Brush up English before Games, cops told

"We want to start training them as soon as possible. The earlier we start, the more beneficial it would be," SB Deol, a Special Commissioner, said.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 12:57 IST

As part of all-round preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi Police wants its men and women to develop better language skills, particularly in spoken English.

The capital's police force is eager to start the Learn English programme at the earliest.

And simultaneously, it is doing what it can to see if the attitude and conduct of its personnel - not known for their speaking manners and etiquettes - shows dramatic improvement.

"We want to start training them as soon as possible. The earlier we start, the more beneficial it would be," SB Deol, a Special Commissioner who heads the training wing in Delhi Police, said.

"Since the inflow of tourists before the games would increase substantially, we think it would be good if our personnel have better language skills," he said.

Deol said sub-inspectors would also be encouraged to learn at least one foreign language. "We would ask them to learn a foreign language so that they are able to converse with people of different countries who would be visiting Delhi," he said.

Delhi Police is nearly 60,000-strong, and most of its men, constables included, are graduates. But few in the lower ranks are comfortable speaking or writing in English, preferring to communicate in Hindi instead.

Even those who know English do not find themselves at home while speaking the language. Most senior officers are, however, are quite comfortable in speaking English.

And having learnt its lessons from the 1982 Asian Games, Delhi Police thinks it is time to remedy the situation.

There is a special wing that caters to tourists. Its men are better off when it comes to English. And so are members of Delhi Police's VIP Security Wing.

The capital's police force is contacting private companies to help it on the language front.

"Our men and women will go through a training course in different batches over the next three years. We want private trainers and institutions to carry out the programmes for us," Deol said.

"Since most of our constables are graduates, this training would help them. People who join the force as sub-inspectors are already well educated - we only want to improve their English."

Delhi Police, which caters to a city of over 15 million people, has forwarded a proposal to the home ministry to recruit more English-speaking personnel.

The ethnic composition of Delhi Police has undergone sweeping changes in the past two decades. Once dominated by men from Haryana, the force today draws men also from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, who are more at home in English.

"Well educated and courteous personnel would not only help during the Commonwealth Games but also improve the impression of the police," said Deol, one of the most senior Indian Police Service officers in the country.

"What is needed is a change in attitude and behaviour.This cannot happen in just one day, so we want to start working towards it.

"Though we have very efficient officers who can train the personnel, we decided upon private trainers to avoid any bias.

"We have already put out tenders asking companies to come forward. The last date for submitting the proposal is December 26."

First Published: Dec 13, 2006 12:57 IST