10 approved recruitment centres had estimated financial implication of Rs 78 crore

Following the Digital India mantra of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has moved on to the online platform for the recruitment of its personnel.

An MoU was signed between the Indian Coast Guard and Pune-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in this regard. On average, the Coast Guard annually recruits close to 500 personnel for its three branches—non-technical, technical and domestic.

While launching its recruitment website for comprehensive recruitment and to conduct online examinations, a statement by the ICG claimed that the website has been designed in an innovative and robust manner, which would minimise human intervention and ensure greater transparency and reach in the selection process. The digital recruitment process will be held twice a year in 108 cities spread across the country to attract a large talent pool, up from the existing 19 centres.

Earlier this year, while working out the modalities of computer-based online examination and other examination activities such as conduct of physical fitness test and medical examination of candidates who qualified online, the Indian Coast Guard had a proposal to set up 10 recruitment centres all over India. Approval in-principle of the ministry of defence for setting up two Coast Guard recruitment centres at Guwahati and Dehradun was accorded, according to documents reviewed by THE WEEK.

In June last year, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had inaugurated an ICG recruitment centre in Kuanvala in Dehradun in presence of the then director general of ICG Rajender Singh. It was claimed that the proposed Dehradun centre will be the fifth ICG recruitment centre after Noida, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and was being built to cater to recruits from four states—Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

But instead of setting up recruitment centres, ICG opted for digital mode of recruitment after taking a cue from the Indian Air Force. While pushing for C-DAC option, which had financial implication of Rs 46 crore, the finance wing of the ministry of defence expressed some reservations about the proposal.

After objection from the finance wing of the ministry of defence in April, ICG headquarters admitted that the 10 approved recruitment centres had an estimated financial implication of close to Rs 78 crore and annual expenditure of Rs 11. 26 crore.

"The new recruitment centres at Dehradun and Guwahati will not be required with introduction of online computer-based examination centres," the ICG communication to MoD stated.

Now, ICG maintained that the recruitment website can be accessed from the link https://joinindiancoastguard.cdac.in, which is designed and developed and will also be maintained by C-DAC, Pune, with administrative control from a central control centre located at ICG recruitment directorate at Noida.

The website was launched by DG Krishnaswamy Natarajan, Director General, Indian Coast Guard, via videoconference with Dr. Hemant Darbari, Director General, C-DAC.

"The migration of ICG recruitment process to a digital system is a quantum leap in compliance with GOI vision of Digital India," the Coast Guard statement said.