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Police Forces in India UPSC NOTE

 Current state of police forces in India

  • However, what cannot be swept under the carpet is the undeniable fact that the police have still to earn the trust and confidence of a majority of the populace. 

  • Their image in the public eye continues to be abysmal and no respectable citizen would ever want to go into a police station in India to seek help unless he is in extreme distress.

  • It is unfortunate that even seven decades after India’s Independence, citizens do not have a guardian organisation that will reach out to the poorest in the community. 

  • This is why despite the honest intentions of the executive, there has been no upgradation in the reputation of our police forces

  • No police commission has been able to do much in this regard except to make a few inane observations.

  • An added complexity is the growing discord between the Centre and a few Opposition-led States. 

Federal Issues and IPS

  • The ‘New Delhi-conceived and managed’ Indian Police Service (IPS) is perceived to be ‘a permanent irritant’ to some States who look upon the IPS as unreliable intruders over whom they have no control. 

  • States would prefer to have their own recruits vis-à-vis those with divided loyalties.

  • This is likely to exacerbate itself in the years to come

  • I wonder whether this delicate subject was discussed at all in Jaipur. 

  • The role of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the implications it has for federal governance will have to be sorted out sooner rather than later. 

  • The attacks on ED officers in a few places in India is unfortunate and poses a danger to relations between New Delhi and States.

  • This is the argument against the IPS, notwithstanding the fact the IPS officer is rated highly for his or her sharp mind and zeal

  • A major restructuring that narrows the gap between the higher ranks and the lower ranks could help in any exercise to drastically improve the quality of policing. 

  • Knowledge and integrity will have to go together alongside genuine empathy for the common man if the image of India’s police force has to improve.

Key issues and suggest potential improvements

  • Low Police-Population Ratio: State police forces had 24% vacancies (about 5.5 lakh vacancies) in January 2016. 

  • Hence, while the sanctioned police strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016, the actual strength was 137 police. 

  • Note that the United Nations recommended 222 policemen per lakh population.

  • As a result of understaffing, policemen are overburdened with work, which not only reduces their effectiveness and efficiency (resulting in poor investigations), but also leads to psychological distress and leads to pendencies of cases.

  • Political Superimposition: According to police laws, both the Central and State police forces are under the control of political executives

  • Police priorities are frequently changed by political leaders according to the political mood of the state.

  • The Second ARC  noted in 2007 that politicians unduly influenced police personnel for personal or political reasons.

  • Colonial Legacy: To streamline the country's police administration after the revolt of 1857, the British enacted the Police Act of 1861. 

  • This act does not correspond with the democratic aspirations of the population after 75 years of Republic India.

  • Public Perception: The Second ARC has noted that police-public relations are unsatisfactory in India because people view the police as corrupt, inefficient, and unresponsive, and often hesitate to contact them.

  • Infrastructural Deficit: Today's police forces require strong communication support, modern weapons, and high mobility. 

  • CAG audits for 2015-16 have found shortages in weapons among state police forces.

    • The Bureau of Police Research and Development has also noted a 30.5% deficiency in stock of required vehicles with the state forces.

    • Changing Technology, Challenging Policing: In the next decade, digitalization, hyperconnectivity, and exponential growth of data are expected to accelerate.

Politicization of Police

  • No discussion of policing can be concluded without referring to the eternal complaint of the politicisation of the police force. 

  • The nagging question of how to insulate our policemen from political caprice dominates all debates on the police. 

  • This knotty problem is intertwined with the democratic system of government. 

  • It is an art to politely say ‘no’ to a downright illegal demand made by grassroots politicians.

  • Not many can do it with tact. 

  • This is an aspect of policing that will continue for decades to come. 

  • Ensuring the independence and the autonomy of operation for the police force is a pipe dream until the whole polity changes. 

  • To chastise the police alone as being a slave to political directives is dishonesty to the core.

Technology Adoption and Career Opportunities

  • We live in a world where the crime rates go up every single day.

  • Where humanity is questioned after every act of crime happens, where the gravity of the crime is shooting up in the sky.

  • Where stricter law enforcement policies are more important than the religious squabble we observe around us. 

  • In a world like this, new methodologies, technology, and new ideas are the need for the hour. 

  • The law enforcement agencies began with taking up new ideas, technologies, etc were enforced that embarrassed new concepts introduced to the world of crime.

  • The idea of democracy has been widely conceptualized and in it, one of the most important problems that a country can face is the crucial task of maintaining law and order

  • The inspiration for the concept of law enforcement did not only come from western laws

  • It came from our ancestors too. 

  • The treaties known as Arhtashastra which was written by Kautilya highlighted the concept of administration of justice which conceptualized civilly as well as criminal law accompanied by the punishments and sanctions according to the gravity of the crime. 


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Police Forces in India UPSC NOTE
Police Forces in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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