Slowly the tribe of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers is growing in the North Block, the seat of Union home ministry.
The IPS lobby has been raising the demand for very long that since the home ministry handles vast internal security infrastructure of the country, it should have more IPS officers, who have professional competence to deal with security related issues, at the rank of joint security, which is a key middle level post.
“We are not raising doubts on the competence of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers but since IPS officers deal with security issues all through their career, they are in a better position to deal with such matters,” said an IPS officer who didn’t wish to be named.
At the moment, there are three IPS officers at the rank of joint secretary are manning key divisions – North East, Internal Security and Left Wing Extremisms – perhaps for the first time. Besides, there is already an earmarked post of Special Secretary (Internal Security) for IPS officers. Two days back, the government appointed MK Singla, who is a 1982 batch Kerala cadre IPS officer, after retirement of Ashok Prasad, also an IPS officer.
Three police officials at rank of joint secretary in the home ministry are MA Ganapathy, Satyendra Garg and Praveen Vashista.
Ganapathy, a 1986 batch Uttarakhand cadre IPS officer, handles internal security -1 division that deals with matters relating to internal security and law and order that includes anti-national and subversive activities of extremist organisations, policy and operational issues on terrorism.
Satyendra Garg, a 1987 batch IPS officer from Union territories cadre, is handling North East division that handles security related issues for all North-Eastern states.
Vashista, who is 1991 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer, is the latest entrant in the home ministry. Just a day back he was entrusted with responsibility of looking after key LWE division, which is major security challenge. The LWE division is unique in the sense that it has two more IPS officers – Deepak Kedia and Anand Jain - who are working as directors.
Besides, Binod Kumar Singh, an officer on special duty to Union home minister is also an IPS officer.
After taking over as Union home minister, Rajnath Singh has been receptive to the idea of bringing in more IPS officers in the ministry but faced hurdles from strong the IAS lobby, which still has a major share, with more than half of 20 divisions in the home ministry manned by IAS officers at the rank of joint secretary.
“The minister was keen on bringing in at least two IPS officers – Renuka Mishra and Pankaj Kumar Singh – as joint secretaries in his initial days but the move somehow fell through,” said a former home ministry official requesting annoymity.