Hyderabad, October , 2018 : The Association of Private Security Agencies (APSA), which representing 1500 Private Security Agencies and 4 lakh Private Security Personnel in AP and Telangana, jointly organised a Seminar with BETTERPLACE – a tech platform & India’s biggest blue-collar management company, and Centre for Human Security Studies, – ‘Transforming the Blue collar Ecosystem in Private Security Sector‘, on Friday at Plaza Hotel, Begumpet. The day long conclave served as a platform for all the stakeholders including the principal employers, service providers and Govt. statutory bodies, to address the issues plaguing Private Security Sector. It had Dr. Kanneganti Ramesh Babu, Founder & Executive Director, Center for Human Security Studies; delivering the keynote address, with Shri Noel Swaranjit Sen, Ex DGP of erstwhile combined Andhra Pradesh, being the Chief Guest. Also present were Sri C. Bhaskar Reddy, President and Lt. Col. K. S. Rao, (Retd.), General Secretary, Association of Private Security Agencies (APSA), (Telangana & AP); Mr Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder & CEO and Mr Saurabh Tandon, Co-founder & COO, BetterPlace. On the occasion APSA and BetterPlace signed an MoU to work for bettering the private security personnel working and living conditions. The Seminar was attended by over 250 CEOs, MDs and leaders from top employers, service providers along with senior Govt. officials associated with the Private Security Eco System.
Society needs to recognise and appreciate the stellar work being done the private security personnel : Noel Swaranjit Sen
Speaking on the occasion Shri Noel Swaranjit Sen said, it is essential for organisations like APSA to work towards raising a positive perception in the society towards the private security providers for the dedicated service they are rendering and making our surroundings safe. The Police as such doesn’t hold the private security force in great regard. You can work on changing the perception by creating more opportunities to interact with the officials, police and the society at large, there by impress upon them about the stellar work you are doing, such interactions should be taken to the district level for the message to penetrate. Today a private security guard is expected and does multiple tasks, while the income they earn is meagre. To get commensurate salary for the work they do, APSA should grade the security personnel depending on the skills they have and the tasks they are expected to undertake and fix appropriate remuneration for the same, this will compensate them for the work they do.
Our armed forces, police and intelligence are doing selfless and excellent work to provide us security, however they cover 25% of the security needs, there is a balance 75% which needs to bridged and that’s where Private Security plays the role. Unlike in the West, Security is apportioned least priority by our society, they often take the brickbats for happenings for which they are ill-equipped and ill-trained and are unconnected, while the good work done fades away in no time. This in a way is resulting in low self-esteem and low remuneration, often not even adhering to the minimum wages. Consequently the industry is unable to attract the best of the talent, most seek it as a temporary career option and hence the attrition/migration from the profession is rampant, says Sri Bhaskar Reddy, President, Association of Private Security Agencies (Telangana & AP).
Above all, the Private Security needs to be treated as an integral element of the overall security mechanism of the state and hence an urgent need to integrate them into the security systems of the society by enhanced interactions from the SHO levels to the higher Security hierarchy in the state, says Lt. Col. K. S. Rao, (Retd.), General Secretary, Association of Private Security Agencies (Telangana & AP).
Dr. Kanneganti Ramesh Babu said, despite the exemplary work being done by the armed forces, police and intelligence, to secure us, there is still some void and the Private security can bridge this gap.
The Private Security profession like most others is facing unprecedented challenges and is passing through a critical phase. Unlike in the past, today the job of private security is much more demanding, the expectations from the society and clients is way beyond the conventional outlook. It is considered to be a major stakeholder in the nation’s security. The Industry is a key employer with 20000 Private Security Agencies (PSA) providing employment to over 50 lakh Private Security Personnel (PSP), pan India. The security personnel are expected to multi-task to cope with demands of the job in the changing times. The advent of technology has further accentuated the need for specialised skill sets, with constant up-skilling to keep pace with the rapid changes. Besides the conventional skills of security, the security resource is expected to be tech savvy, posses soft and communicational skills, besides being abreast with the latest developments. Therefore the Private Security is in a transition to leapfrog for taking on the bigger challenges.
The issues plaguing the industry are multiple, with Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, 2005 (PSARA), not being implemented seriously to regulate and monitor the Industry. Security being a state subject, it is the State Government which should implement PSARA and several states are yet to work on it. The AP Private Security Agency (Regulation) Rules in 2008, enacted by the combined AP state assembly, applies for Telangana as well and PSAs have to obtain licences from the respective state Principal Secretaries – Home. However, less than 10% PSAs, have license to operate. Therefore the working and living condition of private security personnel is miserable. None of the stipulations as per PSARA like minimum wages, 26 working days a month and 8 hours duty are being practised by the unregistered agencies and compounding all this is, they flout statutory tax regulations like GST, PF etc. Personnel from such agencies lack basic training, no verification of past antecedents is done by them and often bring disrepute to the Industry. Most from the un-organised sector are paid much less than the minimum wages stipulated, with no restrictions on working hours. While the Central establishments scrupulously follow PSARA, often the worst culprits are the State Government establishments which follow the L1 Tender system and offer the contract to the lowest bidder, leading to PSARA stipulations of minimum wages, work time etc., being overlooked.
To overcome the grim scenario prevailing in the industry, it is essential to address the following issues on priority and such measures can ensure a safe and secure environment, besides making the industry more professional.
- i) Payment of minimum wages
- ii) Adherence to the established working hours.
iii) Enhancement of self esteem in the profession through skilling of the Private Security force.
- iv) Safeguarding of the Service Providers without being exploited by the environment with lower then minimum wages & very low or no service charges.
- v) Review of current taxation mechanism on the industry.
- vi) Implementation of the PSAR Act by the Govt bodies / Service receivers & the Service providers to ensure running of the profession with the desired standards.