Updates on Civil Service reforms in India
Civil Service is the backbone of Indian democracy. It is the permanent constituent of Indian executive structure. In this section we will provide you with the updates and aspects related to reforms in Indian Civil Services.
Bihar Assembly Passed the “Bihar Special Armed Police Bill 2021”
What is the News?
Bihar State Assembly has passed the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021.
About Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021
- The mandate of the bill is to maintain public order, combat extremism. Further, the bill ensures better protection and security of specific establishments.
- For this, the Bill proposes setting up a Special Armed Police force. The Special Armed Police will have one or more battalions depending on the requirement for any specified period.
- Nodal Authority: The command, supervision, and administration of the Special Armed Police shall vest in the Director-General of Police, Bihar.
- However, the general superintendence of the Special Police shall be exercised by the Government.
Powers of the Special Armed Police force:
- Firstly, Power to arrest without a warrant: They will have the power to arrest people even without a warrant. This power will be available to any of the Special Armed Police’s officers.
- Secondly, Arrests on suspicion: They have the power to arrest people on the basis of mere suspicion. This includes suspicion like disrupting state government functions or attempting to conceal their presence with the aim to commit a crime or cognizable offence.
- Thirdly, Search without Warrant: They have the power to conduct a search of a suspect’s premises without obtaining a warrant from a magistrate. The only safeguard is that the search can be conducted by an officer of a notified rank or above.
- And Lastly, Immunity from Courts: The bill also grants immunity to the officers of the Special Armed Police. It bars courts from taking cognizance of any complaint against the Special Armed Police. The court can take action only when the state government has sanctioned action against the concerned officers.
Source: Indian Express
“3 Language Policy” is not applicable to the Central govt. offices
What is the News?
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has said that the 3 language policy is not applicable to offices of the Union government.
About the News
- What was the issue? A question was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The questions were raised on the CRPF event in Karnataka for the foundation stone-laying ceremony. The plaques in this ceremony were only in English and Hindi. The questionnaire asked whether the Ministry had noticed that the three language policy was not followed at the programme.
- What did the Ministry reply? The Home Ministry has said that the provision of the bilingual policy is applicable in the offices of the Central government. It is as per the provision of the Official Language Act,1963 and Official Language Rules,1976.
What is the three language formula?
- The three-language formula first formulated by the Ministry of Education in National Policy on Education, 1968. This formula was implemented in the country except for Tamil Nadu.
- It is commonly understood that the three languages referred to are Hindi, English, and the regional language of the respective States.
- NEP 2020 continued with this policy, but it provided flexibility to the states in its implementation. It means it is not mandatory to adopt Hindi as one of the languages under the formula.
Source: The Hindu
Why central deputation to 3 Bengal police officers not right?
Synopsis- Central orders, three IPS officer from Bengal to serve central deputation to as part of an exercise to fix responsibility for the alleged lapses.
|Central Deputation |
Officers on deputation serve as substitute for regular duty posts in the event of service officers holding duty posts being temporarily away from their cadre. Officers perform regular functions of the posts against which they are posted as substitutes.
- The Centre has asked for the three IPS officers to be sent on deputation with the Government of India following an attack on BJP president J P Nadda’s motorcade outside Kolkata, these officers were in charge of security.
- But Bengal government refused to send three IPS officers on central deputation. The state government in its refusal has cited a shortage of IPS officers.
Why Centre’s decision is not legitimate?
The Centre’s decision not only reeks of vengeance but goes against the norms governing deputation of officers to the Centre.
- First, putting blame on the three IPS officers for the attack without even a perfunctory inquiry goes against the norms of justice.
- A formal enquiry should have taken place, then the penal actions.
- Second, forcibly deputed to central organization- The concerned IPS officers have been assigned new responsibilities at Centre: Bholanath Pandey has been deputed as SP, Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), Praveen Tripathi as DIG, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Rajeev Mishra as IG, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
- The forceful deputation can demoralize the serving office which eventually affects their service performance as they go with the perception that they have been deputed on grounds of inefficiency or as a punishment.
What is the process of deputation in India?
The movement of officers from the state to the Centre and back is of mutual benefit to the states and the government of India on the one hand and to the officers concerned, on the other.
- First, in normal case, officers willing to be deputed to the Centre are asked to apply through the States.
- A panel of selected officers is prepared after which they are deputed to various Central Armed Police Forces [CRPF, ITBP, SSB etc.] and Centre police organization on the basis of merit.
- Second, in case of disagreement between Centre and State–Rule 6(1) of the Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 says about deputation: In case of disagreement between Centre and state over deputation of an IPS officer, the Centre’s will shall prevail.
Why government reducing the CDR of IPS officers?
Central government proposes 50 percent cut in the IPS central deputation quota because–
- First, the state governments do not spare their IPS officers for central deputation and more than 60 per cent posts remain vacant.
- It is observed that at present only 428 IPS officers are working on Central Deputation against the authorized strength of 1075 officers.
- Second, most officers avoid Central deputation as they enjoy better perks and powers in the States.
- Third, Central deputation could mean a posting in the Northeast or in a Left-Wing Extremism-affected State.
Thus, Centre decision to call West Bengal IPS officer to serve in central deputation seems absurd and such arbitrary decision must be avoided.
Union Cabinet approves Mission Karmayogi
News: The Union Cabinet approved the Mission Karmayogi – National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB).
