Between 2010 and 12, nearly 6,600 students from city colleges got insights into policing in a unique ‘internship’ programme started by the then Pune police commissioner Meeran Borwankar. The move was aimed at improving the rapport between students and the police. However, it stopped during the tenure of Gulabrao Pol (who succeeded Borwankar) and is yet to start despite the Pune police website still says the initiative is active.
Satish Mathur, who took charge as city police chief in March, in his message published on the website said, “Currently, we are seeking citizens’ active participation in three initiatives… Pune Police Vidyarathi Abhiyan (internship), Chowky Sabalikaran (dialogue with citizens) and Study Circles (lecture by experts for benefit of police personnel).” However, internship with police is yet to re-start, while Chowky Sablikaran and Study Circles are held periodically.
Mathur said, “I am on leave currently but I have asked additional commissioner of police S S Solunke to revive the scheme. We will work out a detailed plan on how to go about this scheme”.
SS Solunke said, “We will definitely revive the scheme soon. It was delayed because of the election. It was an interesting scheme as the students got to learn about police work. They are particularly interested in the cyber cell. The students are sometimes helpful in investigations.”
In his message on Pune police website, Mathur says, “We offer 20 hours internship to students of different colleges to enable them to understand the basics of policing. In the process, we also learn about their issues, aspirations and so on. Details of the programme are on our website.”
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During the period it was implemented, each participating student was issued a certificate under the signature of zonal DCP after completion of the internship.
The objectives of the project was to inculcate the spirit of collaboration between students especially young citizens and police, to bridge the communication gap between students, citizens and police, to increase the basic legal knowledge of students, to apprise the policemen about the aspirations and expectations of the youth/students and to accept new ideas from young students especially regarding human resource development and management.
The pilot batch of 28 students from University of Pune’s department of management sciences had in August 2010 presented their recommendations to Borwankar, which was a boost for taking the programme further. The students recommendations were Social – ‘Enhancing Image of police, ‘Management and Technology – ‘Comparison of weapons used by terrorists and police’ and ‘Together we can – ‘Police and public interaction for better policing’.