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NSG commandos to undertake regular yoga, psychological tests


Press Trust of India New Delhi
NSG 'black cats' will now perform yoga as part of their daily physical training and undergo graded psychological tests under a new regimen to prepare them for counter-terror and hijack operations.

According to a blueprint prepared by the National Security Guard, the force has, for the first time, decided to introduce yoga exercises in the "routine" physical training curriculum of its commandos.

It has also decided on a regular process to tabulate the "psychological attributes" of each of its combat commandos, also known as black cats, in order to enhance their overall personality development.

The new steps are being taken as the NSG's mandate to counter terrorist and hijack bids, apart from protecting high threat perception VIPs, is very specific and requires "physically and mentally fit personnel", who are trained to be the best commandos of the country, states the blueprint.

A Psychological Screening Test (PST) is conducted at present when personnel from various uniformed forces join it on deputation. But the NSG now wants a "regular process" of measuring the psychological attributes of a commando in the ranks.

The force will soon hire a psychologist as it has a "pressing requirement" of a qualified expert for not only choosing commandos at the entry level, but also for psychological counselling of trainees.

Similarly, it has sought the full-time services of an experienced yoga mentor.

Yoga, official sources said, is now mandatory for commandos but only specific capsules are being conducted in the NSG by experts from outside. Now, there will be a full- time instructor on the rolls.

The gradings by the yoga instructor and the psychologist will henceforth be reflected in the official performance records of the commandos, who are under continuous training when not out on an operation, they said.

The blueprint, accessed by PTI, states: "Yoga consisting of asans, pranayams, prayer and yoga-nidra practice will have great effects on autonomic equilibrium between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the commandos."

It adds that yoga increases physical fitness, disciplines the mind and makes a person more focused and confident, increasing agility and body flexibility. It also helps in achieving a calm and relaxed state of mind, which is important for a commando.

The blueprint says the yoga expert and the psychologist will be based at NSG's main garrison in Manesar, Gurgaon, near the national capital and will work as part of the counter- terror training wing.

The 'black cat' commandos of the NSG are segregated into two major units -- SAG (Special Action Group) manned by officers and jawans from the army and the SRG (Special Rangers Group) comprising personnel from the paramilitary forces.

The force was raised under an act of Parliament in 1984 as a federal contingency combat unit.

It has undertaken numerous operations till now. These include flushing out terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai siege in 2008 and the recent operation when they were deployed to kill terrorists who attacked the forward Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 5:55 PM IST

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