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iissm marches on

IISSM Goes International

The seeds were sown in 1991. Nurtured assiduously, and perhaps also rather passionately, during the formative years, the plant gained firm roots very fast. The visit of Dr. Norman Spain in 1994 rendered a real jolt to the outfit. Registered as an educational society in 1991, the IISSM, as it came to be known by its popular acronym, became the pioneering body, comprising practising professionals belonging to users, providers and consultants in the field of industrial security & safety management. With its dedication towards promoting professionalism par excellence, it took no time for this Institute to eke out its due place of eminence in the world of industrial security management. It is a measure of the growing stature of the Institute that foreign experts participating in its programmes, persistently demanded expansion of IISSM activities outside India. Thus, bowing to its increasing international relevance and member profile, the Institute was re-christened as the International Institute of Security & Safety Management with effect from January 1, 1997. It held three Annual International Seminars in three consecutive years in Mauritius (1997), Kathmandu, Nepal (1998) and in Penang, Malaysia (1999). Its headquarters remains in New Delhi, India.

The first IISSM event held outside India, i.e., the VIIth Annual International Seminar on: Industrial Security: Need for Introspection was in Mauritius (1997). It was a roaring success with 200 participants from 18 countries. The Seminar was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Mauritius. The next two Annual Seminars were held at Kathmandu, Nepal (1998) and Penang, Malaysia (1999). Even though the demand for holding its Annual International Seminar outside India still persists, financial constraints are too forbidding and hence the Annual Seminars are now being held in Indian cities only.

That has not, however, prevented the IISSM’s international collaboration with professional bodies in different parts of the world. International recognition to IISSM has indeed come in many ways. The Industrial and Vocational Training Board (IVTB) of the Government of Mauritius had accorded recognition to the VIIth IISSM Seminar held there as a one-off basis.  The IISSM had entered into a joint venture with the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) of the U.K. and the Tepe Group of Turkey in matters of membership and training programmes.  IISSM is an Affiliate Member of the International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Switzerland.  In August 2007, an MoU for collaboration in the field of training was signed with the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, Saudi Arabia. In November, 2008, IISSM was conferred the status of Affiliate Membership of the esteemed International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO), based in Geneva, Switzerland. Around the same time, an MoU for promoting professionalism and education in security industry was also signed with the South African Institute of Security, South Africa. IISSM has also entered into joint venture with the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) based in UK in October, 2009. In March, 2010, an IISSM delegation participated in an industrial security meet organised by SECUREX Asia, Singapore. IISSM application for UNECOSOC affiliation has been admitted and is now under consideration with the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisation, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. Requests from some African countries for joint collaboration in matters of security training, including the possibility of conducting Professional Certification Programmes, are under negotiation. Some senior members of the Board of Governors of the IISSM are located in USA, UK, Singapore, South Africa, Nepal and India. IISSM Chapters outside India were also formed in Mauritius and Singapore.

The countries (besides India) so far represented in Annual International Seminars of the IISSM are: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong-Special Administrative Region, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nepal, Reunion Island, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand, Turkey, U.K., USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

IISSM Chapters in India:

In order to facilitate systematic growth of professionalism through constant interaction with security executives in the field, IISSM Chapters were formed:

  • At Bangalore for the Southern States of India.
  • At Kolkata for the Eastern States of India.
  • At Nagpur for the Central States of India.
  • At Hyderabad.
  • At Goa and also
  • At NCR, New Delhi.

Annual International Seminars of the IISSM:

Annual International Seminars of the IISSM, covering industrial security and safety management issues, have since been acclaimed, to quote a dignitary, as ‘one of the best organised Seminars anywhere in the world’. The quality of the speakers and the deliberations in the Seminar have led professionals to dub this event as “Knowledge Seminars” par excellence.

Indeed, such has been the charm of these Seminars that attending these has almost become a sort of ‘addiction’ to many security professionals. ‘Repeaters’, if we call them, are too many to be named. Some are with this ever since the beginning, i.e. since 1991. IISSM salutes them for there support and commitment to the cause of the IISSM. The year, place and themes of the 21 (twenty one) such Seminars held so far are at Annexure-I. The delegates to IISSM Seminars have come from private sector industries, public sector undertakings, private security agencies, systems integrators, security equipment manufacturers, academic institutions, financial institutions and banking industries as well as departments and ministries of the government.

Interaction with the Government:

IISSM was born virtually under the auspices of the government, as some one has said. One need not go far to appreciate this but to glance through the list of dignitaries (in Annexure-II), who had either inaugurated the Annual International Seminars or had been the Chief Guests at the Valedictory sessions in these Seminars.

