Govt clears Rs 25,000 crore-scheme to modernise police in three years

The cabinet committee on security has cleared a Rs 25,060-crore umbrella scheme aimed at modernising the central and state police forces over the next three years, with the Union government bearing a larger part of the financial burden. The Centre’s share of the expenditure will come up to 80% of the MPF (modernisation of police forces) scheme’s total budget, translating to Rs 18,636 crore, while the states pitch in for the rest. Special provisions have been made under the programme for internal security, law and order, women’s security, modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistical support, hiring of helicopters and wireless upgradation, among others.

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, claimed that the scheme will help the Modi government fulfill its dream of establishing a ‘Samriddha aur Surakshit Bharat (Prosperous and Secure India)’. “It will enable the computerisation of crime registration and aid investigation as well as prosecution, strengthening the criminal justice system in general,” he added.

Earlier, the task of police modernisation was left largely to the states. “However, the present home ministry believes this is a task that should be largely shouldered by the central government,” said an official, adding 17 schemes related to police and security forces will come under the MPF.

“The implementation of this scheme will bolster the government’s ability to effectively address challenges faced in different theatres, such as areas affected by left wing extremism and terrorism, and undertake development interventions aimed at improving the quality of life in these areas…” the home ministry said in a statement.

A central budget outlay of Rs 10,132 crore under the scheme has been earmarked for Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states and Maoist-infested regions. It also provides for the establishment of a state-of-the-art forensic science laboratory at Amravati in Andhra Pradesh, besides the upgradation of the Sardar Patel Global Centre for Security, Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Insurgency in Jaipur and the Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar. Earlier, modernisation schemes used to be only one among several components of the overall expenditure being incurred by the Centre and states on police forces.