The sight of police officials with big bellies has become quite common around the world. However, this could soon change in India, as the central government is considering a proposal that would link officers’ promotion with their fitness levels. The proposal is based on recommendations provided by the Home Ministry. The recommendation seeks to make it mandatory that physical fitness should be evaluated before any promotion is given to a police officer. A draft service rules for this recommendation has been prepared by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and states and union territories have been asked to provide their inputs.
It may be recalled that in the current system, there is no provision to include fitness as a criteria for promotions of police officers. The promotions are currently given based on the completed years of service. “Promotion of IPS officers to various grades will be subject to the physical fitness as per the instructions as may be issued by Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time,” the draft rules say. IPS officers will also be required to develop expertise in three domains, which could be areas such as intelligence, economic offences, cybercrimes, VIP or industrial security, counter insurgency and anti-terrorism among others.