Addressing the first Chintan Shivir (brainstorming session) of state home ministers and top police officers on, Prime Minister of India pitched the idea of One Nation One Uniform for Indian police forces.
Push for unity
- “One Nation One Uniform” is in line with his broader attempt to introduce a uniform set of policies across the country. In August, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers announced that it had implemented the “One Nation One Fertiliser” scheme. The Government of India in August 2019 had introduced the “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme.
- While pitching his new uniform scheme, “There is one important issue for our nation. Currently in our country, there is a ‘one nation, one ration’ card; ‘one nation, one mobility’ card; ‘one nation, one grid’ and a ‘one nation, one sign language’. Just like this, all the states should think of a ‘one nation, one uniform’ policy.”
Law and order is a State Subject
- The Indian Constitution puts police forces under the jurisdiction of state governments, and each of the 28 states have their own police force.
- Both ‘public order’ and the ‘police’ are placed in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the division of powers between the Union and States.
- While police personnel in India are often associated with the colour khaki, their uniforms do differ in varying degrees in different regions.
- Since state governments and even an individual force can decide the uniform their personnel wear, there are at times inconsistencies in their official attire.
Changes in police uniforms
- Over the years, police departments of various states have made various attempts to reform uniforms for their personnel.
- In a bid to prevent colour variation in the uniform of its personnel, the Maharashtra police had decided to provide dope-dyed khaki fabric for its staff.
- The Karnataka Police announced that women personnel would no longer wear khaki saris, rather a khaki shirt and trousers while on duty.
- The Maharashtra DGP issued a circular discontinuing the practice of wearing a “tunic uniform” for officers from the rank of Police Sub Inspectors (PSI) to Deputy Superintendent (DySP). A tunic uniform is a British-era overcoat worn over the traditional uniform by the police force.
- The Delhi Police had asked the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to design fresh uniforms, with an immediate focus on clothing that would be more comfortable.
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