Policing in India is set to undergo a major change with the setting up of the National Police University to train present and future officers in key areas like internal security, research and development, human rights and public relations.
The University, to be set up on the lines of the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA), has been conceived to address the fast-changing requirements in policing in view of the worsening internal security situation, lack of serious research and development work and a dip in morale.
The institute will offer graduate, post graduate and PhD courses to civilians and serving police officers in a range of subjects and pertinent issues like forensic science, biological warfare, criminal psychology, public relations, human rights, insurgency, communal tension and man management.
The Union Home Ministry last week took the first step towards setting up the institute, expected to cost around Rs 1,000 crore, by forming a five-member high-power committee headed by BSF Additional Director General (ADG) ML Kumawat to prepare a detailed action plan.
"Policing in India is not professional. A doctor, lawyer or an engineer has to study subjects regarding his respective field for three to five years before joining the profession whereas a police officer gets just a six-months training. We are aiming to plug this lacuna," Kumawat told.
The training received by police personnel, who have come from various academic streams, are of a physical nature and that is why policing in many states is still very primitive, he added.
There was a severe shortage of quality faculty members in most of the police training colleges across the country. Apart from giving policemen physical training, there was a need to enrich them intellectually to make them "true professionals", Kumawat said.
At present, there is no serious research going on into the issues related to internal security whereas there are at least 40 laboratories and institutes dealing with external security aspects.
"We are facing a low intensity conflict in the form of the frequent terror attacks. We need to address this issue in a holistic manner and the univeristy will act as a think-tank in this regard," he added.
It will also provide an opportunity for seasoned police officers to share their experiences with the new generation.
Another area which has remained unexplored was the services of around 50 lakh private security guards in the country. "If we can formulate a comprehensive plan, their services can be utilised in various fields, including intelligence gathering," he said.
Research can also be carried out on improving the morale of the policemen, disaster management, redundant procedures and laws and the time and nature of work of police personnel.
Very few countries in the world, like the US, China, Taiwan and the UK, have police academies and the National Police University will certainly bring in professionalism in the force, Kumawat said.