A High-Powered Committee deciding that the 5-km run that is part of the physical test for recruitment of male police constables is too great a distance, cut it down drastically to 1,600 metre.
In addition, women applying for the post of police constable from this year onwards will be required to run only 800 metre, as opposed to 3 km earlier.
These changes to the Maharashtra Police Constable Recruitment Rules were proposed by the Committee to the Bombay High Court last month after the police came in for severe criticism after the death of five young men in Mumbai and Thane last year during the recruitment.
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A probe by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch had concluded that the four men in Mumbai had due to the searing heat in June last year.
The Committee comprised Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi.
“Five kilometres was felt to be too long a distance. We have seen that most men and women applying for the post of police constable come from poor economic backgrounds and often do not have access to nutritious food. Hence we reduced the distance. Once selected, we will provide them good food and facilities,” Maria said.
The physical tests carry 100 marks for both men and women, of which completing the race in the least possible time carries 20 marks and 25 marks respectively.
Maria added that the marking system would remain the same. The changes are expected to come into force when recruitment takes place later this year.
A senior IPS officer said that the drastic reduction in running distance was a knee-jerk reaction to the flak faced by the police force and the state government following last year’s deaths of five men.