The decision to create 17 new Indian Reserve Battalions (IRBs) was cleared at a meeting of the Cabinet held here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A maximum of 5 IRBs will be raised in J&K while four will be formed in Left Wing Extremism-hit states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha(three each) besides two in Maharashtra.

In an attempt to create employment and provide jobs to the local youth, a Cabinet statement said, in J&K 60 percent of vacancies in the new IRBs will be filled from border districts of the state for recruitment in the ranks of constables and class IV employees in their establishment.

In the LWE affected states, 75 percent of vacancies of constables in the new IRBs will be filled from 27 core districts identified under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme which categories the worst Naxal violence- affected regions in the country as flagged by the Union Home Ministry.

The IRBs were first created in 1971 by the central government and till now 144 such units have been raised out of a total sanctioned 153.

An IRB is a special auxiliary unit of trained police personnel created to assist and aid regular police units in rendering special tasks of law and order upkeep or to undertake anti-Naxal or counter-insurgency operations like central paramilitary forces. An IRB has an estimated operational strength of 1,000 personnel.

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