New Delhi: Private security guards who keep a vigil on various establishments such as corporate offices, housing societies and malls will soon perform the role of 'eyes and ears' of law enforcement agencies, with the Home Ministry deciding to formulate a plan for their training.
Though the 50 lakh-strong private security guards will not be armed with guns, they will be given basic training of a constable so they can handle small incidents.
"We are formulating some rules for the private security guards. We will have to ensure mandatory training to private security guards who provide round-the-clock security to offices and other critical establishments.
"Government is working in tandem with the private security agencies," a Home Ministry official said.
These 50 lakh guards provide security cover to corporate offices, malls, industrial sites and residential buildings but are barely trained, unarmed and of little use in emergencies.
The private security industry, despite its generally poorly-trained men, is expected to grow into a Rs 40,000 crore sector by next year, according to a FICCI study. Their fitness level is also suspect.
The Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005, makes it mandatory for every guard to undergo at least 160 hours of training-- 100 hours of classroom learning and 60 hours of on-the-job training.
Chairman of Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) Kunwar Vikram Singh said the process of imparting training to private security guards has already been started by Security Sector Skill Development Council (SSSDC), an initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
"We have already trained around two lakh private security guards and all of 50 lakh private security guards will be given training within three years," he said.
Singh also said a total of around 1,000 training centres for them will be set up across the country.
The FICCI study has said there is a need for the government to recognise specialised security academies for providing advanced training to private guards, technical as well as soft skills.
The facilitation would be important owing to the fact that most of the people employed in the industry are not in a position to pay for their own training, it said.