Yes, it is true that large number of IPS police officers is against this move. They say if police work requires different orientation then so do diplomacy, auditing and administration. If the CSE works well for everyone why single out the IPS? This matter is not as cut and dry as these IPS officers want everyone to believe.
All this was alright way back in fifties when police officers of IPS cadre were hardly required to bear arms or to lead policemen in near war-like situations. Things have changed in last five decades not only in India but whole world in general. Today, there is full-fledged insurgency going on in J&K and North Eastern States. Naxals with sophisticated weapons are dominating 200 districts out of 600 districts in India. Weapons and explosives have become so lethal that a single terrorist can cause considerable damage.
In this scenario, to lead two million strong police force of India one needs an IPS officer who should have basic leadership traits, should be able to take personal risk of life and limb, should be able to set his example to his men and should have a flair for handling weapons of various types. Surely, an officer selected based on a common exam and by default can at best be a desk job worker but can’t be a leader to his men in rough and tumble of changing ground situations.
Besides, among all the other 21central services only IPS requires handling of men and leading them in adverse conditions. Needless to say, in the current scenario, there has to be a separate selection process for the IPS officers. It shouldn’t end at examination level alone. If right from police constables to DSP rank selection in police require physical fitness test why not an IPS selectee? In addition, he must be tested for his leadership qualities and Intelligence Quotient. They are very important in dealing with adverse situations on the ground. For this, help of Indian Armed Forces Services Selection Boards could be taken.
IPS cadre is currently having a strangle hold on top echelons of the Para military Forces, Armed Police of States, Intelligence Agencies and SPG because they all come under Home Ministry. This, they do at the cost of the specialist cadre officers of these forces who come up the hard way battling insurgents. The big question is what training these IPS cadre officers have to be head of these specialized forces with state of art weapons? Pen pushing, writing FIRs or managing political bosses is no substitute for real life training required on the ground to lead these specialist forces.
Far too long, the IPS cadre of India had the cake and ate it too. If they want to command these specialist police and paramilitary forces they must undergo rigorous training in a Special Police Academy. In addition to police work training they must be made physically very fit. They must be able to handle all weapons used by police and paramilitary forces. They must be developed into leaders of men by making them command small subunits on the ground. After their becoming an IPS officer they must serve some Army Infantry Unit for a year or two before taking up their civil police responsibilities.
This post selection training method if followed will make IPS officers of India well honed police officers and capable leaders able to set examples to their men and change the face of the current police force in India. This is nothing new. In British days, so many army officers were inducted into police force. Even after China war of 1962 the short service and Emergency Commission officers of Indian Army had 33 percent quota in IPS which was quietly done away with by the IPS lobby as the time went by. It is time we stop empire building by various vested interests and do what is best for the country. The armed forces and police forces must learn to work in tandem and not in water tight compartments.
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