Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 15 March 2019


Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam


UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. Focus on more inclusive, non-discriminatory and efficient policing in India is missing in policy circles. Analyze.

Model Answer:

  • Introduction
  • Focus on women
  • Prevent sexual harassment at work
  • Steps to be taken
  • Conclusion

Introduction:

Women constitute about 7% of the police strength in India. This number is expected to rise, with many States and Union Territories providing for 30% (and more) reservation for women in the police in specific ranks. However, this is not enough.

Current data reveal that most women in the police are concentrated in the lower ranks. Efforts should be made to change this. Police force continues to be known as the police force. And being a force, it places a premium on exaggerated masculinity and valor more than on service.

The discourse on mainstreaming women in the police by making policing inclusive, non-discriminatory and efficient in India is missing in policy circles.

Focus on women

  • One way to mainstream women in the police is to develop a model policy that will challenge the deep-rooted patriarchy in the institution.
  • Unfortunately, till now, not a single State police department has attempted to even draft such a policy.
  • Thus, neither the Central nor State governments can get very far by merely adopting reservation to increase gender diversity without considering the need for policymaking.
  • A model policy, while laying the foundation for equal opportunities for women in every aspect of policing, should alsostrive to create a safe and enabling work environment.  Without this, all other efforts will remain piecemeal.

Preventing Sexual Harassment at Work Place:

  • Police departments must also ensure safe working spaces for women and adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination and harassment, in order to make policing a viable career option for women.
  • Most State police departments have received funds under the Modernisation of State Police Forces Scheme for providing separate toilets and changing rooms for women.
  • For constructing separate accommodation for women with attached toilets in all police stations and units. Police departments must ensure the best use of this fund.
  • Some of these suggestions have already been made by the National Conference of Women in Police.
  • However, Central and State governments have not yet developed or adopted a comprehensive framework towards achieving substantive gender equality.
  • Departments are legally bound to set up Internal Complaints Committeesto prevent sexual harassment at the workplace. (Under the Act -2013)
  • Departments must operationalise the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.

 Steps to be taken:

  • Increase their number: One of the first steps to ensure a level playing field for women in the police is toincrease their numbers.
  • Merely providing reservation is not enough; police departments should develop an action plan to achieve the target of 30% or more in a time-bound manner.
  • Recruitment drive in every district: Departments should also undertakespecial recruitment drives in every district to ensure geographical diversity.
  • To achieve the target, the police should reach out to the media and educational institutions to spread awareness about opportunities for women in the police.
  • Women-only battalions: Current data reveal that most women in thepolice are concentrated in the lower ranks. Efforts should be made to change this. The impulse to create women-only battalions for the sake of augmenting numbers should be eliminated.
  • Deployment of women: the model policy should strive to ensure that decisions on deployment of women are free of gender stereotyping to facilitate bringing women into leading operational positions.
  • Job disparity: At present, there appears to be a tendency to sideline women,or give them policing tasks that are physically less demandingor relegate them to desk duty, or make them work on crimes against women alone.
  • Women police officers should be encouraged to take on public order and investigative crimes of all types, and should be given duties beyond the minimum mandated by special laws.
  • Desk work too must be allocated evenly among men and women.
  • Police departments stilllack proper internal childcare support systems. Departments need to be mindful of this social reality and exercise sensitivity in making decisions on transfers and posting of women personnel.
  • Women should be posted in their home districts in consultation with supervising officers.

 Conclusion:

  • The discourse on mainstreaming women in the police by making policing inclusive, non-discriminatory and efficient in India is missing in policy circles.
  • Leading to the vicious cycle of non-reporting and non-action, perpetuating the culture of silence. Desk work too must be allocated evenly among men and women.
  • For women in police to perform to their full potential, it would take sustained increase in their strength, meaningful networking within themselves and an institutionalized support systemin the current social realities.
  • Then, they will be the women that they are, the police officers that they are. It will allow them to be their authentic selves, agents of change. To achieve. To lead. To serve the people.
  • Some of these suggestions have already been made by the National Conference of Women in Police.However, Central and State governments have not yet developed or adopted a comprehensive framework towards achieving substantive gender equality.

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