Home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday cleared a plan to introduce 33% quota for women in central police forces, a move that could nudge the states to set aside posts for women in their police forces too.
The quota rule, however, will only apply to fresh recruitment.
In March last year, the Centre had announced 33% quota for recruiting women into the Delhi Police at all ranks up to sub inspector.
Tuesday’s decision, however, will only apply to the constabulary in the police forces.
To begin with, the 33% quota would apply in the lead counter-insurgency force, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for protecting key installations in the country.
In the three border-guarding forces — Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) — the quota for women initially is expected to be about 14-15%.
Women account for just a little over 2% of the five central police forces, ranging from more than 4.8% in the CISF to less than 1.5% in the BSF.
Between them, the five police forces have about 8.3 lakh personnel in the country.
The proportion of women is marginally higher in the state police forces that have about 1.05 lakh women, making up for 6.1% of the force.
A home ministry announcement said the decision to induct more women into the central police forces was taken on the recommendation of the parliamentary committee on empowerment of women.
The home ministry had last year decided to recruit women for about 14% of the 62,400 central police posts over the next few years.