The Centre’s decision to recruit armed forces personnel to the IPS through a special examination has raised the hackles of senior police officers, who see it as a move to dilute the quality of the elite police service and also acting against the interests of various states including Odisha.
Indian Police Service recruitments are conducted through a competitive examination by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and promotion of state police service officers. While two-thirds of the vacancies are filled via direct recruitment, the remaining is supposed to be filled up through the State Promotion Quota (SPQ). Last year, the Centre, with a view to overcome shortage of IPS officers and inadequate training facilities, decided to introduce a third method of recruitment by holding a ‘Limited Competitive Examination (LCE)’, in which only assistant commandants of central paramilitary forces (CPMF), captain and major or equivalent rank officers of defence services and deputy superintendent of police (DSP) of state police service with five years’ experience and aged 35 years or less can appear. The examination is scheduled on May 20, but a host of police associations in states like Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Odisha have moved court against it.
The new method, some IPS officers say, would greatly hinder recruitment to IPS from Odisha. “There being no direct recruitment of DSPs (stopped since 1976) in Odisha, there is no scope for recruitment from the state police into IPS through LCE. By the time sub-inspectors in the state reach the rank of DSP, they invariably cross the age of 35, which means they would never be eligible to appear for LCE,” a senior cop pointed out.
Moreover, from states like Odisha, the number of personnel in Army, Navy and Air Force in the rank of captain/major or equivalent and assistant commandants in CPMF (BSF, CRPF, CISF, SSB and ITBP) is very few. Consequently, Odisha would be deprived of having IPS officers through LCE route, pointed out a SP rank officer.
Added to this, in the two other modes of recruitment into IPS, i.e., direct recruitment through UPSC and SPQ, Odisha is also faring poorly. All 57 IPS posts supposed to be filled up through SPQ are currently vacant because no one from the state police is eligible, while the number of Odisha-cadre IPS officers, who are natives of the state since the past four years, is only four. “Such a situation would lead to negligible representation of Odisha in IPS,” a cop said.
IPS officers feel the new method will also work against women, minorities, SC and ST communities because their representation in CPMF and defence forces is very less, especially at the mid-level officers’ ranks. “Women’s representation in CPMF is almost nil. There being no reservation in defence services, candidates from SC, ST or minority categories are also comparatively much less. This would mean shutting the doors on such categories to appear for LCE,” a cop said.
IPS officers, requesting anonymity, said the Centre went ahead with its decision on LCE ignoring opinions of several states to the contrary and also without consulting UPSC. “Not consulting UPSC amounts to violation of Article 320 of the Constitution. The Centre has also not considered the commission’s objections,” a cop said, adding, “There are several other prudent ways to tackle officers’ shortage like enhancement of the size of batches of regular recruits, short term deputation of officers from paramilitary forces and offering certain posts like additional SP (operation) to CPMF/ defence personnel like it is being done in some states.”
-via The Times of India.