- Mission Karmayogi: It is a nationwide programme to lay the foundation for capacity building of civil servants so that they remain entrenched in Indian Culture while they learn the best practices across the world.
- Aim: To prepare Indian civil servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive, imaginative, proactive, innovative, progressive, professional, energetic, transparent and technology enabled.
- How will Mission Karmayogi unfold?
- iGOT Karmayogi: The mission will be delivered by Integrated Government Online Training-iGOT Karmayogi Platform. It will act as a launchpad for National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building to enable a comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional and process levels.
- Human Resources Council: It will be set up under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister comprising select Union Ministers, Chief Ministers who will provide strategic direction to the task of Civil Services Reform and capacity building.
- Coordination Unit: It will be headed by Cabinet Secretary consisting of select secretaries and cadre controlling authorities.
- Capacity Building Commission: It will include experts in related fields and global professionals. This commission will prepare and monitor annual capacity building plans and audit human resources available in the government.
- Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV): It will be a “not-for-profit” company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. It will own and manage iGOT-Karmayogi platform to create and operationalise the content, market place and manage key business services of iGOT platform.
- Funding: To cover around 46 lakh central employees, a sum of Rs 510 crore will be spent over a period of 5 years from 2020-21 to 2024-25. The expenditure is partly funded by multilateral assistance to the tune of $50 million.
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Dire need of Police reforms
What are the major deficiencies in India Policing?
- The police-population ratio – The Indian police force is at only 77 per cent of its sanctioned strength. India has 144 police personnel for one lakh population, is less than what is recommended by UN i.e. 222 policemen per lakh population.
- Unfilled vacancies– One in every five posts sanctioned in the Indian Police Service remains vacant. In low and middle rank positions, the vacancies of 5.28 lakh personnel account for nearly one-fourth of the total sanctioned strength of over 22 lakh.
- Low numbers of Women police –Women are grossly underrepresented in our police force. They constitute less than 7 per cent of our total police strength.
- Untrained police personnel- The existing police personnel are also not adequately trained. Less than 7 per cent police get in-service training. Gujarat scores the lowest, with less than one per cent having received any in-service training.
- Overburdened police force- Understaffing in turn results into overburdening of work that not only reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of the police personnel (leading to poor quality of investigation) but also leads to psychological distress and contributes to Pendency of cases.
What are the reforms required?
- Sensitization of Police Forces– The police need to be sensitized about their role in society. There has to be promptness of action and decency when dealing with public especially during sensitive issues like rape.
- They need to be trained in body language and strictly advised to refrain from abusive behaviour.
- The sensitization module should aim at bringing about attitudinal change, especially pertaining to gender and power relations and police behaviour.
- Police accountability – As per the police laws, both the Central and State police forces come under the superintendence and control of political executives. Police priorities are frequently altered based on the will of political executives.
- Enhancing accountability will improve police legitimacy and increase public confidence, which, in turn, will reinforce the integrity of the system.
- The police, as the custodian of maintenance of law and order, must stay away from agenda-driven politics.
- Improvement in police-population ratio- The police-to-people ratio should be improved by at least 50 per cent to meet the challenges faced by the force.
- Women policing– With the increase in the number of gender crimes, it has become a necessity to augment the strength of police by recruiting more and more women police personnel.
- Dharma-Vira Commission recommendation– The top police leadership should be selected by apolitical representatives and an impartial body. It was a strong antidote to opportunistic appointments and transfers.
- The challenge of India is to restore the culture of rule of law, and make police and justice accessible, effective and credible.
- A new role and new philosophy have to be defined for the police to not only make it a capable and effective body but also one accountable to the law of the land and to the people whom they serve.
- Police needs to be made accountable, and freed from grip of politics
A background of police reforms in india
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: Gs2: Role of Civil Services in a Democracy
Context: To improve the functioning of the police force, the supreme court has spelt out various directives which are not been implemented yet.
Recent examples on police brutality?
- The thrashing of a Dalit Ahirwar couple by the police in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh.
- The brutal torture of J. Benicks and his father P. Jayaraj in Sattankulam town in Thoothkudi district of Tamil Nadu
- The encounter of Vikas Dube by the Uttar Pradesh police in Kanpur looked like the law had been subverted.
What is Prakash Singh case?
- The first serious attempt to reform the police forces was made when the National Police Commission (NPC) was set up in 1977.
- The NPC submitted its recommendation in eight reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- None of the recommendations was implemented by states as they felt that the report was unduly critical of the political system and the functioning of the police force.
- In 1996, demand for the implementation of the NPC’s recommendations came through a retired IPS officer, Prakash Singh who filed a PIL in court.
- The landmark verdict of PIL came in 2006, the Supreme Court issued a slew of directives on police reform. (Prakash Singh Case)
Status on Implementation of Supreme court directives?
- One of the recommendations was to Set up a State Security Commission (SSC) in each State to arrest the political leader’s access to unbridled power.
- According to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, of the States that constituted an SSC, only Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have made SSC recommendations binding on the State government.
- Only six States provided a minimum tenure of two years to the Director General of Police (DGP).
- Many States have not implemented a single directive of the Supreme Court.
What is the reason for the poor implementation of police reforms?
- Politicians-criminals-police nexus: According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (2018), there were 1,580 MPs and MLAs facing criminal charges.
With fourteen years passed by, the Court has to take strict actions on the States and the Centre to ensure that its directives are implemented effectively else the country will witness an upheaval of the kind that the U.S. saw following the death of George Floyd.