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Times Of India
11 June 2012

New Delhi: Now, young aspirants having minor visual problem can join paramilitary forces, if the defect is corrected using laser eye surgery. Government will soon notify a revised visual standard, giving a ray of hope for such persons whose candidatures are, at present, summarily rejected due to stringent norms.

Government thinks that the changes, which can be made by getting rid of “redundant” stringent visual standards in this age of advanced technology, may not only help the paramilitary forces to recruit more personnel but also to retain the manpower.

The revised visual standards will also take into account different nature of works for different categories of personnel while revising the norms, unlike the existing rule which asks for same standard for personnel engaged in combat and noncombat jobs.

The notification will be issued on the basis of a policy guideline that was brought out by the home ministry last month. The new norms will be meant for recruitment and retention of personnel in all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), including CRPF, ITBP, CISF, BSF, SSB and Assam Rifles.

The ministry while coming out with the guidelines noted that there is no point in prohibiting candidates having minor visual defect in this age of advance technology when "there are many methods available for correction of distant vision like LASIK".

"Additionally, there has been a significant transformation in the job profile of the CAPF personnel and the methods of border guarding as well as the way warfare is conducted,” said the ministry’s in its note issued on May 18.

It said: “The armamentarium of sophisticated detection and combat gadgets has made redundant certain stringent visual standards hitherto considered essential".

The ministry also noted how the CAPFs are losing out on recruiting candidates due to existing stringent visual standards. "This coupled with the lack of attraction towards the Forces as a career option among the youth has led to a situation where there is a shortfall in the induction of officers, non-gazetted officers and personnel in other ranks."

Pitching for the change, officials observed that there is no valid reason in expecting the same level of visual standards for personnel who work at borders or in militant-affected states for counter-insurgency operations and those who work as sweeper, cleaner, gardener or cook in the CAPFs.

The ministry has come out with the new guidelines on the basis of a recommendation made by a medical board – headed by ADG (medical) of the paramilitary forces B S Pandey and comprising team of doctors including director (medical) of CISF Navin Ram – that was constituted last year.

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