The NSG has included a new and comprehensive psychology test for entry-level soldiers aspiring to be inducted and honed as ‘black cat’ commandos who undertake special counter-terror and counter-hijack operations in the country. The federal contingency force till now used to put Army and paramilitary troops under rigorous physical and mental strength tests once they join the commando conversion course (CCC) to get inducted into the premier force.
Soldiers desirous of joining the National Security Guard (NSG), modelled on the lines of special counter-terror forces of the UK and Germany, will now have to undergo a special capsule of psychology tests and questions during the 3-month CCC, a senior official in the Union home ministry said. He said a threshold mark has to be obtained by a soldier in the psychology test like qualifying the other physical and mental parameters in order to join the force.
The force had a “pressing” need for a full-time pyschologist in its commando selection panel and experts of this domain have recently been hired in the NSG, he added. The new system of induction will ensure that physically and mentally fit personnel are inducted into the force to become and perform as the best commando unit of the country, the official said.
PTI had reported in January that the force, while conducting a Psychological Screening Test (PST) when chosen personnel from various uniformed forces join it on deputation, wanted to have a “regular process” of measuring psychological attributes of a trooper wanting to join it and also for those who are already in the ranks.
The force had also included yoga in the daily fitness curriculum and gradings given by the yoga instructor and the newly-hired psychologist will henceforth be reflected in the performance records of commandos, who undertake continuous training when not part of an operation. The ‘black cat’ commandos of the NSG are segregated into two major units — SAG (Special Action Group) manned by officers and jawans from the Army and the SRG (Special Rangers Group) comprising personnel from paramilitary forces.
The force was raised under an act of Parliament in 1984 as a federal contingency combat unit.It has undertaken numerous operations till now. These include flushing out terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai siege in 2008 and the 2016 operation when they were deployed to kill terrorists who attacked the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot.
Recently, a small team of its commandos has been deployed in the Kashmir Valley to undertake specific ‘house intervention’ and terrorists’ neutralisation operations as part of their new mandate to “strengthen the security grid” in Jammu and Kashmir.
The force will also train personnel of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the JK police and the CRPF which regularly undertake counter-terror operations in the Kashmir Valley.