From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : Police reforms due in India
Prime Minister has pitched the idea of “One Nation, One Uniform” for Indian police forces.
One Nation One Uniform
- PM urged that the identity of police across the country should be the same.
- This suggestion is in line with his broader attempt to introduce a uniform set of policies across the country.
How can this be achieved?
- Law and order is a State Subject.
- The Indian Constitution puts police forces under the jurisdiction of state governments, and each of the 28 states have their own police force.
- Both ‘public order’ and the ‘police’ are placed in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the division of powers between the Union and States.
- In the circumstances, it is unclear how the PM’s suggestion, if the government were to take it up seriously, might be implemented.
Why such move?
Ans. Inconsistencies in attire
- While police personnel in India are often associated with the colour khaki, their uniforms do differ in varying degrees in different regions.
- For example:
- Kolkata Police wear white uniforms
- Puducherry Police constables wear a bright red cap with their khaki uniforms
- Delhi Traffic Police personnel wear white and blue uniforms
Changes in police uniforms
Over the years, police departments of various states have made various attempts to reform uniforms for their personnel.
- Maharashtra: In February 2018, in a bid to prevent colour variation in the uniform of its personnel, the Maharashtra police had decided to provide dope-dyed khaki fabric for its staff. Again, the Maharashtra DGP issued a circular discontinuing the practice of wearing a “tunic uniform” for officers from the rank of Police Sub Inspectors (PSI) to Deputy Superintendent (DySP).
- Karnataka: In October 2018, the Karnataka Police announced that women personnel would no longer wear khaki saris, rather a khaki shirt and trousers while on duty. This would make it easier for policewomen to do their job and improve their effectiveness in dealing with crime.
- New Delhi: The Delhi Police had asked the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to design fresh uniforms, with an immediate focus on clothing that would be more comfortable.
Other such moves
- In August this year, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers announced that it had implemented the “One Nation One Fertiliser” scheme.
- The Centre in August 2019 had introduced the “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme.
- PM has also repeatedly suggested the implementation of “One Nation, One Election”, and adopting a single voter list for all polls.