The Madhya Pradesh Police (MPP) launched the Pracademic Action Research Initiative (with) Multidisciplinary Approach Lab (PARIMAL) in March 2021. The Lab is a collaborative initiative under MPP’s DG Research and Policy Cell, with IDFC Institute as a principal partner. ‘Pracademics’ can be referred to as individuals who are active practitioners in the field and invested in the idea of bringing evidence-informed incremental changes in the system. PARIMAL is a step towards institutionalising pracademia in policing.
While the police follow time-tested methods to achieve their organisational goals, often enough, these methods are outpaced by technological and societal changes. Police forces necessarily adapt and innovate, but these innovations are predominantly individual officer-driven responses that do not necessarily translate into institutionalisation. It is this gap that the lab aims to fill.
PARIMAL is envisioned as an institutional framework within the state police training academy to facilitate evidence-based, experimental and analytical work informing field practice in the public service, governance and justice sectors. It will also house different centres of excellence and innovation under it—such as the Gender Resource Center and Digital Forensics Center. Among other things, our work within PARIMAL would focus on improving training, research and practitioner-academic collaborations within policing. The ‘pracademic’ model that PARIMAL promotes is an important pathway for institutional change and will help channel and amplify the efforts of attuned practitioners.
Details about the launch:
The lab was launched by MPP through a week-long virtual roundtable series (held from 8 March to 12 March 2021) around the theme of ‘Justice Inclusion and Victims’ Access (JIVA). The JIVA series was organised as a rendezvous between police practitioners, academics and researchers for addressing exclusion and subordination within the criminal justice system. It featured discussions on victim-centred law enforcement experiments, capacities to undertake anti-human trafficking work, and research-led policy on victim justice, among others. Neha Sinha was a principal speaker for the discussion on ‘State Capacity and Rights at the Interface of Security, Justice and Community’. Avanti Durani discussed the importance of the pracademic approach for achieving incremental police reforms in an evidence-informed way, during the inaugural session. A more detailed coverage (Hindi) of the launch can be found here.
Note: This work was done by the author/s when they were a part of the IDFC Institute and is republished here with permission.