The government on Friday announced 33% reservation for women in the police forces of Union territories, paving the way for the recruitment of at least 1,000 women each year in Delhi alone. These would be for the posts of constable to sub-inspector.
“Reservation will be available to women against all such vacancies existing on the date of issue of the order after cabinet approval and vacancies arising thereafter,” a government statement said after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the decision. The Delhi Police’s current approved strength is 82,000 with non-gazetted staff (constables to sub-inspectors) making up the bulk (80,000), said a home ministry official.
There are just 6,300 women personnel in the Capital’s force — with around 95 inspectors, 390 sub-inspectors, 380 assistant SIs and 3,800 constables.
“Against the total strength, there should be 25,000-27,000 women in the Delhi Police. Right now, there are around 6,300. So the force requires around 20,000 more women to fulfil the requirement and this will be done in the years to come. The city police recruit around 3,000 personnel every year. Now, 1,000 of them will be women,” said the official.
The quota will cover reserved categories like SCs, STs and OBCs too. The cabinet also approved suitable enabling provisions in the recruitment rules.
“Police forces in UTs work directly under the home ministry. Therefore, we can implement the decision in all seven UTs to begin with. But we hope our decision will set an example for all state police forces to come up with similar reservation,” said the official.
Under the Constitution, law and order is a state subject and such a decision will have to be taken by state governments.
Besides making the police more gender-sensitive, the government hopes this move will instil confidence in women to approach the police for protection or assistance without hesitation. According to home ministry officials, a skewed police force is a major practical barrier in effective implementation of legislation intended for the protection of women.
After the December 2012 gang rape, the government had made changes in the IPC, CrPC and Indian Evidence Act for better probe and trial in cases of crimes against women. “More women in the police will help fulfil that mandatory requirement,” said the official.