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What is the commissionerate system?

Topics Covered: Role of civil services in a democracy.

What is the commissionerate system?

What to study?

For Prelims: Meaning, need for and significance.

Context: The Uttar Pradesh has approved the commissionerate system of policing for state capital Lucknow, and Noida.

What is Commissionerate system? What are the benefits?

  1. In the commissionerate system, the Commissioner of Police (CP) is the head of a unified police command structure, is responsible for the force in the city, and is accountable to the state government.
  2. The office also has magisterial powers, including those related to regulation, control, and licensing.
  3. The CP is drawn from the Deputy Inspector General rank or above, and is assisted by Special/Joint/Additional/Deputy Commissioners.
  4. It is supposed to allow for faster decision-making to solve complex urban-centric issues.

How and who can implement this?

Under the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, ‘Police’ is under the State list, meaning individual states typically legislate and exercise control over this subject. 

Where is the system in force?

Previously, only four cities had the system: Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.

However, with rapid urbanisation, states felt an increasing need to replicate the system in more places.

The sixth National Police Commission report, which was released in 1983, recommended the introduction of a police commissionerate system in cities with a population of 5 lakh and above, as well as in places having special conditions.

Over the years, it has been extended to numerous cities, including Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. By January 2016, 53 cities had this system.

Sources: The Hindu.