Deeper collaborations with the government (the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India) really started from 1994 when the Minister of Internal Security Sachin Pilot, while addressing IISSM’s Annual International Seminar in New Delhi, directed the IISSM to send suggestions thought necessary by the industry to the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Bill, then under process in the government, rather on the floor of the House. An Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of the former Director CBI, Mr. Raja Vijay Karan, was then set up by the IISSM and its recommendations were soon forwarded. Nothing, however, moved for some years. IISSM again started agitating on the matter from 2000, sent up reviewed recommendations as demanded by the situation. Intensive discussions were entered into with both the Bureau of Police Research & Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and also with the Ministry itself. On MHA’s suggestions, IISSM also organised a meeting at the level of the concerned Additional Home Security in the Ministry of Home Affairs, bringing in some senior leaders in the private security industry from across the country. All these bore fruit when the PSAR Bill was finally taken up in Parliament in early 2005. Getting due hint of the matter, senior industry leaders met and tried to put in further suggestions through members of Parliament (Lok Sabha), where the details of the Bill were being discussed. IISSM got deeply involved in it being an integral part of the Joint Action Council of Security Industry (JACSI) then hurriedly formed to project the industry’s interest to the government. The opposition party at that time being in boycott mode, the Bill was pushed through by the government with the assurance by the Union Home Minister on the floor of the House that the changes (amendments) suggested would be duly taken care of after the Bill got passed initially. The JACSI was then converted into CAPSI (Central Association of Private Security Industry) with Mr. R.K. Sinha, then President & Director General of IISSM, as its founder Chairman. The Bill finally got the assent of the President and was notified as the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005. All concerned duly recognised the IISSM’s role and contribution behind this Act, which is the first official recognition of the private security industry as a profession.

IISSM pursued with the Ministry of Home Affairs further for due implementation of the PSAR Act, 2005, especially relating to the mandatory provisions regarding security training. On the IISSM having called on the Minister for Home Affairs and submitting a memorandum on the subject, the Ministry of Home Affairs in its letter no. No.24021/17/05-PM-I dated October 27, 2006, tasked the IISSM to ‘shortlist the security training institutes in the country’. After having wide consultations, the IISSM sent on May 22, 2007, detailed recommendations regarding “Training Standards”, setting necessary parameters before different training institutions could be shortlisted. The issue is still in the Ministry.

IISSM went deep into various other aspects of implementation of the PSAR Act, 2005 and bringing in professionalism in private security industry on the lines of the suggestions made by the Union Home Secretary during his inaugural address to the IISSM’s Annual Seminar in 2007. Copy of the comprehensive suggestions so sent up by the IISSM to the Ministry has since been shared with all Directors General of Police in the States and Union Territories and State Security Associations for further follow-up action.

Recently, the IISSM also brought to the notice of all State governments, the latest advice of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, on foreign investment in private security industry, which is in line with the security concerns envisioned in Section 6.(2) the PSAR Act, 2005.

IISSM also requested the Labour Commissioner in all States & Union Territories to review their Minimum Wages instruction on the model of the circular on the subject by the government of Andhra Pradesh, categorising private security personnel as highly skilled, semi-skilled, skilled, etc.

Professional Certification Programmes of IISSM

In line with the objective of the IISSM to promote professionalism in security industry, the IISSM had started organising various training courses – both thematic and customised - almost from the beginning. Conducting Professional Certification programmes for serving security executives is currently the primary regular activity of the IISSM. Generally, four (4) such programmes are held in Delhi but additionally, Professional Certification Programmes, have also been organised outside Delhi, such as, at Gangtok, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Goa, Mumbai, Ahmedabad. The programme scheduled in October 2010, was the 26th in the series since 2005. The course contents of these programmes comprise basic fundamentals of security, harping more on conceptual aspects, mixing with handling of practical issues on the ground. Over the years, the demand for joining these programmes is on the rise, thus marking a distinct urge amongst security executives to prove themselves as true professionals. 

IISSM conducts DGR-sponsored Training Programmes

On reference from the Director General of Resettlement, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, IISSM has conducted training programmes for DGR-sponsored officers – both for security matter and for IT orientation.

