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MHA revives women quota plan

India on 02 May 2014
Location : India | Source : The Asian Age

As Rahul Gandhi pitches for at least 25 per cent reservation for women in the police forces in his Lok Sabha election campaign, the Union home ministry has got active and proposes to revive its proposal of 33 per cent quota for women in the state police forces.

The MHA is planning to once again build pressure on the state governments on the issue and make a fresh bid for the mandatory increase in representation of women in the state police forces. The move comes at a time when BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has made empowerment of women a major poll plank in his election rallies across the country.

With women-centric issues turning into a heated debate between the Congress and the BJP this election, the last ditch effort of the ministry is aimed at trying to achieve some success in pushing its proposal of adequate representation of women in the police forces.

Post the December 16, 2012 gangrape incident in Delhi, the UPA-2 government had taken several measures amongst them the stringent anti-rape law, increased representation of women in police forces and mahila help desks in police stations becoming the primary focus. However, there is a section within the government which feels that there has not been adequate “showcasing” of the steps taken by the government on this front and somehow the Congress-led UPA government has not been able to project it adequately.

In 2009 and 2013, the ministry had written to all states and UTs to take affirmative action in ensuring availability of women to 33 per cent of the police force. Officials concede the state governments’ lax approach has not been able to take the proposal forward.

The MHA is planning to seek fresh report from the states on the issue. According to the MHA proposal, each police station should have at least 3 women sub-inspectors and 10 women police constables, so that a women help desk is manned round-the-clock.

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