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Only 106 cops per 1 lakh Indians

India on 24 February 2014
Location : New Delhi | Source : Times of India. Image Source: Times of India

At a time when people feel increasingly unsafe on the streets and spectre of terror attacks keeps security agencies on the toes, India stares at an abysmal police — population ratio of 106 policemen per one lakh people — less than half of the UN recommended figure of 222. Even at the senior level, 1093 IPS posts are lying vacant, according to the latest government data.

Experts often argue that more boots on the ground and greater visibility of police is the greatest deterrent not only against street crimes such as rape, robbery and murder but also terror attacks, particularly of the kind that outfits like Indian Mujahideen execute.

While a serious augmentation in the strength of police forces on the ground is the need of the hour given India's poor police-population ratio, the government has been unable to fill even the existing vacancies. India's sanctioned police-population ratio is 145 (still well below UN recommendation) but the actual ratio (106) suggest massive number of vacancies on the ground.

Bihar, UP, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh have the worst police population ratio ranging from 54 to 75. The only states that do better than the UN recommendation are those affected by militancy in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir. Only Delhi, Goa and Chandigarh stand out as exceptions with over 200 to 300 policemen per one lakh of population.

That's not all. Severe shortage of officer adds to the woes. According to the home ministry data, against a sanctioned strength of 4,730 IPS officers, government has been able to fill only 3,637 posts. Maharashtra, which has witnessed some of the deadliest terror attacks, is one of the worst performing states in terms of IPS vacancies. With 33% vacancies on sanctioned strength of 302 officers, it is among the top five poor performers.

Nagaland with 50% vacancies and Odisha with 45% vacancies are top of the list. Kerala (35%) and Karnataka (34%) closely follow in terms of IPS vacancies.

To make matters worse, fate of 255 officers who had cleared the Limited Competitive Exam for IPS, a 2010 home ministry scheme that allowed officers from other forces to enter IPS, is hanging in balance due to UPSC's reluctance to declare the results. While UPSC argues it has stalled the results due to litigations from IPS associations and individual petitions, aspirants say the UPSC is dragging its feet despite the Central Administrative Tribunal disposing of all the petitions. UPSC had earlier even objected to the scheme for various reasons ranging from issues of quality of service to depletion of middle-ranking officers.

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