The annual conference of country’s top police brass began on Wednesday with the meeting expected to discuss issues related to national security and core policing.The conference of DGPs/IGPs, which is being held outside Delhi since 2014, is being held in virtual mode for the first time due to the situation created by COVID-19. It will continue till December 5.
The conference was shifted outside Delhi for the first time in its history in 2014 on suggestion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It was held at Guwahati in 2014, Kutch in 2015, Hyderabad in 2016, Tekanpur (Madhya Pradesh) in 2017, Kevadia in Gujarat in 2018 and in Pune last year.In earlier years, the conference was Delhi-centric with officers coming together only for the conference.
Residing in the same premises since 2014, over a period of three days, has served to build a heightened sense of unity amongst officers of all cadres and organisations, government sources said.
This year, the virtual conference has enabled an increase in participation of all levels of officers from each state, including cutting-edge SP-rank officers.There has been considerable change in the format, venue, topics covered and deliverables in the conference since 2014.
The number of business sessions/topics have increased significantly with the focus on improving policing in service of people.
Before 2014, deliberations largely focused on national security matters only.
Since Guwahati conference in 2014, there has been a twin focus of national security as well as core policing issues, including prevention and detection of crime, community policing, law and order and improving police-image.
Earlier, the Prime Minister attended the conference once to address the officers and confer President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service at the investiture ceremony, while the Home Minister delivered the opening address and conferred Indian Police Medals (IPM) for Meritorious Service to awardees.
Since 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attended all business sessions on all days, besides conferring medals to PPM awardees.
Direct interaction of top brass of police with the head of government has resulted in a convergence of views on crucial challenges faced by the country and the emergence of doable recommendations, the sources said.
The topics, in the past few years, have been selected after detailed discussions with the highest echelons of the police service. Once selected, several iterations of presentations are made before committees of DGs in order to encourage participation and to incorporate ideas from the field and from younger officers.
As a result, all presentations are now broad-based, content-intensive and carry a set of cogent, actionable recommendations, the sources said.There is a detailed follow-up of recommendations of past conferences since 2015 and it is the topic of the first business session which is attended by the Prime Minister and Home Minister.
Recommendations are tracked closely by the conference secretariat, led by the Intelligence Bureau, with the help of nodal officers of the states, the sources said.
They said personal monitoring by the Prime Minister and Home Minister has resulted in a marked improvement in the implementation of recommendations in last few years from before. Guest Speakers have been invited to share their knowledge and experiences with delegates since 2017 conference.
Speakers from various fields have been invited such as management (Prof Ashish Nanda), cybersecurity (Sanjay Katkar, MD & CTO, Quick Heal Technologies Limited), advanced forensics (Dr JM Vyas, Chancellor, NFSU), radicalisation (Marc Sageman, independent scholar on insurgency and counter-terrorism, USA).
The sources said that decisions made in the past few conferences have led to significant policy changes leading to improvement of policing in the country, including setting higher standards for effective policing in rural and urban areas, and improved methods of modern policing, based on SMART parameters.