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The idea of one nation, one police uniform

  • Published
    29th Oct, 2022
Context

While addressing the State Home Ministers’ conference in Haryana, he flagged the idea of “one nation, one police uniform” to have a brand recall just like the red-and-black post boxes in the country.

Background
  • While police personnel in India are often associated with the color khaki, their uniforms do differ in varying degrees in different regions.
  • Since state governments and even an individual force can decide the uniform of their personnel, there are at times inconsistencies in their official attire.
  • For example:
    • The Kolkata Police wear white
    • Puducherry Police constables wear bright red caps with their khaki uniforms.
    • Delhi Traffic Police personnel wear a white and blue uniform

Provisions for Police forces in India:

  • The Indian Constitution puts ‘police forces’ under the jurisdiction of state governments, and each of the 28 states has its own police force.
  • Both ‘public order and the ‘police’ are placed in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the division of powers between the Union and States.

Several Attempts for reforms:

Over the years, police departments of various states have made various attempts to reform uniforms for their personnel.

  • In February 2018, in a bid to prevent color variation in the uniform of its personnel, the Maharashtra police decided to provide dope-dyed khaki fabric for its staff.
    • Members of the force buying khaki cloth on their own led to inconsistencies in the shade of the uniform.
  • In October 2018, the Karnataka Police announced that women personnel would no longer wear khaki saris, but rather khaki shirts and trousers while on duty.
  • This would make it easier for policewomen to do their job and improve their effectiveness in dealing with crime.
  • In February 2022, the Maharashtra DGP issued a circular discontinuing the practice of wearing a “tunic uniform” for officers from the rank of Police Sub-Inspectors (PSI) to Deputy Superintendent (DySP).

A tunic uniform is a British-era overcoat worn over the traditional uniform by the police force.

Significance of One Nation, One police uniform:

  • Reduction in the cost of Uniform production.
  • Uniformity in Police forces uniform will bring a sense of collectivism among police forces of different states.
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