The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) School of Law (SOL), in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has launched an online training programme to sensitize police personnel on human rights. The five-day programme was inaugurated for the police academy personnel of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by NHRC Chairperson Justice K.G. Balakrishnan at the IGNOU Convention Centre on February 1. “This activity is an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between IGNOU and NHRC a few months ago. The main aim of this programme is to sensitize and spread awareness about human rights. With such a programme, IGNOU aims to bring down the rate of conflicts and crime in the society by creating awareness among police personnel,” said IGNOU Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai. While delivering the inaugural address, Justice Balakrishnan said, “It is our basic duty to sensitize people and protect their human rights, and the police play a very important role in the society in maintaining the law and order. NHRC appreciates IGNOU's efforts in this field. We have launched a basic programme for lower level police personnel in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana. The programme is currently available in Hindi and shall be translated into regional languages soon.” Keeping in view the tight schedule of the police personnel, the five-day tailor-made programme aims to equip them with the knowledge of human rights and it can be applied while dealing with the public, said SOL Director Prof K. Elumalai. The first basic programme was attended by the police personnel in three police academies in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. They had an online interaction with the chairperson and other members of the commission on human rights related issues. Giving details about the programme, Prof Elumalai said, “On the first three days, participants will be taught six units through interactive lectures using multimedia tools. On the fourth and fifth day, interactive counseling sessions will be held, wherein all the participants and the programme coordinators will interact through web-conferencing.” “Almost 60 to 80 percent of the police personnel are constables and sub-constables and nearly 80 percent of them are just 10th pass. There is a need to make them aware about all the penal laws in the country, along with the legal knowledge,” he added. NHRC member P.C. Sharma said, “The huge number of complaints against police personnel received in the commission compels us to think about the needful steps to be taken to train them, to make them realize their responsibility towards prevention and detection of crime.” Others present at the event included Sunil Krishna, DG, NHRC; Satyabrat Pal, Member, NHRC; K.S. Money, Secretary General, NHRC; and Prof Uma Kanjilal, Director, School of Social Sciences, IGNOU.