Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday rolled out the 'Student Police Cadet' (SPC) programme, under which high school students across the country will be taught to become much more responsible citizens.
Speaking at the formal launch at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Mr Singh said that the SPC programme, for students of classes 8 and 9, will be implemented across the country with a vision for citizens to respect and follow laws willingly, practice responsible behaviour towards others, demonstrate empathy for weaker sections of society, and participate in tackling community issues.
A sum of Rs 67 crore had been sanctioned to states for the programme's implementation and each school would get Rs 50,000 for educational aids, training and contingency for the programme, to be carried out on pilot basis in all states and union territories.
Rajnath Singh said that the venture aims to unlock the potential of India's youth and make them capable of becoming social leaders with global vision guided by humanitarian values. India has the world's largest population of youth and there is a paradigm shift in the policing function from enforcement to facilitation of law, he said.
Referring to the ill-effects of rapid modernization and incidents aired on news, TV and social media on daily basis, he said that they put a negative impact on entire society and there was a need to give moral character education at both home and school.
"Though it is a tough task and would take a long time, but we have to achieve this... Keeping this in view, SPC is being launched at national level to help in building a bridge between the police and the larger community through school students by inculcating values and ethics in them," he added.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, who was also present, said that the SPC programme works on Education-Values-Law linkage, to enable school community to create safe school environment with confident and discipline youth.
It will also facilitate development of good health, physical and mental fitness, self control and discipline in youth while enabling youth to work with police in this project, he said, adding teachers will be trained by police to act as Community Police Officers (CPO) and Additional CPOs.
Noting that students of classes 8 and 9 form nearly 4 crore of the 26 crore students across the country, Mr Javadekar said that programme, including classes, physical training, field visits, SPC camps and practical projects, will be first introduced in the government schools and later will be extended to the private educational institutes.
Students will be studying about law and constitution, communication skill, disaster management health and hygiene and about setting goal, he said.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar described the SPC programme a milestone and assured that priority would be given to these cadets in the Haryana Police recruitment drives.
Over 7,000 students, both boys and girls, from across the country participated in the launch programme.
Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, who is the Gurugram MP, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir, Haryana minister Rao Narbir Singh and several MLAs were also present.