Saturday, March 10, 2001
M A I N   F E A T U R E


From khaki to robes of honour

More and more men and officers of the Punjab police have been taking to academics. If the number of policemen and officers enrolled at the prestigious Punjab Police Academy (PPA) at Phillaur for M.A., M.Phil and even Ph.D. in police administration is any indication, this trend is here to stay, writes Prabhjot Singh

INSTEAD of khaki they don robes now. This new-found love for academics shown by men in uniform may be an offshoot of either the emphasis on giving a humane face to the police force or the increasing awareness about human rights.

Whatever be the reason for this trend, the fact is that more and more men and officers of the Punjab police have been taking to academics. If the number of policemen and officers enrolled at the prestigious Punjab Police Academy (PPA) at Phillaur for M.A., M.Phil and even Ph.D. in police administration is any indication, this trend is growing rapidly.

 


Men and officers from the neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal and Delhi, too, have shown an inclination for pursuing analytical and research work.

On February 20 when the PPA organised its third annual convocation, there were two proud recipients of M.Phil degrees, while 15 others got postgraduation degrees in police administration. So far, 55 police personnel have completed their postgraduation and seven others have finished their M.Phil degrees from the academy located on the premises of the historic Maharaja Ranjit Singh Fort.

Though the sprawling academy premises still reverberates with the sounds of men and officers marching to the beats of the drum or to the commands of tough-looking ustaads yet one part of the academy finds personnel closeted together, engaged in animated discussions after attending a seminar or presentation as part of their academic curriculum.

It is here in the academy that even a constable rubs shoulders with high-ranking police officers. When the third convocation was held last month, what do you think a constable had in common with an Inspector-General of Police? An M.A. degree in police administration!

Interestingly, though Dr G.S. Aujla (currently Additional Director-General of Police, Operations), has got the distinction of being the first serving police officer to do his doctorate (he did it from Panjab University while he was the Director-Principal of the academy), the credit for the first doctorate from the academy goes to Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, the present district police chief of Bathinda.

The PPA administration is making all efforts to get the status of Deemed University for the academy. At present, it can register serving police officers for a degree in doctorate.

Currently, at least eight officers are registered for doctorate at the academy. Interestingly, "terrorism" continues to interest officers this time, however, they are not fighting against it but are taking it up as a study, analysing its cause, impact and other related areas.

Parash Moni Das of the 1978 batch of the IPS has decided to work on "Terrorist-affected police families: their welfare problems and rehabilitation".

D.R. Bhatti, who belongs to the 1970 batch of the IPS and is currently an Additional Director-General of Police, is also doing research on "terrorism" as part of his PhD study.

Dinkar Gupta, an IPS officer of the 1987 batch, is working on "Religious terrorism: international perspectives".

The present Director of the academy, A.A. Siddique, who belongs to the 1968 batch of the IPS and is at present serving as an Additional Director-General of Police, is working on "Police subculture an analytical study" for his doctorate.

Chander Shekhar, an Inspector-General, is working on "Information technology :its implications for police working", while Ramji Lal, a superintendent of police, is concentrating on "Women policing".

S.K. Dhillon, on deputation from the Central Reserve Police force, has chosen "Stress in the CRPF" as the subject of her PhD research work, while S.K. Asthana has chosen "Cyber crime" for his doctorate.

Besides these eight officers registered for the doctorate programme, six officers are currently doing their M.Phil in police administration. They are Hanif Quereshi, SP of Fatehabad; S.K. Sharma, superintendent of police, Himachal Pradesh; Parveen Kumar Sinha and Anita Punj, Deputy Directors of the academy itself; Harpreet Singh Sidhu, district police chief of Patiala; and his office superintendent, Gurdarshan Singh.

The Punjab Police Academy was started by the British on September 9,1891. It was then called the Police Training School. J.M. Bishop, an IPSofficer who was then an Assistant District Superintendent of Police, was made its first Principal.

At the time of the Partition in 1947, W.S.T.L. Hodder, the last British Principal of the school handed over the charge to Ashwini Kumar, also an IPSofficer. Kumar incidentally became the first Indian Principal of this police school, which on April1,1967, was upgraded and became the Police Training College. Deputy Inspector-General of Police B.S. Danewalia was made its Principal. He had two Assistant Principals to look after the indoor and outdoor training.

Changes in the syllabi were made in the late 60s on the basis of the recommendations of the 1952 Police Officers Conference and the 1962 Punjab Police Commission headed by Justice Mehar Chand Mahajan. The new syllabi provided for group discussions, extension lectures and writing of syndicate papers.

In March, 1995, the College was further upgraded to an academy and Inspector-General G.S. Aujla was made its Director-Principal. Shortly afterwards it was affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University. Dr D.J. Singh was appointed Deputy Director (SS) and Dean of the University Cell of the academy.

The syllabi and curriculum will be further modified from the next academic session to include information technology as a compulsory subject for all those pursuing M.A. in police administration.

Both the Punjab police and the PPA are keen that the Academy should get the status of a Deemed University. It may, however, have to be declared an autonomous college to meet the underlying requirement of the University Grants Commission before its request is granted.

The state government would be required to declare it as an "autonomous college", a promise that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal made at the February 20 convocation. How quickly all this is done remains to be seen?

It is not only in the PPA that the winds of change are blowing. At the Recruits Training Centre at Jahan Khelan, too, behavioural scientists have begun conducting regular classes. Emphasis on academics is growing. How quickly it changes the present perception of the police as a "baton-wielding" organisation, only time will tell !!

The pictures show police personnel receiving postgraduation and M.Phil degrees in police administration at the annual convocation organised by the PPA recently.