Keeping fight against terrorism as his focal point,P Chidambaram on Thursday re-jigged his Home Ministry,bifurcating the vital Internal Security and Police divisions so that the anti-terrorist component in each is handled by a nodal officer expert at the subject for faster response.
So far Internal Security was handled by one Joint Secretary who was overburdened with legal and operational matters,commissions of inquiry,narcotics,etc which were taking his gaze away from the key scourge: terrorism, said a senior ministry official.
The objective of the restructuring is quick reaction to proposals,especially in Internal Security,Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs) and Police Modernisation. This,in turn,would also fix accountability, he said.
In a nutshell,the Home Minister has rationalised each division with each Joint Secretarys job focused on key result areas rather than sprawled all over the place as was the case before Chidambaram took over from Shivraj Patil. One significant step in this direction is the clipping of powers of Joint Secretary (Police),who till now was the lord and master of the entire police mechanism.
The police wing has been bifurcated: one to handle the service and welfare issues of IPS officers and the other to take care of personnel and deployment matters of the CPMFs. VIP Security,earlier with Police Modernisation,has been handed to Internal Security-II which would largely deal with non-pressing issues. (See box)
The move,which took the senior officers by surprise,bands together divisions on Naxal Management and Anti-Naxal Operations which were handled by two Joint Secretaries into one. Similar is the fate of Disaster Management which was earlier branched with two separate Joint Secretaries.
The Police Mission announced by the Prime Minister to empower the police has been taken out of Policy & Planning to be attached with Police Modernisation wing so that policymaker here could dovetail the upgrading of forces with the purchases of arms and equipment he approves under the Central schemes and for border states.
Since states have been complaining of a lack of coordination in tracking inter-state crime and criminals,the work relating to Crime & Criminal Tracking Network System has been taken out of Police Modernisation to the Centre-State Division. Following the re-organisation,Chidamabaram also redeployed eight officers,of which six are Joint Secretaries who are the executive head of each division.