IISSM Foray into MBA Institutes

In appreciation of the fact that security concepts have to be taken up at the appropriate management level, IISSM has written to the various Chambers of Commerce, both at national and state levels, and have also requested the Institutes of Management and the Universities having Management Faculty for incorporating some basic security tenets in the curriculum of MBA-trainees. While some of the Institutes of Management have accepted the proposal in principle and are considering implementing the same, the IISSM has been conducting a 6-day module on Security and Safety Management as a part of credit course of the second year MBA-trainees at the Aravali Institute of Management, Jodhpur.  It is a matter of great happiness that some of the students of this Institute found great employment opportunity in recognised private security agencies.

IISSM and Security Technology

By way of promoting sustained induction of technology into security industry, IISSM had in the past organised Exhibitions of state-of-the-art security-related equipment, concurrently with its Annual International Seminars. For some years now, manufacturers of such equipment are being encouraged by facilitating ‘product presentations’ during these Seminars. IISSM was actively associated with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) of the Government of India as one of the collaborators along with the Central Industrial Security Force of the Government of India, for the International Exhibition of Security, Safety, Fire, Disaster Management Equipments and Services held on February 22-25, 2009.

By way of further encouraging induction of state-of-the-art-technology into the security profession, IISSM has been regularly extending support to series of exhibitions, and conferences being held with emphasis on security-related equipment and systems integration as a whole.

It is also worth noticing that for the last two years, IISSM has been trying to facilitate closer interaction between German companies dealing with security technology and their counterparts in India. The German delegation to IISSM Seminar in 2009 last year was led by Dr. Christian Ehler, an eminent two-time member of the European Parliament and the delegation in 2010 is being led by Dr. Dirk Grabowski, Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and Dr. Christoph Stroschein, President, German European Security Association.

IISSM and Security Education

Even since its conception, IISSM has been playing a pivotal role in spreading security education – both customised and general - in more than one way. Career-counselling is offered to freshers, beginners and elders as well, as the case may be.

The monthly Newsletter, hosted regularly on the website since 2002, is considered by all as a great source of education. This is a Newsletter with a difference. Although this is a Newsletter with the primary focus in it is on security-related issues, the Newsletter also aims at reaching out to those not directly related to security profession with the fond hope of drawing their interest to security and other related issues. Simultaneously, it is also strongly believed that this Newsletter will, apart from fostering professionalism, motivate security professionals to look beyond their beaten track. The contents in the General File would be, it is believed, of great education to all. For whatever worth, this Newsletter receives accolade from far and wide.

Security advisories issued by the IISSM from time to time are well regarded in the industry. Reacting to the 26/11 event, the IISSM had issued an Appeal to Help Build a Secure India on December 16, 2008, to MNCs, PSUs, Chambers of Commerce and selected private sector industries. Accepting the IISSM thoughts on the subject, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), incorporated the same in their first advisory sent to all their constituents members. Taking advantage of the situation, the IISSM has built a panel of experienced Security Consultants for offering their services to the industry for the purpose of security auditing in particular.

IISSM also took the initiative to encourage experienced security professionals to write books and articles for the Newsletter. This resulted in Capt. S.B. Tyagi, Vice Chairman (Handbooks and Manuals), IISSM, and Chief Manager (Security), GAIL India Limited, writing a magnum opus titled “Industrial Security: Management & Strategies”. The second book was by Mr. P. Benjamin, FISM and a former Technical Advisor in the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force), titled “Security Operations Manual”. Both these publication were formally released at IISSM-2009.

Capt. S.B. Tyagi has since completed a Handbook for Security Practitioners.

New IISSM Initiative:       
Think Tank in Security Industry: 

With a view to mitigating ongoing challenges facing security industry in the private sector and setting down high standards of performance, the IISSM has been indulging in, for the last about a year or so, some focused and in-depth interactive sessions with a select group of professionals with high standing in the industry and representing different sectors like the end-users, service providers, systems integrators, IT experts as also general consultants. All of them are not necessarily based in New Delhi. Apart from promoting growth of professionalism in the security industry, the objective behind this exercise has also been to facilitate growth of camaraderie, so much needed in the industry, as also to foster and excite the intellectual firmament of highly qualified security practitioners in the field. Both the veterans and the budding youngsters have the opportunity to bounce off their ideas in these stimulating exercises. The result so far has been very encouraging. A number of factors ailing the industry have been identified. The consensus among the members of this learned group was to formally form a “Think Tank” in security industry in the private sector. This body would try to tackle problems facing the security industry as a whole and also sector-wise and should also comprehensively go in to all details, work out parameters and procedures, lay down training and operational standards, and where feasible, go up to the government with appropriate recommendations, etc. so as to stimulate the process of bringing about the dignity associated with professionalism in the private security industry and thus to meet the expectations of users, the state and the public at large. The Think Tank has since started functioning.

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