For the first time in five decades, young central police officers will get a second chance to get into the Indian Police Service (IPS) as the home ministry firms up a special drive to make up for a severe shortage of IPS officers.
The plan is to hold a competitive exam every year for the next 10 years, open to directly recruited officers in central police organisations (CPOs) such as the Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force. It may be extended to state police officers also.
Aspirants would have to have served at least five years as assistant commandants and be not more than 35 years old.
Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to finalise the blueprint for the exam in a fortnight. “It is an extraordinary measure… but a problem of this severity needs such a response,” a ministry official said.
The ministry hopes to recruit 60-70 officers every year this way. Simultaneously, it is half-way through an exercise to push up sanctioned posts of IPS officers in states.
“Every state is facing a deficit due to reduced intake and increase in number of districts,” the official said.
Last January, there were 600 vacancies.
Chidambaram had recently raised IPS intake through the civil services exam to 150. However, officials said there were fears that if the government ramped up intake through the same examination, it would lower standards.
“The advantage with CPO officers is they are selected through exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission and have undergone basic police training,” Kamal Kumar, former head of the National Police Academy in Hyderabad, said.