New Delhi– NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Tuesday stressed the need to focus on economic development as well as internal security for the country’s growth, saying both are closely linked with each other.

“Economic development is closely linked with internal security. Actually they have a symbiotic relationship. You can’t have economic development without internal security and you can’t have internal security without economic development,” Kant said while inaugurating the first National Conference of Micro Missions of National Police Mission.

The two-day event was organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).

Kant, a 1980 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Kerala cadre, said if police does not act as major agent in social change, it will be very difficult for India to rapidly grow.

Niti Aayog Chief Executive Amitabh Kant

“We need to completely take a fresh look. My belief is that it will be very difficult for India to rapidly grow unless and until police does not act as a major agent of social change.”

“My belief is also that since police has very large presence on the ground, it can provide very valuable feedback to the states and the government in the functioning of many of the schemes in a very effective manner,” Kant said.

He said security scenario was rather tough once in India but among all those challenges he saw a great opportunity as well. “With every passing year, India has emerged stronger.”

Kant said that upgradation of internal security needs improvement in policing and it is not dependable on central money assistance. “Money is not the real limiting factor to delay improvement in policing, there are other issues.”

“There is need to strengthen police stations… The improvement of police stations in one hand will improve the prevention and detection of crime and other hand improve citizens’ interface with the police and it will improve internal security,” Kant said.

“The second is to improve citizen policing. People want quick resolution to their problem. From the other prospective the people are a great resource to police because of willingness of helping the police.”

“The third,” he said, “is an issue of court cases. Around three crore case are pending in various courts in India. According to one analysis, if the nation’s judges close 100 cases every hour without eating or sleeping, it will take 35 years to catch up. Therefore we need to improve the judicial system.”

The event covered sessions on the eight micro missions working under the BPR&D on issues including proactive policing and visualizing future challenges — extremism and Maoism, mob violence, cyber crime, money laundering, narco terrorism, human trafficking and others.

Special Secretary (IS) Home Ministry Rina Mitram, BPR&D Director Meeran C. Borwankar, Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) R.R. Bhatnagar, and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) chief Krishna Chaudhary were present on the occasion.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi will be the chief guest during the valedictory session on May 24. (IANS)