Govt plans linking promotions of IPS officers to their physical fitness

NEW DELHI: In a key reform aimed at ensuring a “fighting-fit” police brass, the Modi government plans to link promotion of IPS officers to physical fitness. The system is already in force among the central para-military forces, where senior officers must be certified as ‘SHAPE 1’, indicating highest levels of fitness in terms of psychological health, hearing, appendages, physical capacity and eyesight, to be eligible for a promotion.

Sources in the home ministry said the proposal to make high fitness levels mandatory for promotion of IPS officers has already been circulated by the department of personnel and training to all states and Union Territories for their comments. The states were reportedly asked to revert with their views and suggestions by July 3, but are yet to respond.

As per a DoPT communication dated June 21 to states/UTs, “The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has recommended physical fitness of IPS officers as a mandatory measure for IPS officers before promoting them to various grades in IPS which would be at par with Group A officers of CAPFs.” It proposed amendment to Rule 3 of IPS (Pay) Rules to add a note stating that promotion of IPS officers to various grades will be subject to physical fitness as per the instructions as may be issued by MHA from time to time.

According to a home ministry officer, all IPS officers will be asked to take a mandatory physical fitness test at an approved government hospital or before a certified medical board, ahead of promotion to the next level of seniority.


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The reasoning behind making proper fitness mandatory for IPS officers is that they, particularly at the DIG, IG, ADG and DG levels, need to lead from the front and set an example for those under their command to take physical fitness seriously. According to a home ministry functionary, an IPS officer, “unlike an IAS officer, needs to be physically fit and active to handle field assignments in times of unrest and other law & order emergencies”.