The Student Police Cadet (SPC) project Vision Document


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A writeup on the farsighted SPC project, the innovative youth development programme by Government of Kerala

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The Student Police Cadet (SPC) project Vision Document

  2. 2. 2 I. INTRODUCTION The STUDENT POLICE CADET Project is a school-based initiative by Kerala Police that trains high school students to evolve as future leaders of a democratic society by inculcating within them respect for the law, discipline, civic sense, empathy for vulnerable sections of society and resistance to social evils. The project also enables youth to explore and develop their innate capabilities, thereby empowering them to resist the growth of negative tendencies such as social intolerance, substance abuse, deviant behavior, and anti-establishment violence. Equally, it strengthens within them commitment towards their family, the community, and the environment. Implemented jointly by the Departments of Home and Education, and supported by Departments of Transport, Forest, Excise and Local Self- Government, the SPC project was launched in August 2010 in 127 schools across Kerala, with 11176 students - both boys and girls - enrolled as Cadets (Ref: G.O (P) No 121/2010/Home dtd 29-05-2010). The project has now been expanded to a total of 247 high schools across Kerala with a combined strength of over 15,000 SPCs.
  3. 3. 3 II. WHY STUDENT POLICE CADET PROJECT? The need for a school-level intervention such as the Student Police Cadet (SPC) project derives from a combination of philosophic, demographic, sociological and economic factors that are expected to influence the future global standing of the nation. The significance of the SPC Project lies in its potential to positively impact the following: a. Democratic Policing and Respect For Law Democracy is a system of governance whereby people adopt, enact and give to themselves a framework of rules, called Laws, which they are expected to abide by voluntarily. Ownership of law by a community implies that children inherit the Law by birth. Children in a democracy must not grow up in dread of or with contempt for Law. Rather, these children must be brought up knowing that law exists for their safety and security, and that obeying Law is part of their general civic duty. At the same time, in a truly democratic state, there must occur a paradigm shift in the policing function from “enforcement” to “facilitation” of law. The SPC project works to strengthen the Indian democratic framework by enabling youth to evolve from compulsory obedience to voluntary respect for the Law. b. Impact of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Rapid developments in Information and Communication Technology contain immense opportunities as well as threats to contemporary youth. Youngsters are heavily exposed to and hence vulnerable to
  4. 4. 4 cyber crime, misuse of social media and mobile phone technology. The SPC project influences youth to utilize ICT productively for personal and societal development. c. Deviant & Separatist Behaviour Our communities today face challenges in criminal, anti-social, terrorist and separatist behavior among youth. The question before us is, whether Police action or Military action is the only solution for these pressing problems? Does eliminating the terrorists of today put an end to the problem of terrorism? The SPC project attempts to find a solution to this social problem by training youth in positive thinking and inculcation of patriotic values. d. Encashing India’s Demographic Dividend Today, 50% of India’s population is less than 25 years of age. It has been predicted that by the year 2030, India will have the world’s largest population, at approximately 153 Crores, of which the youth would constitute about 95 Crores, i.e. 63%. For the country to benefit from this demographic profile, India’s youth must become capable of leadership in all fields of human activity. The SPC project is a school-level intervention to develop the inner potential of the younger generation and make them flag-bearers of a prosperous India. e. Civic Sense, Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness Today’s communities experience contentious issues such as poor waste management, environmental degradation, disregard of rules
