Home Minister Rajnath Singh cleared a plan, on 5 January, to introduce a 33 per cent quota for women in the central police forces, The Hindustan Times reported. The move follows an announcement made by the Centre to this effect in March 2015.
The plan is expected to trickle down to the states soon. As of now, women make up just a little over 2 per cent of the five central police forces, ranging from more than 4.8 per cent in the CISF to less than 1.5 per cent in the BSF. Between them, the five police forces have about 8.3 lakh personnel.
The new quota plan will only apply to fresh recruitment at the constable level.
The quota applies to the Central Reserve Police Force and the Central Industrial Security Force. However, the initial quota for the Border Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Police and the Sashastra Seema Bal, all of which are responsible for guarding India's borders, will be restricted to about 14-15 per cent.
The proportion of women is marginally higher in the state police forces. There are about 1.05 lakh women, composing for 6.1 per cent of the forces.
A home ministry announcement said the decision to induct more women into the central police forces was taken on the recommendation of the Parliamentary committee on empowerment of women.