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Police Management - A Crying Need For Reforms and Modernisation

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The world has now recognised the power of management and the consequences of mismanagement. In an era where the complexities of warfare are changing rapidly from conventional to the ‘war by proxy’ modus, India is learning its lessons the hard way … as the attack on the Pathankot airbase by Pakistani terrorists has recently demonstrated. India needs to apply both ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ management techniques to improve and amalgamate the respective qualities of its armed forces, the paramilitary forces collectively called the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and the State police to set up a flexible but impregnable shield against foreign inspired terrorism, smuggling, arms transfers, counterfeit currency and organised crime.

The spectrum of conflict is wide and unnerving and is fast becoming worse confounded by a spate of internal security incidents in the form of militant strikes, foreign inspired insurgencies, Left Wing Extremism and communal riots that have conspired to inflame Centre-State relations because of the compartmentalisation of control and command. Within the architecture of internal security, the Central Armed Police Forces administered by the Ministry of Home Affairs play a stellar role in controlling conflict situations.

In today’s world, nothing is possible without proper management. Every activity is required to be well planned with great precision and managed with available resources for outstanding performance and effective results. If just one link malfunctions, the whole chain of management and the entire process is defeated and thus we are unable to attain what we intend. The engineering fraternity underscores the importance of the concept of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and I believe that the same applies to our Police, both Central and State along with security forces too.

I came across this phrase while visualising the February edition of DSA on Police Management – Role of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and State Police Forces in National Security. I think that it is the need of the hour to have workshops, conferences, seminars on training, management and deployment procedures of the Police and Security Forces immediately. I remember how the first lady IPS Officer, Dr Kiran Bedi introduced some very effective management activities during her tenure as the Director General of Tihar Jail, which actually brought a drastic change in the mindset and perceptions of jailors and inmates alike at Tihar.

If this metamorphosis can be accepted as a welcome change by jail inmates, then I am sure the same can most certainly be replicated with the Police and security personnel in India! The level of threats and challenges being faced by our police and security personnel today have multiplied several times during the last two decades, but unfortunately, we are still running our security apparatus on the British vintage parameters. It is now mandatory that the government craft a strict management system where the performance of each individual is enhanced along with accountability and answerability.

Calls for reforms in security architecture, especially in the Indian Police have resulted in the installation of umpteen committees which have given valuable suggestions that have floundered on the shoal of political indecision and inordinate delays. During the first decade of the 21st century alone, India has witnessed setting up of committees to reform the police and criminal justice system at the rate of one per year, indicating an urgency of reforms and simultaneously attracting the spotlight on the political inability to take the bull by its horns and implement the suggested reforms. That law and order is a ‘State subject’ is the unconcealed barrier against which these reforms have crashed.

I feel, a ‘Manual of Police Management’ at the earliest can ensure efficient and effective handling of challenges and threats, creating a much safer and secure environment. Substantial results may take some time but if done in a planned manner it will definitely be a value addition to India’s national security apparatus.

Jai Hind!


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