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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 12.10.2018

1. I welcome all of you to Rashtrapati Bhavan. I congratulate you on your success in an extremely tough and competitive examination and your entry into the Indian Police Service.

2. I am sure that all of you realise that being an IPS officer places an enormous responsibility on your shoulders. It is a service that is one of the pillars of our national administrative system. It is also a service that defines the trust of common citizens in our police forces. Citizens see you as officers who will uphold the rule of law and enable delivery of justice. This is a big responsibility and I am sure you will prove worthy of it.

3. As members of an All-India Service, you will no doubt serve in individual states – but you will represent a national idea. Your mandate is to uphold a common concept of the rule of law and of our democratic polity. In that sense, you are guardians of not just public order and honest conduct – but of the majesty of the law. Governments come and go, but you represent continuity and you represent the Constitution.

4. Being an IPS officer gives you privileges and powers that are actually tools to serve the people. Your primary duty is to serve common citizens, and ensure justice to the poorest of the poor. It is very rare that a profession allow one to make a difference to the lives of not just a few people but thousands. You are joining one such rare profession and you must take this opportunity as a blessing.

5. Some people believe that we can judge a society and the level of national development from the quality of policing. In many ways police represents and symbolises the quality of the state itself. For a common citizen and visitor to a country, the impression of the state and governance is formed by their interactions with and impressions of the traffic constable at the signal, the beat officer on neighbourhood patrol and the reception desk officer in a police station. We must do everything required to make basic policing better and that is the hallmark of a sensitive and professional police force. This would help us build an environment where citizens fear and respect the law – rather than fear the law enforcer.

6. As officers of our police forces you can make a real contribution in this area. You must lead by example and discharge your duties without fear or favour, and without time delays. As professional civil servants, be willing to give the political executive your honest and unbiased advice. Your holy book and your constant guide must be the Constitution.

7. As senior police officers you will be confronted with several challenges. Some of these are peculiar to the times we live in. For instance, there is the challenge posed by terrorism and left-wing extremism, which have both domestic and international dimensions. I have no doubt that you will take on these challenges with full determination, but you must do so in a way that innocent bystanders do not suffer.

8. You will also be confronted with crimes that have emerged with economic growth and technological advance. Our police forces must invest in building specialisation to prevent, manage and mitigate white collar and corporate crimes. And while technology and the Internet are changing our society for the better, they are also creating avenues for sophisticated, digital crimes. Again, I am sure that all of you, the young leaders of our police forces, will rise to the occasion and ensure that we can overcome these challenges.

9. Technology is both a challenge and a tool. Technology allows you to do your duties with greater efficiency. It also allows the citizen to interact with the police force – and even to lodge a complaint – from the comfort of his or her home and computer. Or mobile phone. Please encourage this process. The ideal police system is one where the citizen gets due service from the police without needing to visit the police station.

10. I would end by saying what I always tell the officer trainees from different services who visit Rashtrapati Bhavan. While you should seek both professional and personal success do not lose sight of the fact that all of you are privileged in some manner or the other – by virtue of education or position or in some other way. As IPS officers you are expected to be leaders of the police forces and do your duty with utmost integrity. But you must do more than that. You must also give back to society and to those less privileged. How you choose to do this is something I leave to you. But do remember that each of you and indeed all of us in this room are obliged to make a positive contribution to the lives of those who are less privileged than us.

11. I wish all you a long and satisfying career in the service of our country.

Thank you

Jai Hind!

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