Psychometric evaluation must in police forces: BPR&D report to MHA

The BPR&D in the report also emphasised the significance of psychometric evaluation in addressing mental health issues faced by police personnel, as absence of its assessment and critical analysis have so far proved fatal in loss of lives.
Image used for representational purposes
Image used for representational purposesFile-Express

NEW DELHI: The government-backed police think tank Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) in a recent report to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recommended conducting psychometric evaluation of personnel both at the time of recruitment and mid-career to curb the tendency of suicide and fratricide within the forces, officials said.

Noting that this is the need of the Hour the BPR&D in the report also emphasised the significance of psychometric evaluation in addressing mental health issues faced by police personnel, as absence of its assessment and critical analysis have so far proved fatal in loss of lives.

According to the officials, the report has been prepared by three ADG rank officers from BSF, Uttarakhand police and CISF, along with high-ranking experts from Delhi University, the ITBP, and SSB.

In the report it is also acknowledged that while psychometric evaluation at the recruitment stage is crucial; it cannot be the sole method of reducing the prevalence of mental stress within police organisations.

A senior official quoting the report said, “Experts unanimously suggest that Psychometric Evaluation in Police Forces is the need of the hour. Consequently, psychological problems/disorders can be tackled, and intervention programmes can be designed and implemented for the stakeholders.”

Furthermore, the report has also highlighted that a significant number of police personnel suffer from various psychiatric illnesses and thus timely interventions are crucial to control the mental health consequences of trauma.

It has further stressed need for providing better and more accessible mental health services to police personnel, based on recent studies indicating the prevalence of mental health problems among them.

It has suggested that for comprehensive stress reduction strategies in organisations like CAPFs, interventions at the workplace and re-assessment of daily regimentation are imperative to mitigate issues such as suicides and fratricides stemming from mental health challenges.

Further in the report the committee has made a subdivision – one for Psychometric Evaluation for Recruitment in CAPFs and the other for Psychometric Evaluation for Recruitment State Police Forces.

“The design of tests should include appropriate factors at each level of entry viz. Constables (other ranks), Sub- Inspectors and Officers (GOs). The task of designing the evaluation test methodology may be assigned to experts in this field from a reputed Institute/DIPR/University,” the committee suggested in the report.

In India, the armed forces have been using some system of psychometric evaluation for entry to their officer cadre for a while now as part of their extensive process through the Services Selection Board. But in police organisations both at the central and state levels only personality evaluation is done at the time of recruitment by way of interview.

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