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Why IPS officers want to keep heading forces like CRPF, NSG & BSF

Sanya Dhingra
A Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at a wreath laying ceremony in Kashmir (representational image) | Photo by Nitin Kanotra/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
A Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at a wreath laying ceremony in Kashmir (representational image) | Photo by Nitin Kanotra/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

A parliamentary panel has recommended reduction in IPS hegemony over these forces, and for their own cadres to rise to the top.

New Delhi: Officers from the Indian Police Service have taken strong exception to the recommendations made by a parliamentary committee headed by former union minister P. Chidambaram, which asked the government to end their hegemony over the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

The Parliamentary Committee for Home last month recommended that the services of the IPS officers in these forces be gradually phased out, and their deputation be reduced to just 25 per cent.

CAPFs, earlier known as the paramilitary forces, include the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Assam Rifles (AR), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the National Security Guard (NSG).

Allowing CAPF cadre officers to head their own forces would not only “go a long way to boost the morale of the CAPFs but will also provide a bigger pool of qualified officers”, the report submitted to Home Ministry in December 2018 said.


Also read: Nation mourns Madhukar Shetty, IPS officer who checked illegal mining, helped the poor


Why CAPF officers feel affronted

While each force consists of its own cadres, they are all, as a rule, headed by IPS officers, who occupy the position of the Director-General (DG). Even other positions like the Additional DG, Inspector-General and Deputy IG are mostly reserved for IPS officers.

This has led to enormous resentment among officers of the CAPF cadre, who believe their exclusion from the top ranks in their own forces is “discriminatory and unfair”.

Most CAPF cadre officers ThePrint spoke to were wary of speaking on the record, saying it would antagonise their IPS bosses.

“We work in these forces for decades, but there is a glass ceiling. We can never reach the top,” said a senior CRPF officer. “After some time, a sense of stagnation and dejection begins to set in.”

The “disconnect” between the forces and the IPS officers heading them also leads to command issues, the officer said. “All these forces have an extremely complicated organisational structure, and if the people heading it don’t understand it, it impacts efficiency,” he said.

A CAPF officer with 31 years of service said they were treated as “second-class citizens” in their own force.

“These officers from the IPS have no training or exposure in our forces… They just come and sit at the top, making us feel like second-class citizens,” the officer added.

“Plus, if we have any grievances, we can only approach the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) through them… So, our grievances never end up being communicated properly,” he added. “And even if we somehow manage [to convey our complaints], both the MHA and the department of personnel and training (DoPT) are controlled by IAS and IPS officers, so they pay no heed to us.”

Typically, IPS officers join the CAPFs towards the end of their careers, and have only a year or two to understand the structure, one of the officers quoted above said.

“It takes them 8-10 months to understand the forces, and by then it is time for them to retire,” he added.

However, Aditya Mishra, an IPS officer who has served in the BSF, said this contention was factually incorrect. “The Home Ministry has a clear-cut rule that only an IPS officer who has served at junior positions can be selected as DG or ADG,” he added.

“The point is that, given that these are ultimately police forces, their nature of work is not very different from ours…We only add a humane touch to these forces because of the civil work that we do as IPS officers in different districts,” he said.

‘IPS officers bring the concept of human rights’

While the report has come as a vindication of the sentiments of CAPF officers, IPS officers have deemed the recommendation unnecessary and dangerous.

“IPS officers act as a link between people and the forces, since their approach is non-militarised and compassionate…” Ashish Gupta, secretary of the IPS Association, told ThePrint. “Bringing in people from these forces or the Army to head them would militarise our police forces.

“As police officers, we think of human rights…We are not fighting enemies outside. When there is a Kashmiri or a Naxalite in front of you, you have to think about human rights…That’s where we come in,” Gupta said.

“Moreover, there is a reason why the names of these forces were changed from ‘paramilitary forces’ to ‘police forces’ — it is because they are essentially police forces, so them being headed by IPS officers is in line,” he added.

Dismayed by the recommendations of the committee, the IPS Association is contemplating writing to Chidambaram and the other members. “We were not consulted before the recommendations were made… They should have taken our view on the issue,” Gupta said.