  5. 5. 5 and regulations, and lack of respect for others’ rights. Youth must come face-to-face with such issues early in their personal development. Only then will they grow as socially responsible citizens with a willingness to empathize with and find solutions to problems of wider humanity. Other problems experienced by students include substance abuse, alcohol consumption and violence. A primary objective of the Student Police Cadet project is to provide high school students with the internal framework and motivation to grow as well-developed individuals and capable future flag-bearers of a prosperous India. III. UNIQUE FEATURES OF SPC PROJECT i. An association between the educational and security frameworks of a state, that trains and encourages youth to develop respect for law and abiding by law as a way of life. ii. Uses existing network, infrastructure and leadership qualities of Police to supplement the physical, mental and educational development of youth iii. Empowers school communities to create safe school environments and confident youth willing to react against social evils iv. Stimulates parents and community leaders to work with police in creating safer communities
  6. 6. 6 IV. OBJECTIVES OF SPC PROJECT • To mould a generation of youth who willingly respect and abide by Law, and who practice civic sense, democratic behavior and selfless service to society as the natural way of life. • To facilitate development of good health, physical and mental fitness, self-control and discipline in youth, thereby enhancing their capacity for hard work and personal achievement • To enable youth to work with police and other enforcement authorities including Forest, Transport, and Excise in preventing crime, maintaining law and order, promoting road safety, and improving internal security and disaster management. • To develop social commitment in youth and empower them against deviant behavior in themselves and others, thereby preventing growth of social evils such as drug and alcohol abuse, intolerance, vandalism, separatism, and terrorism in society. • To enable youth to explore and develop their inner potential in achieving success, by inculcating in them leadership, teamwork skills, innovative thinking and problem solving ability. • To increase knowledge and understanding of effective use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) among youth, preventing its negative influence and enabling them to benefit from the vast potential of ICT. • To motivate youth to develop secular outlook, respect for other’s fundamental rights and willingness to carry out their fundamental duties as enshrined in the Constitution of India by developing in them qualities of Patriotism, Open-mindedness, Large-heartedness, Inclusiveness, Capability and Effectiveness (POLICE)
  7. 7. 7 V. IMPLEMENTATION METHODOLOGY • Schools are selected for the SPC project, based on availability of infrastructure and teachers to carry out various training programmes. • In each SPC school, students who fulfill certain stipulated criteria are formed into platoons of cadets, who wear specially designed uniforms and undergo training. • Drill Instructors attached to local Police Units (Police stations or Reserve camps) are assigned to each SPC school to train cadets in physical fitness, parade drill, etc. • Police officers of various ranks, and officials from Excise, Transport, Forest, and Fire & Rescue Services visit schools and interact with the cadets in each school, imparting training in their respective areas of law enforcement. • In addition, eminent personalities, professionals from various disciplines and social workers interact with cadets to sensitize them on contemporary social issues. • Cadets undertake study trips to government establishments such as Law Courts, Jails, Police and Fire Stations, and places of historical importance. • Cadets also participate in residential camps, visit forests and environmentally protected areas, and organize community-level campaigns against social evils. • At the conclusion of their training, cadets undergo assessment tests with physical and academic components, based on the training received. Successful cadets are eligible for grace marks and other benefits based on their performance in these tests.
  8. 8. 8 VI. TRAINING MODULES The SPC Project comprises five training modules for student police cadets, as follows: a. OUTDOOR TRAINING: comprises regular training in Physical Fitness, Parade Drill, Route March, etc. The physical training module with group activities such as parades, cross-country runs, unarmed combat, yoga etc. not only leads to better fitness and health, but also helps to create a sense of purpose and self-worth in each cadet. b. INDOOR TRAINING: Awareness classes and activity workshops by subject experts in various fields, in conjunction with direct exposure to ground realities gives cadets an awareness of existing social conditions. c. FIELD VISITS: Supervised visits to Government institutions that administer and execute the Law, such as Courts, Jails, Police Stations, Collectorate, etc. leads to a better understanding of proper democratic processes. d. PRACTICAL TRAINING: Community-oriented projects designed to train students in appropriate response to contemporary issues. Personal involvement in activities promoting legal awareness, disaster management, environmental protection, road safety and so on enables cadets to experience law enforcement in practice, as well as the need for community involvement for their success.
