Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 101

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Law and Order Administration)

(Current Based) Question: The police force needs to be freed from the executive hold and given functional autonomy to enforce the law. Comment (15 Marks/250 Words)

Model Answer:

There are very strong vested interests opposed to any structural changes in the police set-up, which we inherited from the British. The judiciary is nevertheless to be given credit for pursuing the implementation of its directions on police reforms, even though there have been periods when the matter went into a dark tunnel.

The government of India (GoI), meanwhile, came up with the concept of SMART police in 2014 — police that would be strict and sensitive, modern and mobile, alert and accountable, reliable and responsible, tech-savvy and trained. There was, however, no effort by the MHA to make the concept a reality.

The states were, of course, unconcerned. Taking a long-term of view of states’ indifference to systemic improvements in police, it is high time that GoI consider bringing police in the “concurrent list” of the Constitution.

Achieving all this may sound a tall order, but the tragedy is that the executive has not shown a commitment to police reforms. Our rulers need to understand that development needs solid foundations of good law and order.

If India is to achieve its status as a great power, it is absolutely essential that police is restructured and modernised. Unfortunately, there are politicians who cannot think of surviving without police at their beck and call. There are bureaucrats for whom lording over the police has become an addiction they are not prepared to give up.

These vested interests need to be countered by the combined pressure of public opinion, with support from the media and NGOs. (Total Words- 252)

Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Coulmn : ‘Towards a People’s Police' by Prakash Singh

(Linkages: Police and Executive Hold, Police and Functional Autonomy, Police Reforms and SMART Police)

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