Police recruitment should be merit-based: Home Secy

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) Advocating a transparentrecruitment process for constables, Home Secretary Gopal KPillai today said improved police training and regularsecurity drills can lead to a better response during terrorstrikes like 26/11.

Participating a panel discussion on ''Information Security- Implementation of Technology and Information SecurityMechanism for a Secure Tomorrow'', Pillai said the country''spolice training procedures need to be upgraded to address theemerging new challenges.

"Recruitment should be merit-based and training should beproper. That is the first step to make ordinary citizens ofIndia safe," he said.

The Home Secretary said basic policing has to beimproved, there should be regular exercise, security drillsand fire drills. "...Else we have seen what happened in Mumbaion 26/11," he said.

Pillai said police-people ratio in India is very lowamong all countries -- just 138 personnel in one lakhpopulation even though it should be 220 personnel in one lakhpopulation as per the United Nations standard.

"In Bihar, we have just 68 policemen (in one lakhpopulation), in Uttar Pradesh it is 81. Now the challenge ishow to take the ratio to 200 to 220 in earliest possibletime," he said.

The Home Secretary, however, said such a scenario wouldnot emerge before the next 10 years despite government takingurgent steps to augment police training facilities in almostall states.

Pillai said security could be provided to the people withactive cooperation of all citizens and cited the example ofhow an unsecured internet connection of an individual washacked by terrorists to send a mail immediately after theDecember 7, 2010 Varanasi blast.

He said 50,000 computers are hacked in every second inIndia and such attempts are mainly being made from threeuniversities of a neighbouring country.

The Home Secretary said despite "functional anarchy" inIndia, the country has huge technological, social and economictalents and have been contributing to the country''s growth.

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