Police Reforms : Parliamentary Panel Report – UPSC GS2

Context: Parliamentary standing committee on home affairs has tabled a report on Police training, modernisation and reforms.
Key Points of the Report:
  • Addressing Women Under-representation:
    • The report asked the Centre to advise states and Union Territories to create a road map for ensuring 33% representation of women in police while expressing anguish over their underrepresentation.
    • The appointment of women in police may be done by creating additional posts rather than converting the vacant posts of men.
    • Ensuring higher women representation will also help in improving the police-population ratio.
    • States and union territories should assign important challenging duties to women instead of those of inconsequence. It recommended at least one all-women police station in each district.
  • Managing Stress of Police Personnel:
    • It recommended offline and online modules to help them de-stress through yoga, exercises, counselling and treatment.
  • Separation of Law Enforcement & Investigation Wing:
    • It called for the separation of investigation from law and order to maintain accountability and increase police autonomy in probing crimes.
    • This will lead to specialisation and professionalism, speed up the investigation and secure the convictions.
  • Virtual Trails:
    • The panel backed virtual trials, particularly those involving high-risk groups, via video conferencing.
    • It will help in dedicating less police force for escorting under-trial prisoners to courts and also save resources.
  • Addressing Poor Conditions of Police:
    • The committee expressed disappointment over the poor housing satisfaction levels among police personnel and recommended an allocation of funds for housing.
    • In the 21st century India, there are police stations without telephones or proper wireless connectivity especially in many sensitive states like Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Punjab.
  • People-friendly Policing:
    • Policing system should be transparent, independent, accountable and people-friendly.
  • Lax Implementation of Law:
    • The committee expressed concern that even after 15 years, only 17 States have either enacted the Model Police Act, 2006, or amended the existing Act.
    • The progress in police reforms has been slow.
    • It recommends that the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) may put the information in public domain about the states that are leading and lagging in the modernization process.
  • Community Policing:
    • Community policing should be promoted, as it involves a cooperative effort between police and the communities where both can work together to solve the crime and crime-related problems.
  • Border Police Training:
    • Advise the state police and central armed police forces to train and liaison with people living in the border areas for gathering intelligence on infiltration, use of drones and drug trafficking.
  • Pool of Anti-drone Technology:
    • For drones, the panel directed the MHA to create a central pool of anti-drone technology “at the earliest” and give its access to all states and Union Territories.
  • Under-Utilisation of Funds:
    • The committee observed that the under-utilisation of funds by the states for police modernisation needs to be identified.
    • It recommended that the MHA should consider constituting a committee which can visit the underperforming states and assist them to utilize the funds in a planned manner.
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