NEW DELHI: Of the 642 drivers who joined Delhi Police, 18 were post-graduates, 239 graduates and 286 had passed their intermediate exams. Only 99 were matriculates. The force has 44,208 Constables, 20,817 Head Constables; 30 per cent of them are graduates and post graduates.
The story is the same for people who joined Delhi Police as Sub-Inspectors. Dharmendra Singh decided to apply for a Delhi Police job when he realised that he would be unable to get good job even after completing his MBA. “My friends were getting jobs that paid just Rs 10,000, so I decided to go for government job and I applied for the post of Sub-Inspector,” said Singh. In the last two years, seven Assistant Sub-Inspectors joined the force and all were post-graduates. In 2009, 612 probationary Sub-Inspectors were inducted into the force of which four were law graduates, 11 were engineers, 85 were post-graduates, including MBAs, and 516 were graduates, including law graduates. There are 6,521 Assistant Sub-Inspectors and 5,609 Sub-Inspectors in the Delhi Police. Sub-Inspector Jagpreet Singh joined the force in 2009 after completing graduation from Delhi University’s Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College in Commerce and immediately joined the force. “My priority was getting a job. I witnessed people who had passed their MCom were unable to secure a job. I applied for the post of Sub-Inspector and was selected,” Jagpreet said. He, however, said that while applying, he never thought of the pros and cons of joining the force as getting a job was his immediate need.
Similarly, Yogesh Kumar, a Science graduate from Kirori Mal College of the Delhi University, joined the force as a Sub-Inspector. “I was preparing for the civil services from the first year of my graduation. However, I also began applying for other jobs when I reached the final year. To survive in Delhi, one needs a job. How could I face my parents, since even after graduation, I could not get a job? I started applying for government jobs and landed in the Delhi Police,” he said. Pradeep Singh Parmar’s story is even more pathetic; he joined the force as Sub-Inspector after completing his two-year MPhil from the Department of English, Delhi University.
The force, in coming years, plans to recruit around 30,000 Constables and 4,749 Sub-Inspectors. Senior officers believe that more and more qualified people will join. The Delhi Police has also made a proposal to recruit 20,000 female constables to make female representation up to 33 per cent in the force.
Special Commissioner of Police Muktesh Chander believes that unemployment is the biggest issue that is forcing these young men and women to take up jobs far below their educational qualifications. Chander says, “Getting a degree and getting a quality education are two different things.” He is astonished to know about the fact but is also extremely concerned about proper utilisation of these highly qualified Constables. The biggest challenge before the Delhi Police is their utilisation, suited to their qualifications. The greatest fear among senior officers is that these educated constables and drivers would acquire a sense of desperation and will develop an inferiority complex, being an overqualified person working in an ordinary job. Officers fear their sense of belonging with their less qualified colleagues will also affect effective policing.
Police constables are assigned duties like prevention and detection of crime, beat patrolling, night patrolling picket, traffic duties, crowd control, collection of intelligence about crime and criminals and conducting raids. Head Constables are required to enquire into complaints, be in charge of malkhana moharrar, act as record keepers and are in charge of maintaining arms and ammunition. It is their responsibility to produce case property belonging to the different nature of cases in the relevant courts.
Chander said that the Constables, who have completed Engineering as well as master’s and bachelor’s in Computer Application can be transferred to the cyber cell, where their knowledge can be properly utilised. But the stark reality for the force is that despite having qualified lower-rank officers, their skill and intelligence cannot be used in probing heinous criminal cases. Any officer below the rank of Sub-Inspectors cannot become investigative officers. This is a hurdle in the way of “intelligent policing”.
Another challenge for these super qualified Constables and Head Constables comes during their initial days of training, as they have to interact and work together with batch mates who have just completed their intermediate exams. “During training, first and foremost, we insure that there should a sense of togetherness and they work together as a team irrespective of their qualifications. Bonding with fellow officers is the most important thing,” said Special Commissioner of Police S N Srivastava.
When Srivastava was heading the training department of Delhi Police, he introduced various programmes and competitions to encourage qualified policemen. “We had started a 30-day English-speaking course, debates and literary competitions,” said Srivastava, adding that he also introduced weekly sports event.
The first rosy feeling of having got a job in spite of being overqualified disappears because of the long working hours and the inordinate delay in promotions, transfers and postings. On an average, it takes at least 25 years for a Constable to become Head Constable and 18 years for a Head Constable to become an Assistant Sub-Inspector and the same for ASIs to get Inspector rank.
Delhi’s police Constables are some of the most overworked employees in law enforcement, putting in 16 to 18 hours a day, thereby coming under severe psychological and physical pressure. They do not get leave for weeks and little family time. For those who are used to the comforts of middle-class life, these are serious psychological drawbacks. In spite of third degree methods having become a thing of the past in Delhi Police, college degrees can be a problem for the future.