Wednesday, December 23, 2009

IPS officers in short supply

108 positions against the sanctioned strength of 207 lie vacant

Shortage of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in Orissa is scuppering the state government’s effort to root out Maoists. Besides, there are fears that officers' shortage in the police force can result in poor law and order situation. State home department sources confirm that Orissa is running short of 108 officers. Some 57 per cent of these vacancies are in the direct recruitment quota.

To fill up these vacant seats, the state government has asked the Centre to allot eight officers every year. But till date, the Union ministry of home affairs has allotted only four IPS officers from the 2009 cadre. Due to this, the police force is facing an acute manpower crisis. The administration is facing difficulties in filling up vacancies at the SP level.

Reshuffling of SPs in the Maoist-hit districts like Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada are on the cards. The problem has been further compounded with the state government giving promotions to IPS officers of the 1995 batch. This means that SPs of the crucial districts like Berhampur, Puri and Bolangir will get senior positions. Though all these districts need dynamic and young IPS officers, the Director General of Police has a limited pool to pick suitable top cops from.

Earlier, the shortage of IPS officers had forced the state government to post officers of Orissa Police Service (OPS) as SPs in other nine districts. “Scarcity of IPS officers has become a problem for the police administration. Filling up these posts is imperative to combat Maoist extremism in Orissa,” said former DGP B. B. Mishra.

Above all, “central deputation” has contributed greatly to the ongoing crisis. According to the state home department, 19 direct recruit senior IPS officers of Orissa cadre are now serving outside the state under the Central government. Realising the gravity of the problem, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has put an end to further deputation. Figures updated on November 11, 2009, show that there are some 99 IPS officers in Orissa against the sanctioned strength of 207. “Many IPS officers opt for Central deputation. And when they are not given posting of their choice, they lobby in the administrative circle of New Delhi to serve the Central government. But for Orissa, the absence of 19 senior officers matters a lot,” said a senior state home department official on the condition of anonymity.

This crisis can be managed if 48 sanctioned posts for promoted IPS officers are filled up. “Unfortunately, all these promotion posts are lying vacant and the state government has not taken a decision to recruit Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSPs) directly. Discontinuation of the direct recruitment of DSPs through Orissa Police Service Examination since 1976 has resulted in the reduction of promotional quota of IPS officers over the years,” said a senior officer. Things look grim even at the national level. Around 700 posts are lying vacant. Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh are also facing the same problem as that of Orissa.

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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