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Bengal police gap

New Delhi, Nov. 29: Bengal is one of the worst sufferers from a shortage of Indian Police Service officers, with only a couple of northeastern states, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab faring worse.

However, Bengal does better when it comes to a shortage of Indian Administrative Service officers, figuring close to the middle of the list. (See chart)

V. Narayanasamy, minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions, today released data that show how states with poor law-and-order situations generally face the worst shortages of IPS officers.

Bengal is sixth worst on the list and Sikkim is best placed at 6.25 per cent, which means the hill state has 93.75 per cent of its sanctioned strength of IPS officers.

Across India, the total sanctioned strength is 4,730 but the actual number of IPS officers is 3,475 — the shortfall being 1,255 or 26.53 per cent.

Still, the figure is healthier compared with the recent past, with the home ministry under Shivaraj Patil and then P. Chidambaram having pushed for an increased cadre strength.

The annual IPS batch size for direct recruitment was increased from 88 to 103 in 2005, to 130 in 2008 and to 150 in 2009. The Centre has now decided to induct another 80 IPS officers annually from the paramilitary forces through a competitive examination.

The authorised strength of IAS officers countrywide is 6,154 but the actual number is 4,377 — the shortfall being 1,777 or 28.87 per cent. At 27.70, Bengal is close to the national average.

Jharkhand is worst placed, its shortfall of 48.07 per cent perhaps suggesting the new state didn’t get its share of IAS officers when it was carved out of Bihar. But Bihar doesn’t fare much better, coming third-worst at 38.65 per cent.