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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: India’s law and order matrix needs a reboot

 

Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: All India Conference of Directors General/Inspectors General of Police, cyber crime, the dark web, crypto, maritime security etc
  • Mains GS Paper II and III: Government policies and interventions for development of various sectors and issues arising out of the them etc
  • ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS
  • The annual All India Conference of Directors General/Inspectors General of Police was held recently.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

DGPs/IGPs conference:

  • It is a relatively new construct (1980), superseding the earlier annual conference of Heads of Intelligence and CIDs of different States.

 

Annual conference of Heads of Intelligence and CIDs deals with;

  • Nitty-gritty of police work, , intelligence, crime and criminal investigation
  • Technology and the forensic aspects,

 

Conference now:

  • It additionally deals with a host of other issues including Policy and personnel matters.

 

Issues with proliferation of subjects up for discussion in recent conferences:

  • Increasing numbers of delegates to cover the various subjects leave little scope for any in-depth discussion.
  • Lack of adequate time to discuss these matters in detail tends to undermine both the quality of the debates and possible outcomes.
  • As the 21st century advances, security problems will grow at an exponential rate.
    • Their dimensions are yet unclear.

 

Futuristic themes in policing:

  • cyber crime
  • the dark web
  • crypto
  • maritime security
  • the threat from drones
  • problems stemming from unchecked social media
  • left-wing extremism
  • counter-terrorism
  • drug trafficking and border issues.

 

What Law and Order demands?

  • Combination of newer skills, in both technology and crowd management, which are not readily available among security agencies.
  • Managing today’s angry, and often unruly, mobs requires a fresh set of skills and inherent abilities, apart from mere technology.
  • Artificial intelligence can provide answers to a host of problems that exist.
  • Understanding the psychology of agitating mobs and, in turn making them realize the dangers of their own predilections.
  • Police and security agencies, must consequently, be provided with the right attributes, and for which they need to be adequately trained.
  • The selection of personnel to security agencies, especially the police, also will require a total makeover.
  • The police forces must mirror the kind of society we live in today, and must be capable of dealing with today’s modern antagonists.
  • Use of common imagery to keep track of developing situations, including on social media and Twitter.
  • ‘Open Source intelligence: The proper utilization of Open Source intelligence could well become the critical factor in managing many law and order situations today.

 

Way Forward

  • Emerging challenges would require greater innovativeness and agility as well as a demonstration of newer cognitive skills to meet the challenges posed by swift technological change and the rise of data war fighting.
  • A heavy-handed approach tends to create more problems than they solve.
    • Any approach of this kind only leads to a catastrophic divide between law enforcement agencies and the public, at a time when newer practices and skills are the proper answer.
  • Call for a top down approach: There would be considerable competition of resources from within the agencies for other items such as advances in weaponry and technology.
    • It would be required even more, to secure acceptance of utilitarian aspects of any such move.
  • More than the mere acquisition of new skills, police must develop a different mind set, including that force cannot be the answer to every situation.
  • Technological advances worldwide have meant that the human skills of security agencies need to be suitably tailored to a world in which the Internet, social media and other breakthroughs, often provide protestors and agitators an upper hand, and often detrimental to law and order.
  • There is a real need to take a hard look at improving:
    • the nature of the security discourse — in regard to the range and varieties of threats
    • how to bring about changes in regard to intelligence techniques, investigative methodologies, improving the ground situation, etc.
  • Apex level meeting of DGPs/IGPs would provide the necessary direction and policy imperatives.
  • Splitting the annual conference of DGPs/IGPs into two separate conferences:
    • A higher level conference of DGPs/IGPs to discuss policy related issues
    • Separate conference to be held of intelligence and security specialists (IGs/CID) to discuss the finer points of methodology, techniques and acquisition of new skills for current and future problems.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

Q. Naxalism is a social, economic and developmental issue manifesting as a violent internal security threat. In this context, discuss the emerging issues gest a multilayered strategy to tackle the menace of Naxalism.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)