Central government’s cabinet committee on security has reportedly cleared a Rs 25,060 crore umbrella scheme to modernise central and state police forces in the next 3 years.
80% of the total cost of this package will be borne by Centre which amounts to about Rs 18,636 crores and the rest would be paid for by the states. This Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) program would be covering aspects like internal security, law and order, women’s security, modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistical support, helicopter deployment.
Internal security seems to be the key target of this scheme, considering the fact that about Rs 10,132 crore have been earmarked for Jammu & Kashmir, Maoist infested areas and North Eastern states (some of which continue to grapple with insurgency).
As part of this scheme, a state of the art forensic science laboratory at Amravati in Andhra Pradesh would be set up, which might provide a boost to the case solving ability of police forces. Institutes like Sardar Patel Global Centre for Security, Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Insurgency and the Gujarat Forensic Science University would be upgraded.
According to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, this scheme would strengthen the criminal justice system by aiding investigation, prosecution of criminals. According to him, the cases registered too would be made computerised.
This MPF scheme would reportedly subsume 17 existing police and security forces schemes and would lead to the central government to proactively shoulder the modernisation, which earlier was carried out by the states.
Such an allocation by the Modi government eclipses the UPA government’s disbursement of about Rs 12,378 for a similar modernisation scheme which ran from 2012-2017.
The Modi government in the past has also signalled other ambitious modernisation schemes. It was reported at the start of this year that the government would be spending a whooping $59 billion to modernise its infrastructure like railways, roads and airports.
Even though such well intended schemes can certainly have a positive impact, the total magnitude of it, would depend on proper implementation and more importantly on the institution’s willingness to transform and set aside the decades of complacency and inefficiency which has seeped into it.