State of Governance 2020 Report Card

Indian Police in 2020: Redefining Public Service From The Frontline

This past year has changed the way we think and talk about a lot of things. For example, words like ‘pandemic’, ‘PPE’ and ‘frontline workers’ have become everyday parlance. And when it comes to the latter, the police are one of the first groups that come to mind. The Indian police in 2020 has surely…

This past year has changed the way we think and talk about a lot of things. For example, words like ‘pandemic’, ‘PPE’ and ‘frontline workers’ have become everyday parlance. And when it comes to the latter, the police are one of the first groups that come to mind. The Indian police in 2020 has surely been the most dynamic, involved and accessible branch of governance. The police have been responsible for enforcing lockdown guidelines as well as delivering food and essentials to those in need, raising awareness, coordinating emergency services and more. The Indian police in 2020 have truly been our knights in khaki through this time of national crisis.

At SKOCH we look at how states perform in the ‘Police & Safety’ sector in our annual State of Governance research. Law and order is one of the most visible and measurable symptoms of public health. It is undeniably a reliable market of how well a state government is doing. But this past year, we’ve decided to also study these sectors themselves. This helps us not only gauge how state governments are doing but also get a sense of the fields we excel in and where we might need more intervention. For instance, our piece on District Administration in 2020 is a reassuring look at how local governance systems and the citizenry have evolved through 2020.

Indian Police In 2020: Ranking State Performance

The following table takes a look at how different states rank in the Police & Safety segment in 2020.

Rank State
1 Andhra Pradesh
2 Gujarat
3 Tamil Nadu
3 West Bengal
4 Kerala
5 Telangana
6 Maharashtra
7 Madhya Pradesh
7 Odisha
8 Uttar Pradesh
8 Uttarakhand
9 Arunachal Pradesh
9 Himachal Pradesh
10 Haryana
11 Assam
11 Bihar
11 Jharkand
11 Punjab
States Ranked On The Basis Of Performance By The Police In 2020

Andhra Pradesh Leads The Way For Indian Police In 2020

Andhra Pradesh bags the #1 spot in this table, with the most effective performance by Indian police in 2020. Nine districts from Andhra Pradesh have been recognised for exceptional performance in the Police & Safety segment in 2020. For example, district Krishna has ranks #1 within the state and #3 nationally in terms of district-wise police rankings in 2020. The Parivarthana project is an ‘Initiative for Reform’ that tackles generational criminal activities. The programme identifies families occupied in unlawful occupations such as the production and distribution of illegally distilled liquor. The idea is to counsel such families back into the mainstream. To this end, authorities helped 280 educated youths find legal gainful employment. The goal is to break the cycle and inspire sustainable change.

Covid Management By Indian Police In 2020

Telangana Optimises ICT For Covid Response

The Telangana State Police is credited with a highly impactful Covid-response strategy. The department had been monitoring disease outbreak and spread, so it is congratulated for a high level of preparedness. To begin with, the police planned extensive awareness-building and sensitisation programs to help educate people about the stakes. Secondly, the police introduced humanitarian relief programs to support the lockdown and distancing measures. Thirdly, the Telangana police used social media platforms to educate the public and digital communication technologies like Whatsapp and multi-location video conference platforms to safely design and deliver Covid-19 solutions. A Covid War Room has been specifically established to coordinate the administration’s collabortion with local actors.

Kerala Uses Social Media Savvy To Make A Point

No conversation about governance and Indian police in 2020 is complete without talk of Kerala. The ‘Kerala Model’ is widely recognised as an example of excellent governance in response to Covid-19. The Kerala State Police not only implemented all Covid safety protocols to complete effect, but also prioritised lesser-understood aspects of public healthcare and safety. Firstly, the police made a concerted effort to combat the spread of fake news and hysteria. Secondly, Kerala police used social media effectively to raise awareness about the pandemic through entertaining and relatable content. Kerala police is unquestionably one of the most social media-savvy official organisations in India. The department is known for its witty, pop culture-friendly approach to integrating administration and communication. For example the ‘hand-washing dance’ video by police officers became a real hit with them masses.

Uttar Pradesh Makes Staying Indoors Easy, Convenient

Ayodhya Police from Uttar Pradesh launched Operation Home Delivery to help people browse essential needs items online and place orders for home delivery with local stores. As a result, community spread was lowered since people had the option of staying home and having everyday supplies delivered. Zero-cost and user-friendly digital dashboards like this are usually the most effective schemes because they are accessible for the users and affordable for the authorities.

Effective Use Of Technology By The Indian Police In 2020

A common trend across governance sectors in 2020 has been the increased use of digital technology.

Digital Delivery Of Police Services

Another excellent example of Indian police in 2020 from Andhra Pradesh is that of AP Police Seva Mobile Application by the state police department. The app offers more than 60 citizen-police services such as lodging petitions, requesting House Watch aid or assistance with missing/lost documents. Secondly, the app offers information about local police stations. Additionally, users can log on and check FIR, passport and vehicular challan status. It’s a one-stop platform connecting people with the police in an easy, citizen-friendly manner.

Evidence Gathering Gets A Facelift

The e-Nirdesha app is another example not only of Andhra Pradesh police performing well but also the efficient use of digital technology by the Indian police in 2020. The police use the app to record video statements, photograph crime scenes and gather witness testimony. They then submit this evidence to the courts and upload to a virtual cloud. The idea is to make evidence-gathering, reporting and assessing tamper-proof. To this end, the hardware is custom-designed to be sturdy, safe and compatible with multiple accessories and platforms.

Coordination In The Times Of Corona

We’ve already touched upon the work done by the Telangana State Police above. But it is worth noting that the Telangana police used ICT to great effect to coordinate Covid-response schemes. For instance, senior officers used video conferences to coordinate statewide efforts with staff-members. Additionally, the authorities created Whatsapp groups with different stakeholders, including healthcare professionals. Moreover, the police also used extensive social media messaging, Public Address Systems and video message boards to engage with citizens. The police also established an Integrated Command and Control Centre to centralise monitoring and management for the city.

As we study the impact of Covid-19 on governance, it is evident that adaptability is the secret to successful governance. The performance of the Indian police in 2020 is but one example of how administration has changed since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In order to be able to keep traditional systems, services and social roles going, everyone has been forced to change. It is flexibility, above all, that has allowed governance and social systems to function. In brief, all the ideas and methods used this past year to substitute traditional systems are safer, more reliable, transparent and accessible. To sum up, we’re going to have to take these Covid-19 ‘governance alternatives’ and make them mainstream practice. The future of governance will be Pan-India digital integration, unified command centres, transparent administration and citizen-led policies.

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