Psy­cho­me­t­ric test for po­lice, para­mil­i­tary jobs?

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - SANA SHAKIL

YOU might soon need to clear a psy­cho­me­t­ric test to join the po­lice or para­mil­i­tary forces, as the Cen­tre is con­sid­er­ing in­tro­duc­ing an exam to assess can­di­dates’ men­tal ca­pa­bil­i­ties, be­hav­iour and per­son­al­ity traits as well.

The pro­posal, which comes amid an in­crease in in­ci­dents of po­lice mis­con­duct and a rise in cops’ sui­cide rate, was dis­cussed at a re­cent meet­ing at­tended by the Cen­tral Armed Po­lice Forces (CAPF), sev­eral state po­lice forces, the Bureau of Po­lice Re­search & Devel­op­ment (BPR&D) and Home min­istry of­fi­cials. It will again be dis­cussed in De­cem­ber, of­fi­cials said.

Tra­di­tional meth­ods of re­cruit­ment — mainly test­ing phys­i­cal ef­fi­ciency — are in­suf­fi­cient to meet the de­mands of the po­lice or­gan­i­sa­tion, a se­nior Home Min­istry of­fi­cial told this news­pa­per.

“The job re­quires phys­i­cal fit­ness, men­tal tough­ness and the abil­ity to work in iso­la­tion and in stress­ful con­di­tions. If one does not have the ap­ti­tude for the po­lice force, these con­di­tions can se­verely af­fect the per­son’s men­tal bal­ance, and that, in turn, can have dan­ger­ous ram­i­fi­ca­tions be­cause of the na­ture of the job. A psy­cho­me­t­ric test will help over­come these prob­lems,” the of­fi­cial ex­plained.

AT present, no po­lice or­gan­i­sa­tion con­ducts psy­cho­me­t­ric test at the re­cruit­ment level. Cur­rently, the Spe­cial Pro­tec­tion Group (SPG) only con­ducts the test be­fore in­duct­ing per­son­nel.

In a meet­ing, it was dis­cussed that 80 per cent of the best com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing tech­nol­ogy, fi­nan­cial, and man­age­ment com­pa­nies, po­lice forces, fire ser­vices and armed forces, in the US use the sci­en­tific test to eval­u­ate prob­a­ble can­di­dates.

In In­dia, the ben­e­fits of psy­cho­met­rics largely re­main un­re­alised as very few com­pa­nies, mostly pri­vate ones, are us­ing the test.Of­fi­cials also said the govern­ment will thor­oughly ex­am­ine ef­fec­tive­ness of the test by sur­vey­ing some or­gan­i­sa­tions in In­dia and abroad. "We plan to iden­tify in­sti­tu­tions/uni­ver­si­ties that can as­sist us in de­sign­ing ob­jec­tive, re­li­able and non-dis­crim­i­na­tory psy­cho­me­t­ric tests. We will first run it on a pilot ba­sis in a para­mil­i­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion or a po­lice force. If the feed­back is pos­i­tive, the test will be rolled out within five years," said an of­fi­cial.

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