New Delhi. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that maintenance of internal peace and a stable law and order system are essential requirements for achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a five trillion dollar economy.
Mr Shah was speaking at the 49th Foundation Day of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) in New Delhi on August 28. Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy also graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour.
He highlighted the role of a modern and robust police force as an essential one in development, and the role of BPRD as a national police think tank.
The Home Minister congratulated the past and serving officers of the organisation for effectively contributing in research and development and modernisation of police forces. Mr Shah observed that to maintain the relevance of an institution for 50 years is no mean feat, and BPRD has done a commendable task of providing vital inputs to police reforms and training.
Mr Shah emphasised on institutionalising efficient systems and best policing practices so that they become a part of nature to all law enforcement officials, and said that every officer from a constable to a DGP should have clarity about their roles. This can only be achieved through meticulous training, here the role of BPRD becomes essential.
Commenting on the changing role of police from British era to today, the Home Minister said that while earlier the primary function of police was to maintain the stability of the British empire, Sardar Patel brought forth a new paradigm for Indian police system after independence. Today the primary objective of police is to serve people and protect their rights.
Mr Shah emphasised the need for police modernization in a changing era filled with new challenges. He also remembered the 34,800 police personnel who laid their lives in the line of duty to keep India safe from internal security threats.
Mr Shah said that police reforms is a continuously evolving, never-ending process with changing society and newer challenges. He also differentiated between police reforms and reforms in policing, and urged BPRD to take lead in the latter field, involving a paradigm shift in the approach to policing.
Mr Shah said for reforms in policing, a complete transformation of mindset is essential, and only a citizen friendly, responsive, forward looking and accountable police force would lead the way in positioning India in top 3 global economies. He reiterated that internal security of the country is directly proportional to high quality research and inputs for policy formulation at BPRD.
The Home Minister called for a countrywide consultative process to make changes in IPC and CrPC and encouraged BPRD to play a leadership role in it. He also called for National Police University and Forensic Science University to be established, with affiliated colleges in every state and opined that this would help create skilled manpower needed to tackle complex cases requiring advanced forensic science capabilities. Mr Shah also noted the growing gap between demand and supply of forensic science skills in the country.
Commenting on prison reforms, Mr Shah said that the job of prisons should be not to punish but to deter and reform. The approach of prisons should be to create good citizens, he said. The Home Minister expounded on the need for old systems to adapt with changing times and revamp policing techniques to meet the needs of the day and urged BPRD to be more proactive and expand its area of operations.
Mr Shah unveiled the Golden Jubilee Logo of BPRD in the function. He also distributed Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Police Training and Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Puraskar for Hindi Writing.
Speaking on the occasion, MoS G Kishan Reddy enumerated the challenges in front of Indian police: terrorism, left wing extremism, crime and challenging law and order situations. He urged BPRD to develop procedures and technology so that crime can be preempted and stopped.
Mr Shah focused on the concept of training the trainers, and urged police to develop domain expertise and also flagged cybercime as an emerging challenge, and spoke of the newly established women safety wing in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). He expressed confidence in the emergence of a strong India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Also present on the occasion were Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, DG, BPRD and other senior officers.