Possible establishment of National Police University in Manipur

Thangjam Khurshchev Singh *

 Passing Out Parade of 5th Batch of MR/IRB/CP Followers (Male) at Manipur Police Training College, Pangei :: 31st July, 2019
Passing Out Parade at Manipur Police Training College, Pangei in July, 2019 :: Pix - DIPR Manipur

On a formal occasion held at Imphal on 21 August 2021, the Department of Education, Manipur felicitated RK Ranjan Singh on his new assignment/Ministership as the Union Minister of State for Education and External Affairs nominated on 7 July 2021.

Addressing the event, he expressed the importance of National Education Policy 2020 and its suitable applications to the educational system of Manipur. Meanwhile, being an educationist having formerly served in Manipur University and a native of the State who experienced the law and order situation of the land for long, the Minister can consider establishing a National Police University (NPU) in Manipur.

The establishment of such an institution would not only support research and development on security-related issues but help in bringing peace and tranquillity through education in the region along with creating job opportunities for eligible candidates.

Background: The requirement to establish the National Police University in all the States of India was formally announced by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the 49th Foundation Day of the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) held on 28 August 2019.

Subsequently, when she presented her budget speech on 01 February 2020, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared the establishment of the same National Police University in India's different States.

Consequently, the first Police and Forensic Science University Bill (2020) for Uttar Pradesh (UP) was passed by both the Houses and began to construct with a sanctioned amount of 372 crore in an area of about 100 acres at Greater Noida (UP).

Existing Police Universities : Similar universities were established earlier and already functioning in the States of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. In Rajasthan, the "Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice" was established at Jodhpur in 2012.

In Jharkhand, the "Jharkhand Raksha Shakti University" was developed at Ranchi in 2016. Both of them are functioning under their States' administration, not the Central Government.

In Gujarat, the Raksha Shakti University (RSU) was established at Gandhinagar in 2009 and functions under the Gujarat State Government. It was Centralised in 2020 and the name was changed from RSU to Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) along with the status of "institution of National importance". RRU is also affiliated to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as most of its studies are related to internal security affairs which is a mandate of MHA.

Areas of Study : Not only RRU, the other existing universities in Rajasthan and Jharkharid are also focussing on the area of studies associated with homeland security. They study on matters related to internal affairs including criminology, domestic security, public order, strategic technologies, cybersecurity, low-intensity conflicts, forensic science, risk management, border security, etc.

They not 6nly provide short or long-term courses of diploma and degree (under/postgradu-ate and doctoral), but also conduct modules for professionals from Central armed and non-armed police forces. Valuable research and projects are also taken up in these institutes to support the law and enforcement agencies in academic realms.

Requirement of NPU : In Manipur, the Department of Defence Studies (1997), and the Department of National Security Studies (2019) are already established in Dhanamanjuri University and Manipur University respectively, and actively functioning by producing a number of successful students every year. However, the thrust areas of these departments focus on Ministry of Defence (MoD) related areas of education such as warfare and military aspects of the Nation.

Meanwhile, Manipur University has the Center for South East Asian Studies, which is also more affiliated with the mandate of the Ministry of External Affairs or International Relations (foreign policy). Interestingly, between these two areas of military and foreign policy educations, the MHA-related domain of study (criminology, forensic science, public safety, etc.) is missing in the State which can be filled by the establishment of NPU.

Importance of NPU: Manipur, being inflicted by the low-intensity conflict over the past several decades has been improving significantly in the last few years. This is thanks to the role of police in maintaining peace in the region, though few criticisms were observed along with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)1958.

Manipur Police has also been recognised in the country for having considerable experience in dealing with insurgency. However, the old form of armed unrest has been substituted by a new form of security challenges including cybercrimes, drug/gun trafficking through the darknet, money laundering, migration, corruption, and xenophobia.

Hence, the activity of law and enforcement agencies tends to be more complex and expanded in the days to come, in which the development of new NPU would directly or indirectly assist to control the situation.

Opportunity of NPU: The National Police University would provide multiple opportunities to academic and nonacademic activities such as providing degrees (students), conduct courses (for practitioners), research innovations, knowledge enhancement, policy formation, job opportunities, etc.

The university would not only teach students but also educate security professionals and support in modernising the overall ecosystem of police forces. The university will offer employability to the eligible candidates who have the background of "security studies" available in the region.

Students can also explore other opportunities including fellowship, internships, research projects, scholarships, etc. Situated in the North-Eastern part of the country, NPU in Manipur would be able to attract students from various eastern parts of India and even foreign students from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries (global standards) who are interested in this new discipline.

Establishment Initiative: While UP has already started establishing the NPU, the Manipur Department of Education along with the State authorities should initiate to grab this opportunity when RK Ranjan, is holding the right position to support in establishing the NPU in Manipur.

Meanwhile, to discuss the matter and take it forward, an efficient committee should be constituted including strategic/security doyens and seasoned research professional available in the State. Before the opportunity is captured by other enthusiastic neighbouring States, bringing one of the Indian NPUs to Manipur by having an early intimation with the Centre should be considered by the State authorities.

The endeavour to achieve this important institute shall not be blemished, while Manipur has the potential to raise the National Police University of worldclass on security affairs.

* Thangjam Khurshchev Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is an Assistant Professor at the School of National Security Studies, Central University of
This article was webcasted on August 29 2021.

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