The home ministry’s grand plan to revamp India’s security preparedness hasn’t just run into opposition from chief ministers but is being resisted by sections within the security establishment as well.
Three organisations under the ministry's control and as many state police forces have said that a special examination to recruit Indian Police Service (IPS) officers wasn't such a good idea, documents accessed under the Right to Information law show.
The three — Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) — have expressed fears that the limited examination would dilute the quality of future police leaders and demoralise state police service officers who were stagnating.
The documents reveal that a dozen states, including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, West Bengal and Kerala strongly opposed the examination, arguing that state police service officers should be promoted faster to fill the gaps.
The examination, proposed by a panel headed by retired IPS officer Kamal Kumar, is slated for May 20.
Deputy superintendent of police-rank officers from the state police, central forces and the armed forces are eligible to apply, provided they are less than 35 years old.
"It would be like taking a pie from one part of the cake and putting it at another place. There is already a shortage of command level officers in the army/CPMF (central paramilitary forces)," then ITBP chief RK Bhatia told the ministry in August 2010. "BPR&D is of the opinion that the existing mode of recruitment… should continue. The proposed scheme… has its shortcomings," BPR&D director SP Vaid said, counting an adverse effect on the efficiency of the central forces.
The army has already made it clear that only short service commission officers at the fag end of their tenure can apply.
Asked about the opposition from several quarters, home minister P Chidambaram said "a few people" may be opposed to this mode of recruitment but there were "very cogent reasons" why this lateral entry examination was "absolutely necessary".
"Otherwise for the next 15 years, we will never be able to fill the vacancies for the IPS," he said.