In the union ministry of home affairs' assessment of state governments on police reforms that it had recommended, Haryana happens to figure among the few states that fared badly, proving that the tall claims of the Hooda government in this regard were more of a lip service than anything else.
Haryana figures among the worst performing states and union territories in the country when it comes to ensuring transparency in police recruitment through use of technology and reducing human intervention.
The state, along with Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram and Meghalaya, figures among the states which have not implemented the Transparent Recruitment Process (TRP) project started by the union ministry of home affairs to "ensure fair, impartial and merit-based recruitment" in the state police forces.
The Haryana government, which is in the process of recruiting roughly 10,500 constables, has not adopted any of the measures recommended by the Centre three years ago. In contrast, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are among the 11 states/UTs which have achieved 50-70% compliance in use of technology and state-of-art devices to reduce human intervention in the recruitment process, according to a "status report" prepared by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) of the home ministry.
The union ministry had, in August 2009, asked all the state governments and UT authorities to implement TRP, whose basic features included written examination and use of bar coding, application software, optical mark recognition (OMR) technology, biometric and radio frequency devices to check irregularities and human errors.
"The TRP project was conceived to ensure tamperproof recruitment with the maximum use of technology and by reducing human intervention. The Uttar Pradesh government was the first to amend the recruitment rules and implement it with good results," a home ministry official told Hindustan Times.
Additional director general of Punjab police, administration, MK Tiwari said the state police was already using videography, computerisation of recruitment data and standardised devices. "The state is committed to modernising the recruitment process by using modern devices and methods to make it more transparent," he said.
Haryana DGP Ranjiv Singh Dalal termed the status report as "exaggerated", stating that the Haryana Police was following set procedures for recruitment.
"We have an established system to deal with the grievances of candidates. There have been very few complaints in recruitment in the state police," he claimed.
On the steps being taken to make the recruitment process more transparent, Dalal said the police department was fishing for equipment and technologies suggested by the Centre. "The radio frequency devices, OMR forms, etc. will be introduced at the earliest," he said.
While the home ministry had also advised all the state governments to set up a separate recruitment board, the Haryana government has been carrying out police recruitment through district-level committees even though the Haryana Police Act 2007 provided for setting up of a state-level recruitment board. Like most other provisions of the Act, this one too has also remained on paper till date.
A home department official said the government was contemplating setting up a separate board for police recruitment.
"We may also introduce some TRP features such as standardised digital height, weight devices with digital display monitors, RFID devices for endurance run and CCTV cameras in all stages of recruitment. However, the final decisions rest with the government," he said, requesting anonymity.