Assam cops plan clean recruitment

Guwahati, Feb. 20: Assam police plan to adopt a transparent recruitment policy to eliminate the possibility of corruption and nepotism in recruitment of police personnel.
Additional director-general of police (administration) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta told The Telegraph that the primary objective of the policy was to make the overall induction process free of human interference as far as possible.
The thrust of the policy will be on developing an information technology-enabled system for recruitment of policemen in a very transparent and merit-based manner.
Mahanta said under the proposed policy, the entire recruitment process would become automated and biometric-based. Machines or electronic applications will be used to evaluate answer scripts, prepare lists or rolls and maintain data, including fingerprint and iris details of candidates.
The electronic devices will be used to record data relating to physical tests during recruitment. “There will be two components in the physical test — mile run and long jump. The entire physical test will be video-graphed, which will make manipulation of results impossible,” Mahanta said.
He said the written exam will be held on an optical mark recognition sheet and the answer sheets will be evaluated through computer scanning.
Since law and order is a state matter, the Union home ministry had written to all state governments and Union Territory administrations in 2010, asking them to adopt a technology-based transparent recruitment process for the police forces, free of any human interference.
The home ministry wrote the letter after it observed that police recruitment in almost every state was mired in allegations of corruption. There were also allegations that aspirants do not get jobs as constables and sub-inspectors unless money is paid.
Uttar Pradesh was the first state in the country to devise such a policy in 2009. Central paramilitary forces, including the SSB and the CRPF, adopted it in 2010.
In the Northeast, Meghalaya approved adoption of the policy in 2012 and it is under implementation.
A senior police officer said under the policy, the functions related to recruitment of police personnel would be outsourced to a professional agency. “The agency will be selected in a transparent manner and its functioning and performance will be monitored by a consultant to be appointed by Assam police.”
He said a request for proposal would be issued within the next few months, inviting bids from competent agencies to which the recruitment process will be outsourced.
The source said the state police are also considering giving more weightage to the written test than the physical test under the policy, which is exactly the opposite in the existing system.
The All Assam Police Association had stated last month that 12,000 posts were lying vacant in the state police force. It demanded immediate filling up of these vacancies and also sought the creation of 30,000 new posts. According to the association, because of manpower shortage the state police force is hard pressed to take on militant groups operating in the state.