NEW DELHI: Donning face masks and gloves, 42 trainee officers were on Friday commissioned into the world's largest paramilitary, the Central Reserve Police Force, after a 'webinar' passing-out parade held amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy and CRPF chief A P Maheshwari addressed the young officers, seated in an auditorium at the CRPF officers' training academy in Kadarpur village of Gurgaon, from their offices in North Block and Lodhi Road, respectively.
The passing-out ceremony was a webinar conference as gathering of people and holding mega events is a strict no as per coronavirus containment protocols, a senior official said.
This is the first time in the history of the force that an e-PoP was conducted for officer trainees, rather than the traditional way of holding a parade and ceremonial event under the sky, he said.
Hon HM Shri @AmitShah’s address to the passing out officers was read out. DG @crpfindia Sh. @DrAPMaheshwari, Director Academy Sh.Pankaj Kumar & various other officers also attended the PoP. Family & friends of the passing out officers joined the ceremony through the web link.— G Kishan Reddy (@kishanreddybjp) April 24, 2020
The 42 directly appointed gazetted officers, including four women, wore face masks and gloves for the event and were administered the oath to serve the country and later the academy officials pipped ranks of Assistant Commandant on their shoulders.
The AC-rank is the entry level for cadre officers in the paramilitary or Central Armed Police Forces and they command a company of about 100 personnel.
The trainee officers took oath of the Constitution and saluted the national and the CRPF flags that were brought in the auditorium by other ceremonial guards.
They took the traditional 'antim pag' (last step at the training institute) by stepping on a doormat kept at the exit of the auditorium and embossed with these words in Hindi.
This was the 51st batch of the DAGOs in the force that had joined the academy last year in February, the official said.
CRPF Director General Maheshwari congratulated the new officers and read out the message of Union Home Minister Amit Shah who said the force was the "backbone of internal security".
"I hope you will provide an effective leadership to the troops under your command," Shah was quoted as saying by the DG during the video-conference.
These officers, selected by the UPSC after an all-India exam, have been imparted a 52-week training in field tactics, combat operations, weapons training and legal education among others.
The trainee officers completed their training on March 5.
However, their PoP scheduled for March 22 had been put on hold due to the pandemic.
"Later it was re-worked into an e-PoP to enable the young officers to render their valuable service to the people during the on-going public health crisis," CRPF spokesperson Deputy Inspector General Moses Dhinakaran said.
The officers will stay in the academy till the lockdown period of May 3 and would be deployed or posted in units as per the necessity arising out of the coronavirus challenge, the senior official quoted above said.
With about 3.25 lakh personnel, the CRPF is the country's leading internal security force.
Its three main combat theatres are anti-Naxal operations, counter-terrorist offensive in the Kashmir Valley and taking on armed insurgency in the northeastern states.