New Delhi: The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in India, for the first time, will be equipped with Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) marked level-5 bullet resistance jackets by September end, a move by the Central government in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.

The CAPF personnel deployed on combat duty, in security cover of VIPs and other key vulnerable locations like Maoist-hit areas and Jammu and Kashmir are provided bullet resistance jackets for their safety.

The bullet resistance jackets currently being used by the CAPF so far are approval for combat use by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.

By September 23-24, as per the current schedule, the Home Ministry sources said that "A new set of around 4,000 bullet resistance jackets will be provided to the CAPF with the first-time certification from the BIS, a national standard body of India established under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods".

"BIS has been providing traceable and tangible benefits to the national economy in a number of ways - providing safe reliable quality goods; minimizing health hazards to consumers; promoting exports and imports substitute; control over proliferation of varieties through standardization, certification and testing," said an MHA official.

Besides getting BIS approved bullet resistance jackets, the quality of the bullet resistance jackets in the new consignment has been enhanced to level-5.

Presently, level-4 category bullet resistance jackets are being used by the seven CAPFs that include Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashstra Seema Bal (SSB), Assam Rifles (AR) and National Security Guard (NSG).

ITBP and the SSB will be first among all the CAPFs to get this new set of upgraded bullet resistance jackets having BIS certification.

"A set of 4,000 Level-5 BIS hallmark BR (Bullet Resistance) jackets will be provided to the ITBP and the SSB for the first time by September 23-24 this year," an official privy to the procurement deals in the CAPF told ANI.

According to the official, who requested to be anonymous, more new sets of "BR jackets will be provided to other CAPF in future as per demands and needs."

Explaining the uniqueness of BR jackets to be received by the CAPF next month, the official said, "These will have the hallmark of BIS for the first time"

"Till now, the BR jackets being used by the CAPF are certified by NIJ," the official added.

"These BR jackets will be in a series of upgraded version of Level 5-- a resistance capacity to stop Hard Steel Core (HSC) bullets, the CAPF personnel now are using level-4 BR jackets," the official further said.

Experts in combat duties and some CAPF personnel said that upgraded versions of the BR jackets are lighter in weight and have the capacity of better protection from the bullet.

The cost of each level-5 jacket is estimated at around Rs 40,000 to Rs 45,000 for each piece.