Also read: Why Niti Aayog’s suggestion to cut IAS, IPS entry age limit is unlikely to make headway


The role of ‘unifiers’ and ‘leaders’

The IPS officers’ view is echoed by the IAS Association.

Weighing in on the debate last week, the IAS Association tweeted: “Deputation of IPS to the CAPFs fulfils the constitutional mandate of the AIS (All India Services) to lead Central Organisations with their rich field experience and people connect as CAPFs are deployed to fight not the enemy outside but the war within.”

IPS officer Mishra said the All India Services — which include IAS, IPS and IFS, among other crucial services — act as “forces of integration” in the country.

“We come from our state cadres, and come on central deputation, and form a reserve for the central government… It is a unifying factor for forces across the country,” he added.

Another point Mishra made was that IPS officers, who are selected through the civil services exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), are meant to occupy leadership roles.

“After all, recruitments take place at different levels, and IPS officers are recruited at the highest level, which is meant to give officers for top posts,” he said. “It is a legitimate system of classification.”

Exhausted by what they call “institutionalised discrimination” against their lot, CAPF officers had earlier moved court demanding several benefits given to the “organised services”.

One of their primary demands is non-functional upgradation (NFU) – a monetary benefit given to organised services that allows all officers of a certain batch to get financial upgradation, even if only one of them gets promoted and the others don’t owing to lack of vacancies at the top.

“Our demand was accepted by the Delhi High Court, but again it was challenged by the IPS lobby in the government, and now the Supreme Court judgment is reserved,” a CRPF officer said.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. It’s ok that ips are selected but there selection should be decreased . I can feel that when these CAPF officers get nothing after so many years of service . IPS Gupta sir said that CAPF can’t work like military as they will forget about human rights but it’s not true as military is working better in hostile region of jammu and kashmir without any civilian casualties.

  2. BSF ,CRPF, ITBP here these forces job is tough similar or more than army. Army jawans get high standard of training and facility because in Army is headed by it’s own officers, they know how to treat their subordinate and gave facilities to them . But in case of CAPF , the ‘P’ stands for police but these are not police forces …these forces do the same operations compared to army (counter insurgency, anti terrorism, fighting against naxalites etc). Our government consider them as a police force and headed by an IPS officer, who don’t know about border guarding, fighting against naxals and terrorists etc. These IPS officers just to join the force for just to enjoy their carrier .CAPF cadre officers get second class treatment.
    Govt must eliminate the IPS officers in CAPF and rename CAPF in to CPMF ( Central Paramilitary Forces). This Renaming Make jawans more confident and they do their work at well.
    And also selct top officers from it’s own forces

  3. Actualy the mistake is committed by government of India. Here with example which may be little bit irrelavant, but easy to understand the fact with a hindi folk/moral story line that :-
    “Kutthon ko sher ka khaal pehnaane se.. kutthey sher nahi ban jathey” subsequently after long time “kutthey willingly on accepting task and silently wearing sher ka khaal on looking themself get confuse and feels themself as Sher and try to establish Kingdom as like a real Sher. Finally Dishonest and foolish “kutthey apni aukaath bhool jaathey hain’ and unfortunately poorey jungle ke jeevon ko confuse karke kud raja hone ka daava karne lagthey hain.. Kuch dinon ke liye, kuch hadh thak keliye, kuch kuthon ko strategically sher ka khaal pahnaya jaana, poorey jungle ke jeevon ke liye bhaari bhool saabhith ho jaatha hai.
    Hence, looking on shortage of All India Civils Services Exams and IPS courses Qualified officers, the non-IPS officers(DAGOs/DASOs) were wrongfully upgraded and designated over then limited posts at higher authorities over then appropriate perameters allowed in Rucruitment Rules provisions of CAPF police administration. It was golden opportunities given to NON-IPS officers of CAPF but dishonest NON-IPS officers are misusing such wrongful upgradations provided to them. It seems it is a wrongful practice to continue the same in future of internal security-Central Armed Police Forces. Wrongfully upgradated/designated NON-IPS officers with common decorations are getting mentally troubled due to which the dishonest and greedy NON-IPS officers are comparing themselves with IPS officers. Non-IPS officers don’t know the meaning of CADRE and how the union of India decides statewise allocation of Civil Services Officers for all over India and how those state CADRE officers on seniority with state level ground experience promoted for upperstage to provide services to union of India with expertise. Therefore the Non-IPS officer of CAPF are deciding themselves as CADRE officers and wrongfully publishing in social media that, the “INDIAN POLICE SERVICES” officers are not Cadre assigned or not authorised for Central Police Organizations/CAPF. And dreaming that, the Central Police organisations must be treated as “Baap ka jageer” of monopoly group of Non-IPS officers. Finally with 99% majority of DAGOs and DASOs unfairly upgraded upto ADG level are causing disastrous “monopoly” and feeling themselves as Cadre officers. And finally treats just remained 1% of IPS Cadres as “lawaris”/outsourced Indian Police Services officers.

