Thisposition has been reiterated in our Constitution too ( Art 21) which serves as  cornerstone for courts while adjudicating cases.The sovereign function of the State include ensuring life and liberty of people. To achieve this objective,the governments create instrumentalities ,eg.,police,enforcementagencies,Defence forces,etc..With the passage of time the pattern has been changing in this area. Further, whenever there is gap in the system, some alternatives emerge and fill up the gap. With opening of the economies the world over, the participation of forces other than the State started taking shape and got consolidated. The emergence of the Private security Industry is a similar phenomenon which started a few decades ago but has become visible and noticeable as also gearing up for a much bigger role as Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the arena of the Internal security of the country.

Like in other parts of the world,the private security industry in India has come of age and growing rapidly.It is the largest security industry in the world as of today.It is the highest employment generating sector and has left behind the much talked about agriculture sector.It is also the top contributor to the government coffers as corporate tax provider. With mammoth 10 million work force through over 15,000 companies/firms ,thesector is growing at an annual compound rate (CAGR) of around 20 per cent for last many years and having a turn over of about 3 lakh crore .

The presence of the private security industry is now visible to the common people through their ubiquitous presence in  residential, commercial, industrial and government establishments. With improved training standards the pvt security guards and supervisors/managers are going to be important players alongside the public police in times to come.As it is they are five times of the available police force in the country.

Recently,they have been inducted in the airport security system handling non-core areas and in future they can be entrusted with some of the core functions of the police too after proper upskilling them as is the position in the developed world.It is a welcome step which provides a win win position for the government as also the pvt. Security industry which ensures better accountability, trustworthiness and efficiency for a variety of reasons.

The rise of this industry is also attributable to various other factors , eg.,

(i) Shortage of police personnel (we in India have a strength of 144 police personnel per 1 lakh of population as against the UN norm of 222 per 1 lakh).

(ii) Increase in business with growing economy-more business establishments, malls, industries,etc.

(iii) Increase in residential and official complexes due to migration of people to urban areas from rural areas and more capital expenditure by government in infrastructure creations like roads,ports,airports,etc.

(iv) Increased requirements of security by the citizens for their safety and their assets.

(v) Changing pattern of crime in the modern times .

When we look at the most significant trends in terms of personal security in the world, it also includes the use of AI for providing surveillance tools, personal protective equipment, and other resources to the security personnel, another crucial aspect for the industry to become more modernized and stay up to the mark. The popularisation of AI technology enables connected devices to become intelligent in the IoT world. Meanwhile, better perception capabilities like radar, temperature measuring, humidity sensing, and gas leak detection are added to security devices and systems to make them more powerful. These new devices shoulder a diversity of tasks that just a few years ago required several different devices. Biometrics and zero-touch approach are something that security companies have taken up and have adopted with open arms. With more security devices connecting over the Internet than anyone ever imagined, cybersecurity has become an immense challenge in the industry. A strategic initiative that was developed to prevent data breaches by eliminating the concept of trust from an organisation’s network architecture, Zero Trust is rooted in a philosophy of “never trust, always verify.” The concept has been roundly accepted within the IT industry. It is now slowly but steadily moving into the physical security realm as it gradually becomes an integral part of the IoT world.

Even though all the aspects mentioned may be interrelated regarding the outcome they provide, there is another common link among them. All of these are practiced by the top personal security companies worldwide and need a growing uptake in India too. The inclusion of these trends has become a must now for Indian-based companies to uphold international standards. To remain relevant against the top personal security companies across the globe, Indian companies will have to spend time and resources towards training their personnel and having them become more tech-savvy so that when the companies can onboard new technological resources, the personal security personnel will be able to utilize these tools daily.

The private security industry has its central Association known as CAPSI(Central Association of Private security Industry) which is playing a very significant role in steering the course of this important industry.As a top representative body registered under section 8 ( a Non profit body ) of  Companies act 2013,it is working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),Govt. of India in relation to important Policy matters affecting the working of this industry.This body also has an MOU with the RRU( Rashtriya Raksha University) under the aegis of MHA to work on various facets of pvt. Security industry.

To ensure quality of service,the BIS(Bureau of Indian Standards) is working with this body to finalise the standards required for employability of workers in this sector.CAPSI also has its own auditing wing which conducts audits on the pvt.Security companies ; and ,subsequently, issues Star ratings( upto7 stars) to these companies/agencies. Recently,the Central government (Gem-Govt. e-market) has issued direction that only CAPSI certified Pvt. Security agencies would be eligible for providing services to the govt ministries/deptts./PSU’s ,etc..This organisation has also been entrusted by MHA to prepare a proposal for the induction of retrenched Agniveers in future from the Defence forces into the pvt. Security industry at appropriate levels.They  have also been asked by MHA to prepare a road map of this industry for the next 10 years.

CAPSI is passing through very important moments in the history of the Internal security of the country.Recently,it has prepareditself to launch a nation wide movement known as National Citizens security Culture as a non – profit welfare activity in the interest of the security of the country.This would be a 2/3 years project with self-sustainability as an objective. Various activities and programmes are being worked out in this regard.

Author : Bhagwan Shankar,IAS (Retd. Former Addl Chief Secy to Govt. of Sikkim) Distinguished Fellow Delhi school of Public policy & Governance Advisor, Central Association of Pvt. Security Industry (CAPSI),New Delhi

Private Security Industry In India

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Private Security Industry In India

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