PANAJI: In order to control crimes and for better policing operations, Goa Police is going to introduce the e-beat system. The good part is that this system is being developed by local engineering students. This app will enable officers to retrieve information about any beat in the state with a click. Earlier, the department tried to develop this app from private companies, but they demanded a high amount of money, almost a whopping 1 crore! Then, the 2012 batch IPS officer and North Goa SP, Nidhin Valsan, thought of an idea to get it developed by local engineering college students.
Amazingly, it worked! And the cost of the project was reduced drastically to just 5 lakhs! Thus, the department will save almost 95 lakhs rupees of government money.
DIGITAL BEAT BOOK
Actually, the police beat system refers to the smallest unit of policing, representing an area patrolled by police personnel. Their job is to patrol the area and control crimes, and keep details of the criminals in the area. Police officers go to their allotted beat area and monitor there. For this, they maintain a manual book to make entries. But now, this beat book is being computerized, and there will be an app instead of a manual book.
The entire book will be digitized and come in one app. Then all entries will be done in the app itself. There will be many more functions which were not possible with the manual book, including tracking. Photos will also get uploaded in the app.
Valsan said, “Sometimes it becomes challenging to get a beat book from a particular area and check it. When we want information from a particular beat, we must call for the best book and physically summon the officer. But, after this application, we can know everything by sitting in an office. There is a lot of benefit in this, and it will make the intelligence of police strong.”
COMPUTERIZED e-BEAT SYSTEM
Goa Police had signed a MoU with Goa College of Engineering (GEC) on Resource Sharing and Capabilities Assessment in February 2023. Taking this forward, they decided to work on this e-beat application.
Valsan said, “We maintain a book in the beat system. We wanted to get its application made. Private companies were charging Rs. 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for this. After this, they would be charging for maintenance. So, it was costly for us. Hence, we decided to develop it with students. Now, we are giving a stipend to the children to make it.”
The IT department of Goa is funding it. Children will get 8 to 10 thousand monthly stipends to work on this application. Children will visit the police station and understand all the aspects of the police workings. They will roam around with the police, understand the beat system, and see how the police work. After that, they will create an application with that complete experience so that it remains feasible and can be run by everyone with an easy interface.
After that, the Goa police will use that application and point out its shortcomings. Then testing will be done, and if everyone is satisfied, then it will be launched.
Government Company ‘Goa Electronics’ will also be with them for technical support. For this, it will provide a server, and its experts will also share their valuable opinion. After its formation, its copyright will go to Goa Engineering College, and they will maintain it in a self-sustainable model. This will reduce the expenditure a lot.
“e-Beat system after coming in operations will not only improve processes in terms of the retrieval of information in quick time but also make it possible to swiftly analyze information,” Valsan said.
Goa engineering college organized a competition for a selection of IT students who will all be working on this. They invited several engineering colleges for the competition to determine the best developers to create the e-beat system in April this year. There were a total of 12 teams participating, each having 4 students. They got some time to develop the prototype. After that, 9 third-year and fourth-year students from the IT stream of GEC from the winning teams formed one group to help complete the task of developing the software. These students started working on this app in May and will be submitting their first copy in September this year.
Valsan said, “At one point companies were asking for paying up to Crores to acquire the software, but now the only financial cost involved here is the stipend which will be paid to the students at the time of working on the software.”
STUDENTS FULFILLING PM’S VISION
It is really nice that students are getting hands-on experience. Mr Valsan further said, “These students will become entrepreneurs tomorrow. And the biggest thing will be that the state police department will use the application made by the college kids. This will give a lot of confidence to our new generation. The PM always says that academic children should know the government’s requirements and how they use them. We have done this here, and only the children are helping us.”
GOA BEAT SYSTEM
Goa is divided into 2 districts, north and south districts. The South district has 17 police stations, while the North district has 13 police stations. There is an inspector in charge of every police station. A police station is divided into 6 or 7 beats. It consists of a police constable, a head constable and a SI rank police officer. These police personnel remain in charge of allotted beat. Their job is to stay in the area, control the crime, and keep the criminals’ details there.
Police officers go to their beat area and monitor there. The beat officers are supposed to keep track of criminals, habitual offenders, and religious and other structures which attract crowds.
Valsan said, “This beat system really helps us to be in better policing. Right now, Delhi and Chandigarh are considered to be having very good beat systems. We are also excelling in this system now. Now, we can view all the information on our computer terminals or mobile phones.” (Indian Masterminds)