What is the full form of SPG?
SPG: Special Protection Group
SPG stands for special protection group. It is a special operations force that was established by an Act of the Parliament of India in 1988. It provides security to the Prime Minister of India and their family members anywhere in the world. It also provides security to the ex-Prime Minister and his family member for only five years. The motto of SPG is 'Zero Error' and 'Culture of Excellence'. The spirit behind its motto is 'Shauryam Samarpanam Surakshanam' which means courage, dedication and protection.
The SPG Act, 1985 was introduced in 1985 in response to the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. The Birbal Nath Committee suggested to set up a Special Protection Unit (SPU) for the protection of the Prime Ministers. The parliament passed this act in 1988. This act was not providing the protection to the former prime ministers so the security of Rajiv Gandhi was withdrawn when he completed his tenure. But after his assassination in 1991, the act was amended to provide protection to former PMs and their families for a minimum duration of ten years. It was amended again in 2003 to reduce the duration of protection from 10 years to 1 year from the date on which prime minister steps down from his position. However, based on the threat this duration may be increased.
Besides this, SPG remains in coordination with other agencies and passes intelligence inputs and keep the nodal offices in the loop. It is trained to provide multiple layers of protection in which the inner layer is fool proof or unbeatable.
SPG security cover remains for 24 hours. It also covers the security of their homes, aircraft and vehicles, etc. Formerly, this force was also providing security to previous prime ministers but as of now, they are given the Z+ security cover.
On 27 November 2019, an amendment bill was passed which reduced the SPG cover to only the PM and his immediate family members and ex-PM and his family for five years. This Act aims to reduce the cost of SPG security to the exchequer.
SPG officers have leadership qualities, professionalism, understanding of proximate security, and ability to lead from the front. SPG agents wear black western-style formal business suits with bulletproof vests and dark sunglasses with communication earpiece, and assault rifles. They can be seen wearing safari suits on traditional occasions to blend into the environment.
How to join SPG I How SPG members are selected?
There is no direct entry to SPG like other forces. The senior and junior SPG officers are recruited from IPS, CISF, BSF and CRPF. They are changed every year which means SPG personnel cannot serve for more than one year. He is sent back to their unit after he completes his tenure. The selection process of SPG comprises Personal interview, physical exam, psychological evaluation and a written test.