The Police Modernisation Scheme has been in existence for almost four decades and though it has led to improvements in mobility and communication, it leaves a lot to be desired. Modernisation does not mean hi-tech gizmos and swank offices but new direction and overhauling the functioning of the organisation.
The Government revamped the scheme and allotted almost Rs 900 crore to it in 2006-07, but it needs to remember that key to changing any aspect of policing is management. In his book former IPS officer Arvind Verma avers that outdated managerial practices of the police force are one of the reasons for the prevalent corruption.
Training is the first step to equip police officers better for their duties. The Malimath Committee recommended training as an important strategy to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. Many nations have changed police training programs to adapt to the changing needs of the society.
While the Pennsylvania Police in the US added an incident simulator as part of the training, the Dutch police revamped their training module in 2001. Training was based on job profiles and core tasks. The curriculum aimed towards gaining competencies matching core tasks. This meant there was no gap between police training and actual practice. An e-learning campus was also set up to facilitate contextualisation and interaction among aspiring policemen.
An Accenture study on the Police Workforce Modernisation in the UK showed that activities were undertaken to help policemen adapt to changes. These activities included management, leadership, pay and rewards. and career development.
Indian society is changing, continuously and fast, much like rest of the world and with it the context of police work has also witnessed a sea change. The ‘knowledge economy’ is playing an increasing role in the financial system of the country. In these changing times there is need for clear policy and direction, new and suitable laws and legal reforms, together with modernisation of the police to fulfil the vision of citizen friendly law enforcement body.