Ghaziabad: CISF should develop a “core competence” of effectively securing strategic and iconic installations in the country which can be targeted by terrorists, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Tuesday.

Attending the 46th Raising Day celebrations of the central paramilitary force as the chief guest, Singh said at its base here that the “biggest challenge” for CISF is to ensure tight security at such installations and other places that it guards, like airports and aerospace and nuclear power facilities across the country.

“You should develop core competence in securing important and strategic installations in the country. Terrorism is a big danger and challenge for the world and it targets not only people but also can hit iconic infrastructure of national and strategic importance.

“I know that you (CISF personnel) have the courage and determination to thwart such evil designs… But the biggest challenge is to provide foolproof security at these places. Any minor mistake (in this regard) will have big repercussions,” he said.

The minister said that his government’s aim was to make India an “economic superpower” and, to achieve this goal, the “wheel of development” has to keep turning, which it cannot without a good security apparatus being provided by CISF as part of its duty.

“Since India is heading to be an economic superpower, CISF has to take the responsibility of becoming ‘Pragati Ke Sajag Prahari’ (sentinels of development),” he said.

The Home Minister also asked the force, raised in 1969, to carry out a “special security audit” of all its units every four months where its personnel are deployed.

“The audit should be aimed at identifying any lacuna or shortcoming and subsequently take remedial steps to address such problems, if any,” Singh said without elaborating if he was specifically referring to the forces’ role in guarding government ministries and departments in Delhi.

Delhi Police recently claimed to have unearthed an alleged corporate espionage scandal running in some ministries like Oil and Defence as it arrested a dozen people in the case, including government officials from Shastri Bhawan, where a number of ministries are housed.

The 1.21-lakh-strong CISF at present guards 333 units across the country, including some of the most important and sensitive buildings and offices in the government and private domain and historic monuments like Taj Mahal and Red Fort.

Singh said that CISF, the world’s largest industrial security force, should orient itself towards becoming more modern and hi-tech.

He lauded the force’s recent move to begin some “undercover operations” at its various places of deployment to obtain a better volume of intelligence and gain a security edge.

The Home Minister expressed happiness over the CISF providing security consultancy services to various organisations in the public and private domain and said that, if marketed aggressively, the force can become a big player in this area.

“CISF is capable of meeting the security challenges and it is ready to become one of the most modern and hi-tech security forces in our country,” he added.

Lauding the public interface of the force at Delhi Metro and airports, Singh said he has always heard “good things” about the jawans’ behaviour.

“When I hear that you have restored some lost belonging at the airport to its rightful owner, I get filled with pride,” he said.

Terming CISF a “dynamic” force, Singh wished it better days ahead as he used a cricket analogy, saying that with yet another anniversary, CISF has become “not out at 46 and should now prepare for a good half-century”.

“The biggest asset you have created over these years is your trust among the public,” he said as he urged the force to fill up the close to 5,000 vacancies in its ranks.

During the event, CISF Director General Arvind Ranjan said that the force was determined to “do its duty with a smile”.