  9. 9. 9 e. RESIDENTIAL & NON-RESIDENTIAL CAMPS: During the 2- year training period, SPCs attend various camps, both residential & non-residential. The purpose of these camps is to provide cadets with opportunities for leadership development, life-skills acquisition and personality enhancement, enable creation of healthy team spirit and create better understanding of the SPC Project. VII. IMPACT OF SPC PROJECT ON STAKEHOLDERS A statewide study by SIEMAT (State Institute for Educational Management and Training), Kerala reveals that the project has had a positive impact on various stake holders of the society: a. STUDENTS: Improvement in physical fitness, physical and mental endurance. Increased physical fitness, better attitude, confidence, self- discipline, responsibility and readiness to serve others. Fearless and healthy interaction with police and better understanding of functions and roles of police. Improvement in academic performance and better participation in extra-curricular activities. Willingness to abide by law and motivate others to do the same. b. SCHOOLS: School premises freed from sale and usage of tobacco and tobacco products, other intoxicating substances and influence of antisocial elements.
  10. 10. 10 Schools freed from accident and traffic congestion. Improvement in internal discipline. Children with deviant behavior brought to teacher’s attention. Neat, clean and plastic-free School Campus. In some schools, gardens flowers, medicinal plants are developed. Smooth and effective organizing of school-level events. c. PARENTS Willingness to change. Being forced to obey law since their children insist upon them doing so. High appreciation of behavioral changes and responsible behavior among their children. Increased interest in better and effective parenting. d. POLICE: Police experience improvement in morale and self-worth Willing to become mentors and role models for younger generation, as well as for the entire school community Better future policing since today’s high school students are policemen (and women) of tomorrow e. TEACHERS: Change in impression towards police. Realized the importance for discipline. Increased awareness of problems of adolescents.
  11. 11. 11 VIII. ENDORSEMENT OF SPC PROJECT a. The potential of the SPC Project for community development has been endorsed by successive Chief Ministers of Kerala, Ministers of Home, Education, Forest, Transport and Excise, Members of Parliament, MLAs and Judges of the Kerala High Court. b. National-level dignitaries who have been favourably impressed by the project include Dr Manmohan Singh, Hon. Prime Minister of India, Sri Hameed Ansari, Hon. Vice-President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam (former President of India) Sri T K A Nair (Advisor to Prime Minister), Sri V N Rai (Director, Sardar Valabhbhai Patel National Police Academy), Sri Hormese Tharakan IPS (former Director, RAW,) late Radha Vinod Raju IPS (former Head, NIA), Smt Jija Harisingh IPS, Smt Lathika Saran IPS etc. c. The project also evoked appreciation at the All India Police Science Congress in 2011, which recommended that all states implement the SPC project. Government of Rajasthan has decided to launch the project as a pilot project. States of Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Chandigarh and Punjab have also expressed interest in the SPC scheme. d. Agencies such as Kerala Legal Services Authority (KELSA), Kerala Road Safety Authority, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, and several others have associated with the SPC project as a partner organization to take forward their own community-level activities.
  12. 12. 12 IX. NATIONAL ACTION PLAN (PROPOSED) Facilitation of SPC project implementation in all states, initially as a pilot project in selected schools, and subsequent wider rollout. Initiation of steps for project implementation in all schools, irrespective of whether they are Government-run or under private management, including Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, schools under CBSE and ICSE, etc. Inclusion of the SPC indoor training module in the regular school curriculum, which would include personality development, road safety, substance abuse prevention, environment protection, legal literacy, responsible waste management, internal security, and safe use of Information and Communication Technology. Establishment of SPC Training Academies in each state, to impart training to all officials connected with project implementation in that particular state. Formation of a National Task Force - comprised of qualified, experienced and committed officials, from various fields including police and education - to support, study, and evaluate the potential of the SPC project for community development, by formulation of a National Act enabling SPC project rollout nation-wide.
  13. 13. 13 In Conclusion… The Student Police Cadet Project does not create more policemen, rather it seeks to grow the policeman within each young (and impressionable) member of our communities. Thus, the SPC project is a farsighted school-level activity that will generate significant nation-wide benefits, such as greater internal security, healthier and safer communities, and responsible future citizens of a stable democracy. P Vijayan IPS STATE NODAL OFFICER – SPC & DISTRICT POLICE CHIEF, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM CITY CONTACT ADDRESS State Nodal Officer, SPC Secretariat, Police Headquarters, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Mob: 09497996909 Email: Website: