The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has rejected the move to recruit IPS officers from amongst young central and state police officers.
The decision comes as a setback to the security establishment’s efforts to tide over the acute shortage of police leaders in the fight against Naxals and terrorists.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram had, this February, proposed limited competitive examinations for police officers serving as Assistant Commandants or Deputy Superintendent of Police into the Indian Police Service.
Officers, less than 35 years, with a minimum of five years experience were eligible to appear for the examination twice.
The idea was to induct about 70-80 officers annually from this channel for the next seven years, apart from the 150 IPS officers recruited through the civil services examination and the promotion quota of the states.
“The UPSC has not accepted the proposal,” a Home Ministry official told HT.
The UPSC has the constitutional mandate to conduct recruitment to services to the central government and its concurrence is necessary for recruitment rules.
The Kamal Kumar committee tasked by the home minister last year had counted 657 existing vacancies of IPS officers. In the Intelligence Bureau alone, 57 of the 83 posts of SPs and 28 of the 63 posts of Deputy Inspector General are vacant.
Determined to see the proposal through, the home ministry has decided to approach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek his approval to “overrule the UPSC” and implement the scheme.
The security establishment insists they cannot do without the officers.
“We have troops; we don't have officers to command them. I asked chief ministers (to release IPS officers from states but) no IPS officer is forthcoming," Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha this month.
The Kamal Kumar panel had recommended the limited examination after accounting for expansion plans of police forces, existing vacancies and expected retirements to come up with its recommendations.
“You can’t collect intelligence, fight terrorists or naxals when so many posts are vacant,” said a senior police officer.