Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

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2016: Archana Ramasundaram appointed DG

The Times of India Feb 02 2016


TN IPS Officer To Head Sashastra Seema Bal

Archana Ramasundaram, a 1980-batch Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer, has been appointed as director general of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), a para-military organisation that guards frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan.

She is the first woman IPS officer to head SSB since its inception in 1963 and will continue in that post till her retirement on September 30 next year. She has replaced B D Sharma, another officer from her batch, who retired on January 31.

There are five paramilitary forces ­ SSB, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force and Indo Tibetan Border Police ­ and none has ever had a woman chief.

She was director of National Crime Records Bureau in New Delhi since June last year. The Union government had upgraded the post of director NCRB to that of director general of police (DGP) to accommodate her.

Ramasundaram, known among her colleagues as an upright official, is the seniormost IPS officer in Tamil Nadu cadre. Tamil Nadu DGP Ashok Kumar is two years junior to her. She hails from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh and is married to S Ramasundaram, a 1979 batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu.


2018: Geographic Information System

Neeraj Chauhan, SSB using GIS, sat imagery to guard borders, December 19, 2018: The Times of India

Sashastra Seema Bal, which guards India's borders with Nepal and Bhutan, is now using data and images through Geographic Information System (GIS) and real-time satellite imagery in the border region to know about the terrains, enemy presence and border crime patterns.

The border guarding force has recently been armed by the government with a joint satellite bandwidth while department of space personnel are working constantly to help it prepare for any future threat from China, which seems to be increasing its presence in Nepal and Tibet region.

Sources told TOI that Department of Space has also developed a data based application for SSB which is being used to better understand the thick jungles, mountains and other inhospitable terrains, apart from other requirements of the force.

SSB, apart from lead Indo-China border guarding force, was also asked to strengthen itself and be alert at the border, particularly in Sikkim and upper regions of Nepal following the 73-day long Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese armed forces.

Augmenting its presence at the border, the SSB has operationalized 72 new border outposts (BoPs) this year alone at the Nepal and Bhutan borders, with 18 BoPs alone in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Without commenting on border operations related to China, DG SSB - S S Deswal said they are creating infrastructure at Nepal and Bhutan border and are deploying manpower. Deswal also heads at ITBP.

"The conditions in the border posts are improving at a very fast pace," Deswal told reporters at the annual press conference of SSB.

Deswal said the SSB, raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression, was mulling to use 'laser fence' technology to plug loopholes along the two borders of Nepal and Bhutan that it guards.

He also informed that around 1,800 non-combat personnel of SSB will soon be moved to the Intelligence Bureau. The move is part of centre's plan to bolster the Intelligence Bureau's presence at the borders, sources added.

"The civil wing (of the SSB) is professionally-competent in intelligence-gathering, and their task and capability was matching with the IB and the government has decided to transfer them to the IB. The process has already started and, in next one month, a total of 1,800 people will be transferred to the IB," Deswal said.

A senior official later said that it was expected that these personnel would be tasked to look after the intelligence duties along the China and Nepal fronts.

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