  4. We neither need the IPS officers nor like to see in CAPFs. These parasites are spoiling our forces.

  5. This is a very good decesion by honerable court and government. Mr Mishra ex DG of BSF must learn that work in armed forces and police is very different. Ask Mr Mishra if he ever occupied and defended a bunker at 14000 feet at LOC, did any IPS ever served at rann of kutch, have any IPS commanded a company at indo china border, have any IPS taken stones from unruly crowd. Basically IPS officers have no experience in the field of CAPF and IPS officers are highly incompetent to work, leave aside leading CAPFs

  6. I fear a less educated and more political Home Minister like Amit Shah will favor the Lobby. As its a good place to earn.

  7. Ye Jo ravichandran hai , pata nahi kon hai , aise aise log kaha se aate hai , isne bola ki IPS educated hote hai , matured hai , are bewkuf , Kya CAPF officers educated nahi hai , idiot kuch CAPF officers itne padhe likhe hai , jitne Tere so called IPS officers nahi hai , samjha , ye IPS ka discrimination Khatam hona chahiye , sabhi central forces ka DG CAPF officers hi Hona chahiye .

  8. IPS hamare force personal ke bare me itana nahi janate ground level par jawano ki kya samasya hain, force ka standard kaise upgrade karana hain, ye to SHQ, FTR,FHQ me rahate hain apna time nikalo aur chalate bano, MHA me hamari mango ko sahi se project nahi karate kyonki inhe MHA Me kahin na kahi retirement ke bad rahana hain’

  9. Ye to wohi baat ho gyi ki student ko Lkg,ukg, first class mai admission mat karwao direct Ph. D mai admission karwa do. If IPS want to come in paramilitary forces than send them as company commanders and let them complete there full service in paramilitary forces. Why they come at the last stage of their service

  10. Secretary IPS association has exposed his intent that since the Paramilitary are police that is why their name was changed to CAPF. Mr Gupta it was your lobby which got it changed to legitimise your claims overall CAPF. Go take care of crumbling state police for which you are recruited and don’t preach human rights to others. Better GOI do away with this provision of IPS exclusive command of CAPFs n open that to most qualified and competent officers like done in Coast Guard. Let IPS exercise this human touch and human rights in states where they have created most corrupt police of the world and remove this dubious distinction so that comman man can think of police as a humane face of governance and not a tool to proliferate corruption.

  11. IPS guys have no business to be in Para military forces. These are specialised forces meant for beyond ordinary policing. Their own grown resources are the best fit for leadership roles. IPS be kept out of this and better add their value to better policing for society and common man.

  12. In my opinion there should be no room for IPS on High rankes in capf. Because our capf officers are already dedicated for it. Jai hind Jai BSF

  13. What human touch? Just to use resources for furthering their interests including looking after themselves and their guests even post retirement. No one is interested in country’s well being. Just cadre cadre and cadre.
    By the way what human touch they bring. Nothing. Just arrogancy.

  14. IPS comes to enjoy the benefits that’s all…they never lead the battle or fight.
    Kudos to Congi..culture..
    Selection should be merit based..only IPS who were extraordinary were Gill & Vijay Kumar.
    Regular Officers needs progression but they some how lack finesse of IPS or Defence Officers.

