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India’s whimsical police force: Its command and control style dates to colonial times, it must look within and reform

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12.07.2018

When the intriguing news of 119 of 122 IPS probationers failing exams in the National Police Academy – the alma mater that trains IPS officers – broke, it became a talking point not only for the public but even within the IPS fraternity. Many, including non-IPS ranks in the department, are curious what were these exams that failed the ‘to-be police leaders’.

Of the 10 lakh people who apply for UPSC civil services exam about 400-1,500 people make it. Of these the IPS officers are about 30-150, and they have higher ranks than those getting other services. How can the cream of the crop that passed such a tough examination as UPSC, fail the academy exams?

IPS training has grown from a handful of subjects into a mega curriculum with almost everything conceivable added to it over the years, with the thought that a police officer must be prepared for any given circumstance. Probationers are trained from assembling/ dismantling weapons (all the latest guns included) to firing, rock climbing, scuba diving, horse riding and gymnastic physical training. Though some of us cannot fathom the relevance of all these, we are taught they make us capable of facing any challenge – whether underground, on the ground, in air or in water! Nevertheless IPS training can be most refreshing and challenging, even world class.

Illustration: Chad Crowe

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© The Times of India