In this episode of the State of the Economy podcast, businessline’s Dalip Singh is joined by Sheel Vardhan Singh, the Director General (DG) of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), who discusses emerging challenges to industrial and aviation security. While talking about the importance of a well-defined role for various organisations within the transport ecosystem, the DG was of the view that there is a need for a seamlessly integrated transport ecosystem where all verticals collaborate for comprehensive security, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness. 

The discussion covers various aspects of security provided by CISF, its scope of services, and its vision for the future. The DG elaborates on the CISF’s role in safeguarding industrial installations, airports, metro systems, and more, emphasising the force’s contribution to economic development and national security. He outlines the historical background of the CISF, which originated in 1969 after a fire incident, and highlights its growth to become a force of 1,80,000 personnel. 

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The conversation also delves into the revenue model of the CISF. It involves providing security and consulting services to private industries and institutions, generating income based on a fixed scale set by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The fees paid by clients go to the consolidated fund of India, not CISF directly. CISF recoups around 85 per cent of its expenditures through this method. 

Discussing emerging threats, the conversation also touches on the integration of technology, including drones and cybersecurity. The DG explains how CISF is equipped to handle these challenges and collaborate with other agencies to ensure preparedness and an effective response. 

When questioned about the CISF’s role in fire safety, especially in high-rise buildings and changing urban landscapes, the DG emphasises the importance of training and upskilling and mentions initiatives to enhance fire safety standards across cities.  

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The DG also highlights the importance of stress management within the force and how the CISF takes initiatives like yoga and digital detox to improve the mental well-being of personnel. The DG talks about the value of human life and the importance of not compromising security for efficiency.  

Regarding future plans, the DG discusses the possibility of introducing robotic dogs for security purposes and underlines the significance of staying adaptable to evolving security challenges.  

The podcast concludes by discussing the integration of technology, training, and disaster management in CISF’s operations. The DG mentions that security is a paramount concern, especially in the face of emerging threats, and highlights CISF’s role in enhancing national security and economic development. Listen in.  

(Host: Dalip Singh, Producer: Nabodita Ganguly)

About the State of the Economy podcast

India’s economy has been hailed as a bright spot amid the general gloom that seems to have enveloped the rest of the world. But several sectors continue to stutter even as others seem set to fire on all cylinders. To help you make sense of the bundle of contradictions that the country is, businessline brings you podcasts with experts ranging from finance and marketing to technology and start-ups