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In fact, the police station has five other LRD personnel having professional degrees including BCA, BA, B Ed, PGDCA and MSc. As per data compiled by the Gujarat Police, around 1,000-odd candidates selected as LRDs in 2017 hold professional degrees. Ironically, the eligibility criteria for the job is only Class 12 pass. LRDs are hired on fixed pay for a period of five years after which they are inducted as regular constables, a class three post.
G S Mallik, IGP, Vadodara Range, chairman for 2017 LRD recruitment, said that out of 17,532 LRD jawans selected, over 50% held graduate or postgraduate degrees — a qualification higher than the eligibility criteria.
“I had appeared for both sub-inspector and LRD exams and got selected for the latter. I decided to take up the job as I am preparing for other competitive exams. There surely is some dissonance as a higher degree doesn’t translate into matching work allocation like computer operation or writing FIRs. Many a times, we are only wielding lathis on the roads during bandobast,” said an LRD, holding an MBA degree.
Gaurang Jani, associate professor with Gujarat University’s department of sociology, said that unavailability of secure jobs in the private sector is a major factor responsible for the disparity in education and jobs. “Well-paying job opportunities in private sector are drying up. No wonder, highly educated youth is getting attracted to secure jobs with lower job profile and salaries,” he said.
He added that several sections of society equate power with the police job and thus there is lure of khaki at every level.