  15. IPS officers should continue to lead all CAPFs. IPS officers are more matured and better educated. CAPF officers are immature and cunning. All posts of DIG , IG , ADG , DG should all be reserved for IPS . CAPF officers being field men should not be promoted after commandant post.

  16. When IPS led Law n order maintaining machinery fails,Paramilitary r called.How a failed Comdr will become a Comdr of more professional n disciplined p forces.BSF,SSB,ITBP r border guarding forces where IPS has no role n experience at all.CISF is installation guarding force where there is no requirement of IPS.CRPF is a combat force which deals Naxal n extremists n they r deployed for assisting civil police.They r deployed with civil police.There is not a case of human right or human touch.If IPS want to come to CRPF then he should come in as a field Comdr only.General Public very well knows the human right n fair play of IPS when they r posted as SP of a district.

  17. IPS should kept out of all other departments except their own .Since officers pot for central deputation are frustrated officers ,its by choice they head not by chance ,disgruntled a lot in their career ,they even lead prison departments in states but make hell for others ,some IPS show unnecessary mighty power on other departments and destroy the very setup of any department for that matter .Usually IPS at top level are too corrupt or mentally imbalance. It’s better idea to own people should lead their department @!

  18. Why is actually not answered by this article… however the realty is that British hegemony still looms large over bureaucracy

  19. HILARIOUS!!! “IPS officers act as a link between people and the forces, since their approach is non-militarised and compassionate” This quote has to go down as perhaps the funnist statement this month.

    You just have to go to the local Thana to see how compassionate the police is!! And yes you will never find an IPS Officer in a Thana. Most of them prefer to sit behind big desks either coming up with hair brained schemes on policing or sucking up to politicians. They have no idea of policing as they have never spent enough time on the ground!!

    And now they think that they can parachute into any para-military or Intelligence Organisation and supersede people who have slogged their butts off in those institutions. Let’s look at the average cop on the street, forget the corruption and the lack of discipline for the moment, most of them are unfit and fat as if there is no end and perhaps would be the right contestant on the TV series “The Big Fat Truth”. Are these the right role models to join the paramilitary forces and even the NSG?

    It’s about time that we stop treating the IPS, IAS as the Bharat ke Damad. And it’s about time that a major reform is put in place to end this colonial type of administration.

    PS – A few years ago there were a couple of explosions in Jaipur. It seems the bombs were planted in Cycles and parked in busy markets. The explosions killed a few people. But what was the solution which was proposed by the Inspector General of police? That all cycles henceforth be registered with the authorities so that effective control and monitoring can take place!!! I rest my case!

    • Wow the cycle case is most amusing😂,also sir, the words u said r very reasonable and i find it very much appreciated gained some knowledge too, thnks and i really support tha cause, wishin all the best to all the capfs, im lookin forward to serve in it too, may the capf win the cause, jai capf. May the corrupted fatty ips and ias be deported.

  20. The way the CAPF personnel treated made them to act like this..ips officers r selected to lead all the law enforcement agencies ..but the problem is very much complicated here ..most of the wars r won by maximum succeeded battles .In war time brigadiers,colonels,lieutenant colonels,majors.captains r fought in the borders…but look at the issue in CAPF leadership ,do the ips officers really know about the hardships faced by their jawans ????. Are they involved in gun battle of much violent encounters with Maoists,naxals ?????.cadre officers r reaching as commandant after that they r not given proper promotions..If a BSF Assistant commandant reached DIG,IG rank with conferred ips he would directly involve in all the daily activities like ambush,counter ambush,surveillance,jungle warfare etc.The proportion for cadre officers should be allowed more than ips officers .the CAPF A class officers r doing hardcore duties ..they must be honoured .jai hind…

  21. Are the ips fellow humane.. Drunk with power… Use government machinery for personal use.. Several committee have pointed this out… And above all corruption reign

  22. Why ips officers want to get in capf. Even in Railway Protection Force only the DG is from ips and all the other high rank officers like ADG are from RPF cadre. Rpf the condition of promotion is better as ips people are not allowed on deputation. Same type should be done in CAPF if required only DG should be from ips and all other ranks should be occupied by capf officers.

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