The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Career chant: I’m 40 going on 50

Ranchi, June 28: Policemen in Jharkhand get more active with age, perhaps.

K. Padmanabhiah committee on police reforms proposed in 2000 to recruit only those boys, whose age is not above 19. Seven years later, a person on the wrong side of 40 could enter the constabulary in this red-riddled state.

The state government has come out with advert- isements to recruit around 4,000 constables, prescribing the maximum age limit of 35 years for general category candidates and 40 for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates.

For other backward classes, it is 37 and for the women aspirants, who want to don the khaki, it is 38.

The minimum age limit is 19 for all categories of candidates.

The state government has recruited around 10,000 constables after creation of Jharkhand.

Around 30 per cent of the newly recruited constables came from the 30 to 35-plus age category.

Significantly, the state government has now decided to amend the rule on the maximum age limit when most of the advertisements, being issued at the level of range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, are out.

A high-level committee, which is headed by the home secretary, has decided to lower the maximum age to 24 for general category candidates and 29 for SC/STs to enter the constabulary.

The proposal will be placed before the cabinet for approval, sources said.

Home secretary Sudhir Tripathy told The Telegraph that the amendment to lower the maximum age limit is “under active consideration of the government”.

“However, right now it will apply to the candida- tes taking the test to join the India Reserve Battalions only,” he added.

The two IRBs are being created five years after the central government approved the scheme to create such forces in every state. Around 1,900 constables are to be recruited for the two IRBs.

Sources in the police headquarters, however, said the amended rule would be gradually applicable to the state police also.

There is no rationale in fixing an exceptionally high age limit in Jharkhand if we want smart police force, sources added.

Bihar, on the other hand, amended the rule long back.

The age limit for being appointed as constables in Bihar is 18-23 for general candidates, 18-25 for OBCs and 18-28 for the SC/ST candidates.

Earlier, the state government was forced by Jharkhand High Court to amend the Jharkhand Constable Appointment Rules, 2001, which said that seventh graders could be appointed as constables.

Now, the minimum qualification for being appointed as constables is matriculate.

The court had, however, refused to pass an order on the issue of the maximum age limit fixed at 35, 37, 38 and 40 years for general, OBCs, women and SC/ST candidates, respectively.

“It does not need an intelligent guess to find the difference between the constables recruited at the age of 20 and those at 40,” said a former director general of police (DGP).

Incidentally, the maximum age limit for home guards is 50 years. The Ranchi district administration had advertised 659 posts to recruit urban home guards.

DGP (home guards) V.D. Ram said that the home guards belong to a voluntary organisation. “So, it could work. We depute youth brigade to be engaged in law and order duty,” he added.

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