The Maharashtra government is contemplating setting up of district-level residential training centres, where members of the minority community can be trained for police recruitment examinations. Since 2009, the state government has been running a scheme under which Muslim youth are provided training for the written as well as the physical round of examinations for police recruitment. These two-month modules are run for a few hours a day. The government spends roughly Rs 2 crore each year to run these training centres in all 36 districts, with the help of NGOs. The state has, however, not been too happy with the scheme’s performance, and is now planning to start residential schools to provide more intensive training to the aspirants.
“The plan is to ensure that these candidates stay in the schools and get trained. In the previous form of the scheme, students spent a lot of time travelling to and from these centres. Their time was not being utilised effectively. By letting them stay full-time in these training schools for three months, we hope we will be have a better success rate,” a senior state government official said.
A proposal has been drafted by the State Minority Development Department and has been forwarded to the Revenue Department. Shyam Tagade, Principal Secretary of the state minority development department, acknowledged that such a proposal was under consideration. The share of Muslims in the state’s police force is abysmally low. While they make up 11.5 per cent of the state’s population, their representation in the police force is only 3.81 per cent. In 2009, the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme for the Welfare of Minorities had expressly stated that in the recruitment of police personnel, state governments should give special consideration to minorities.