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Police fume over separate exam for IPS

MHA starts discussion with states on the possibility of holding a separate examination for IPS aspirants. Aloke Tikku reports.
Hindustan Times | By Aloke Tikku
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2013 01:25 AM IST

MHA starts discussion with states on the possibility of holding a separate examination for IPS aspirants

New Delhi: The home ministry has kick-started formal consultations with state governments on holding separate examinations for recruitment to the Indian Police Service (IPS), a move that many police officers insist could not have its roots in the desire to improve the quality of governance or policing.

The idea — that many police officers believe was fundamentally flawed — had or;iginated at a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee in April last year when one MP observed that the IPS wasn’t the first choice of many officers who would have preferred joining the IAS. The MP came up with the idea of a separate recruitment for the IPS.

Home secretary RK Singh promptly promised to have the suggestion examined. “We can try and recruit only people who have an orientation and commitment for that,” Singh said.

IPS officers are recruited on the basis of their choice and rank in the civil services examination (CSE). Officers belonging to the IAS and 22 other disparate services — ranging from foreign, revenue and audit service to railway traffic officers and information officers — are selected from the same examination.

Last month, the home ministry followed up on Singh’s assurance to the parliamentary panel with a communication to all states for their views.

Senior police officers insist the idea of a separate exam for the IPS is fundamentally flawed and aimed at harming their prospects.

If police work requires a particular orientation, then so does diplomacy, auditing and administration. “If the CSE works well for everyone else, why single out the IPS,” a police officer said.

Second, he pointed out that 90% of IPS officers did tell a government-commissioned survey of civil servants in 2010 that IPS was among the five of their preferred services. The corresponding figure for the IAS was 98% and as low as 44-46% for postal and railway personnel service officers. Thirdly, a separate exam does not mean that candidates who applies for the CSE will not apply for the IPS. “When there is competition and uncertainty about the future, candidates are bound to apply for all posts and services to which they are eligible. So how does a separate exam help,” a police officer asked.

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