“We are one of the unifying factors for the country”- MrsArunaBahuguna, Director of Indian National Police Academy

“We are one of the unifying factors for the country”- MrsArunaBahuguna, Director of Indian National Police Academy

oCompiled by Swati Misra with Inputs from Nikita Sharma

On July 28, 2014 CEPS and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (NPA), Hyderabad, India signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bolster linkages between Indian and Australian academic and law enforcement institutions in the field of policing and security. The MoU is seen to be complementing the India-Australia Strategic Partnership signed in 2009 that aims at strengthening bilateral relations in various fields including defence cooperation, international security and counter-terrorism.

The MoU seeks to promote academic and practice co-operation and advancement of international understanding in the field of policing and security between CEPS and NPA in conjunction with their respective partner institutions. The MoU is expected to facilitate research collaborations, academics/practitioners exchanges, access to academic publications and library resources, hosting of joint workshops, conferences and training programmes and PhD research by Indian Police Service (IPS) officials at CEPS.

The MoU was signed by CEPS Acting Director Dr. Melissa Bull and NPA Director Mrs Aruna Bahuguna, Director General of Police (IPS).

The function was attended by several distinguished guests representing the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India, Indian Consulate, Queensland Police Training Academy, Australian Federal Police, Australia India Business Council (AIBC), Australian Crime Commission, Queensland University of Technology, T.C Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, , School of Crime and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland, Brisbane Indian Times and CEPS PhD candidates. India’s Honorary Consul Mrs. Archana Singh, Director (Police) – MHA, Prashant Nikam, QPS Commissioner Ian Stewart, QPS Assistant Commissioner Katarina Caroll, Pro Vice Chancellor Paul Mazerolle, AIBC President (Queensland) Randeep Aggarwal, Chairman of CEPS International Advisory Board Duncan Chappell, CEPS Laureate Mark Finnane, former CEPS Director Simon Bronitt and former Senator and Deputy Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Professor Russel Trood among others attended the function.

Opening the function proceedings CEPS Research Fellow Dr. Ashutosh Misra welcomed the guests and noted that the MoU was a watershed in India-Australia bilateral cooperation and first of its kind to be signed by NPA with any foreign institution. Dr. Misra shared that the MoU has become a catalyst for growing understanding between CEPS and India’s National Investigation Agency (created in 2008 for counter-terrorism investigations) and Central Bureau of Investigation, with whom discussions are underway to sign similar MoUs to establish bilateral cooperation.

In her opening remarks CEPs Acting Director Dr. Melissa Bull outlined CEPS’ structure, history and on-going projects and the long-term significance of the MoU for CEPS and the university.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Arts, Education and Law-AEL) Professor Paul Mazerolle shared the University’s and AEL’s internationalization strategy and institutional yearning in the “Asian century” that aims at building relations with Asian powers, and this MoU was a result of the university’s keenness to build ties with Indian academic and law enforcement institutions.

In her speech, NPA Director Aruna Bahuguna spoke about the need for transnational cooperation to deal with transnational challenges and emphasised on the path-breaking significance of the MoU to promote greater understanding and knowledge-sharing on best practices in the policing realm.

Vipul Kumar, CEPS PhD Candidate and deputy inspector general of police (IPS) offered the vote of thanks and reflected upon his journey from NPA to CEPS to undertake PhD research and underscored the MoUs significance for both sides. On the occasion the two sides also exchanged plaques and mementoes to commemorate their new partnership.

CEPS also coordinated and facilitated independent interactions of the NPA Director and MHA Director (police) with the QPS Training Academy, QPS commissioner at the headquarters, QPS G-20 Police Operations Centre, Australian Federal Police, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, National Security College, Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Australian Institute of Police Management, Simulated Operations Unit (Hydra) and the New South Wales Police.

During these interactions, a wide range of issues were discussed that are expected to for multipronged research collaborations between CEPS, NPA and the abovementioned institutions in the field of policing and security.

Mrs. ArunaBahuguna, Director General of Police and Director of the Indian National Police Academy, in a candid conversation to Mr. Rajesh Sharma, spoke about the MoU signed between India and Australia, her experiences in being in a highly male dominated profession and the complex structure of the Indian Police.

Excerpts from the interview…
Being a lady IPS adds on to the pressure of being what you are. What is your say?

The police service as such, has been dominated by men, unfortunately. The firstwoman to join was KiranBedi in 1972 and I joined in 1979. I’m the first woman in IPS to join Andhra Pradesh. So, it really is a very difficult task because policing doesn’t require only men but as a service it has been always a male domain and more than half of the population is female. So, it is logical that we should have many women in the police.

There is an equal amount of requirement for the brain, patience and that is where women really score in because biologically and naturally women are more learned to handle children and their families for difficult situations.Yes, it is a very difficult job. Balancing home and work becomes very difficult.

