New Delhi: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today cleared a special umbrella scheme for “Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)” for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The MPF scheme with a sanctioned outlay of Rs. 25,060 crore, will be implemented over the next three year period. The Central Government share in this scheme will be Rs.18,636 crore and the States’ share will be Rs.6,424 crore.
The Centre’s share in the total outlay of the MPF scheme is Rs. 18,636 crore. Hence on an average, the Centre will be rolling out Rs. 6000 crore each year for this purpose. This money will again get divided between 29 States and 7 Union Territories. Moreover, central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism affected States. Hence one does not need rocket science to gather how much the remaining States will get eventually for modernising the police force.
It was noticed that the States had failed to contribute their own share when a similar scheme was introduced for modernisation of the police force at the turn of the last decade of the 20th century. Even at that time, one is purview to the fact that a very small amount was being sanctioned initially by the Centre for what was then the largest State in the country. But when it was pointed out that the amount that was being sanctioned was dismal, the Centre conceded and approved about Rs. 1000 crore for the State for modernisation purpose.
Drawing a cue from the past experience, another area that that needs special attention on the part of those who would be fine tuning the scheme both at the planning and implementation stage, is that there should be a total balance when it comes to purchasing vehicles. The Centre should play a role in ensuring vacancies are also created simultaneously for drivers and the supporting staff that would be required to run these vehicles. Since most police vehicles would be meant for round-the-clock maintenance of law and order, at the minimum there should be a provision for at least three drivers per vehicle. Also there should be adequate reserve staff to fill gaps created by those on sick leave or due to other reasons. In the absence of drivers, the cops at the police station, who are supposed to be on beat duty also double up as drivers and many of them use this as an opportunity to learn the ABC of driving.
Government of India claims that the umbrella scheme – Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) – will go a long way to boost the capability and efficiency of Central and State Police Forces by modernizing them.
Salient Features of MPF
- Special provision has been made under the Scheme for internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistics support, hiring of helicopters, upgradation of police wireless, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, E-prison project etc.
- Under the umbrella scheme, central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism affected States.
- Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 35 worst LWE affected districts has been introduced with an outlay of Rs.3,000 crore to tackle the issue of underdevelopment in these district.
- An outlay of Rs.100 crore has been earmarked in the North Eastern States for police infrastructure upgradation, training institutes, investigation facilities etc.
- Implementation of this scheme would bolster the Government’s ability to address challenges faced in different theatres such as areas affected by LWE, Jammu and Kashmir and North East effectively and undertake development interventions which will catalyze in improving the quality of life in these areas and help combat these challenges effectively at the same time.
- New initiatives are being introduced to provide assistance to States for upgradation of police infrastructure, forensic science laboratories, institutions and the equipment available with them to plug critical gaps in the criminal justice system. Police Stations will be integrated to set up a national data base of crime and criminals’ records. It will be linked with other pillars of criminal justice system such as ‘prisons, forensic science laboratories and prosecution offices.
- The umbrella scheme also provides for setting up of a State-of Art forensic science laboratory in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh and upgradation of Sardar Patel Global Centre for Security, Counter Terrorism and Anti Insurgency in Jaipur and Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gandhi Nagar.
- It is expected that the umbrella scheme, “Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)” will go a long way to boost the capability and efficiency of Central and State Police Forces by modernizing them.