Anxious to bridge the shortage of Indian Police Service officers, the Home Ministry has finalised a recruitment plan to induct IPS officers through a limited examination but the move could run into trouble.
Government sources said the home ministry had sent the recruitment plan to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for approval few months ago.
“But we haven’t received any indication from the PMO that the clearance to the limited competition examination was in the offing,” a home ministry official said, adding “I think it is stuck… In any case, it is too late to implement the plan this year.”
It hasn’t helped that the IPS lobby wasn’t too comfortable with the plan, preferring to live with a shortage of IPS officers than have state police service or paramilitary officers join the service.
The plan had been recommended by a retired IPS officer, Kamal Kumar, constituted by Home Minister P Chidambaram to assess the shortage of officers in the country and for remedial measures, soon after taking charge post-26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
In January this year, the IPS cadre had a strength of 3,393 officers against a sanctioned strength of 4,720, a shortfall
of 1,327. The proposed upgradation of serving police officers would have halved this shortage. It was in line with this
panel’s recommendation that the home ministry raised the IPS batch size to 130 in 2009, and 150 in 2010.
According to the proposed scheme, deputy superintendents of police in the states and paramilitary forces could sit for the limited examination once they completed five years of service in this rank, provided they hadn’t crossed 35 years.
The home ministry had hoped to recruit about 80 IPS officers annually through this mode of recruitment for the next seven years.
But given the opposition to the plan from the police officers, home ministry officials believe the proposal could be frozen.
Home Ministry officers said questions were being raised about the capacity of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad that had already stretched its resources to accommodate a batch of 150 officers instead of 100 a few years ago.
A paramilitary officer — hoping for a second shot at joining the IPS — agreed that the recruitment plan possibly wasn’t perfect. “But then, what is… even our list of fugitives (given to Pakistan) wasn’t,” he said.