I think the major part of the role is on women and that is where the difficulty comes in, balancing time. Sometimes men find it unusual to have a woman senior. It takes little bit of handling. Police being a strict hierarchical structure makes others accept your seniority but there are men who act smarter and try to make things difficult for you. Being a woman you have to be really thorough in your job you have to work doubly hard to prove that you are good.

That requires a lot of effort. In police academy we do have a lot of indoor and outdoor training. Indoor training includes a study of Forensics, law, forensic medicines, ethics, morals etc. Outdoors training includes firing, jungle camps, cross-country run, scuba diving etc. As a director, you have to take part in everything and prove that you can do it.

Indian police structure is very different from the other western cultures. Both structures have their advantages and disadvantages. What do you have to say about it? India is an emerging democracy where we are looking at being more pragmatic but then I would really get scared to go and lodge a FIR in India but here in Australia it is not so.

There are certainissues combined in what you are saying. First, it is about the IPS in India. You can enter the police at four levels. Starting from the bottom, as a constable, a sub inspector and a deputy superintendant of police.

These three are in every state. Above all this, you have IPS. IPS is recruited by the UPSC for the country. After you are recruited to a country, you are allocated to a statefor your cadre. You can work in that state and then go on a deputation. The whole objective of having the IPS is to unite the country. We are one of the unifying factors for the country.

Secondly, what you are talking about is the fear of the police that unfortunately is a colonial image still deep rooted in everybody’s mind and we have to get rid of that. We are putting in a lot of effort. We have a community police where we collaborate with the public. We form teams and work with the youth, women, religious groups and various community groups.

A lot of these efforts work out if you take in many women officers as women have a natural tendency to remain impartial and be objective and I can say very proudly that all women IPS officers in India have established a very good reputation for themselves.

I am the first women IPS in Andhra Pradesh and have visited a lot of places there. Interestingly, wherever I went, people addressed me as ‘AMMA’.In India, there is this Goddess Shakti(Power of the Goddess) and hence people expect you to be pure and very correct.So in your decision, it comes to you naturally.
How good is the MoU, you signed with the CEPS, going to be? India has got so many challenges coming up interms ofterrorism,narco terrorism and all the other forms it has and I’m happy India is still surviving and doing extremely well. How this MoU is going to help us?

I signed this MoU called the Centre for excellence in policing and security. So, what we hope to do is having exchange because a criminal doesn’t recognize any boundaries. He functions everywhere. It is a problem we are facing today all over this world. I feel Human trafficking is one of the worst and the most sickening kind of crimes we face today.

Human trafficking of women and children is one of the worst kinds of crime you can get into.

These are common problems, which all countries have, and unless we all unite together and exchange ideas it is not going to end. This exchange program will help us to exchange our specialized activities like crowd control. Five hundred thousand people try to get into a mosque or a temple in one given time.

How we control this crowd peacefullywithout a stampede is important to know. So you may have a commonwealth game or anything where you have ahuge crowd and this is where we are experts. These are some of the things we want to teach them like crowd control, mob control, and our side of investigation. We are very good at tactics.

We have all kinds of insurgency, jungle warfare. From them, we would like to learn forensic sciences, medicine investigation handling of evidence etc
The Australian police is having a problem with the its nationals fighting in Syria. They are all citizens fighting terrorist warfares and the police can’t do anything about it. Does this MoUintends to teach the Aussie police how to deal withterrorism?

Like I told you urban warfare, jungle terrorism is what we really want to show them but the problem lies in recognizing the terrorists.They areliving with you and if somebody does something wrong it becomes very difficult to control the situation.
Can I ask you a hard question? Like the Chinese government is very strict on what they do. If they have these separatist movements which are non democratic, anyone who gets involved is treated harshly. Why can’t leaders in India take the same stand?

This is a diplomatic issue and I wouldnot like to comment on it. But I think the most obvious answer would be that we are a democratic nation and I feel very proud to say that we have many agencies within our country which criticize the country and the government quite openly and the police watch them without trying to stiffen them in any ways. We are more tolerant and that is our strength.

The reason I raised this question was to say that democracy is the thing in the world at this moment. Inspite of being against India you have all the rights to express your dissatisfaction and you will be still accepted and that is the fun of Indian democracy.
And let me tell you that the police academy invites people who are anti government to come and speak to the trainees. We invite people who are left-wing extremist supporters to come and tell us their point of view so that we also get to know what they are thinking about.

Anything you want to say to the people of Australia or specifically to the Indians living in Australia.

I’m very proud to see Indians doing so well in Australia and can see their highly reputed community here.I wish every Indian in Australia “All The Best”. Anybody who visits India please do come to SardarVallabhBhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) in Hyderabad. We would love to have visitors and show them what we are doing.

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