Tubby Police Officers May Have To Lose Weight To Get Promoted

Officers from the coveted Indian Police Service, the only ones entitled to head police forces in the states and the centre, had been left out of fitness tests because they were governed by a separate set of rules.

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Tubby Police Officers May Have To Lose Weight To Get Promoted

Indian Police Service officers could lose promotions if they aren't in top shape. (File photo)


NEW DELHI:  India's top police officers might soon have to shed the flab to get their promotions. The Centre has started work on a new set of rules that require officers of the Indian Police Service, or the IPS, to be in top shape if they want to be in line for their next promotion like other para-military officers.

The fitness rule has existed for decades for officers of the central armed forces such as the Border Security Force (BSF) that guards the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the centre's lead anti-insurgency force, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

But officers from the coveted Indian Police Service, the only ones entitled to head police forces in the states and the centre, had been left out because they were governed by a separate set of rules.

The Home Ministry recently decided to fix this gap, and told the department of personnel that reports to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the fitness-must rule to the IPS as well.

A letter has been sent to state governments to seek their views on the proposed change, according to news agency Press Trust of India. The Home Ministry had reasoned that senior police officers needed to lead from the front and set an example for those under their command to take physical fitness seriously.

This means that all IPS officers will be required to take a mandatory physical fitness test at an approved government hospital before they are considered for promotion. They would have to get a 'SHAPE 1' certificate to be in the reckoning.

'SHAPE 1' is the highest level of fitness in terms of psychological health, hearing, appendages, physical capacity and eyesight and implies that they can be posted for any duty.

Once the proposed rules come into effect, the extra fat may not be the only thing that holds back senior police officers. Citing instances in the paramilitary forces, a CRPF official said their officers had lost out on promotions for problems such as severe cases of hypertension also.


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