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Association of Retired Senior IPS Officers (ARSIPSO)

This is with reference to my letter No. ARSIPSO/GS-BSD-4/2023 dated. 10/08/2023 on the 4th B.S. Das Memorial Lecture, which had to be rescheduled for unavoidable reasons.

The 4th B.S.Das Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Shri Anil Kumar Sinha, IAS (Retd.), on the subject Disaster Management: Creating Safer Communities, has now been rescheduled for October 14, 2023 as per the following:

Conference Room No. 2, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, October 14, 2023 (Saturday)

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  The Pioneer, 14 May 2008 2008

Don't let them work just for honour

The Sixth Pay Commission has ignored the problems, challenges and hazards of police personnel, writes Sankar Sen

The Sixth Pay Commission's report has caused a deep sense of disappointment among police personnel, particularly among officers of the Indian Police Service. Like the Army officers, they, too, strongly and justifiably feel that they have received a raw deal.

It is reported that while presenting the Sixth Pay Commission's report to the Finance Minister, Justice Srikrishna remarked that the recommendations would make everyone equally unhappy. It seems he has remarkably succeeded in doing so -- except perhaps the IAS officers.

In recommending pay scales for IPS officers the Commission, unfortunately, has failed to mention the challenges and hazards faced by police officers while performing their duties. Internal security situation has become increasingly difficult and grim because of the interplay of several factors and forces. The specter of terrorism is haunting the country and police officers are in the frontline of its battle against the forces of disruption and destabilization. Each year a number of officers make supreme sacrifice while performing their duties. The death graphs of police officers show a relentless increase.

Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, while addressing the National Conference of Chief Ministers on December 28, 2007, described the Left-wing extremism as the biggest threat to the country and urged the Chief Ministers to eliminate this threat with all means at their command. "We cannot rest in peace", he said, "Until we have eliminated this virus."

Mr Singh strongly pleaded for improving the quality of policing and felt that the country needs "top class police forces" with committed leadership. It seems the Sixth Pay Commission has deliberately ignored the problems, challenges and hazards of senior police officers in recommending the pay scale for the IPS.

Some of the recommendations of the Commission are illogical. The Commission has recommended apex pay-band of Rs 80,000 (fixed) to some selected Directors General of Police like the Directors General of Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force and Sashatra Seema Bal, but the same pay band curiously has not been recommended for the Directors General of Police of States. Today, the responsibilities and the challenges of the DGs of States are no less than those of the Directors General of Central police forces.

Many States are rocked by cross-border terrorism or indigenous law and order problems. The recommendation is retrogressive in the sense that the DGs of States could draw earlier the same pay as the Secretaries of Government of India after three years of service in DG's pay scale. It shall now take them a minimum of six years -- an unlikely event for most of the incumbents. Thus, no State DGP will reach the apex scale while the State Chief Secretary and other officers of IAS holding the equivalent rank would enjoy it.

Recommendations of the Pay Commission regarding pay structures of other ranks of the IPS are also patently unfair. Previously, DIG was in the pay scale of Rs 16,400 to Rs 20,000 and now under the revised scale he has been put in an inferior PB-3 pay-band of Rs 15,600 to Rs 39,100, instead of being placed in the higher PB-4 pay-band (Rs 39,200 to Rs 67,200).

The Pay Commission has further admitted that in many States, the post of the DIG is not functional. It has, however, recommended retention of this rank on the specious argument that the post is required for deputation to Central Para Military Force (CPMF) where it is a functional requirement. Abolition of the grade, according to the Commission, will create problems for smooth deputation to this post and grade in various CPMFs. It, however, goes to contradict itself when it proposes that the deputation of the IPS to the post of DIG in the CPMFs should be altogether stopped and henceforth such posts be filled up by promotion among the officers of the various CPMFs. The Central Pay Commission (CPC) has further proposed to reduce the deputation of IPS to CPMFs in IG's rank from 66 per cent to 50 per cent.

This will have the effect of significantly reducing the deputation avenues of IPS officers. It has also failed to suggest ways and means to meet the 40 per cent deputation quota for IPS officers, thus effectively transforming the IPS to a provincial service rather than an All-India service.

IPS officers have strong reasons to feel that the Commission has unmistakably betrayed a bias against the Indian Police Service. The Commission has tried to rationalize the edge traditionally enjoyed by the IAS over other all-India services and Central services on the following reasons

• IAS officers hold important field level posts
• In the initial stages, they work in small places and face frequent transfers
• They have to stand up to intense pulls and pressures
• They require higher pay scales to get the best talent.

All these conditions apply more to IPS officers who serve in difficult areas and work under much more stressful and challenging conditions. It can also be mentioned in this connection that not only the IAS but also the Indian Foreign Service enjoys the same edge without having to suffer any of the conditions highlighted by the CPC. The CPC's report is silent on the issue. Indeed, the CPC has not lived up to the principle it has laid down: "More arduous duties should result in a relatively higher pay."

The CPC has been eloquent in appreciating the role of the constables who are performing cutting-edge duties and constantly in contact with the people. Indeed, they constitute almost 80 per cent of the force and many of them work for long hours (16 to 18 hours a day). Constables also enjoy powers under law over citizen's life and liberty and have to exercise discretion in many fast moving situations. It has proposed a small hike in their current pay scale. However, the constable has been equated with the postman, railway mail guard, notice server and provided the same pay-band and grade pay. Many of their civil service counterparts spend their time working in air-conditioned offices. Again while Army soldiers operating in inhospitable areas will draw a "hardship allowance", the same has not been recommended for personnel of paramilitary forces working under similar conditions.

The CPC has further recommended that whenever an IAS officer in a particular batch is posted in the Centre in PB-3 or PB-4 bands, grant of higher pay scale on a non-functional basis should be given by the Government to the officers belonging to batches of organized Group-A services that are senior by two years or more. The higher pay will be given to such Group-A officers irrespective of availability of such vacancies in that pay-band. Keeping DIGs in inferior PB-3 pay-band will be discriminatory and deprive them of the advantage of this recommendation.

It has been argued by some that the IAS attracts the best talents and hence an edge has to be given to them. As the Director of the National Police Academy, I have seen that in the IPS, too, bright students from IITs, IIMs and other professions are increasingly joining. Also, many young entrants, even girls, prefer IPS to other Central services as it offers greater visibility and challenges. Thus, any exercise to bring down the status of IPS will be counterproductive. It will demoralize the police leadership and weaken its capability to fight against the forces of chaos and disorder.

-- The writer is former Director, National Police Academy

The views and facts stated above are entirely the responsibility of the author and do not reflect the views of this Association in any manner.

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