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The Man Behind Digital Reforms In Andhra Police 

Indian Masterminds Stories

To make it convenient for the public to approach police and get their complaints registered, former DGP of Andhra-Pradesh Damodar Gautam Sawang has made police stations easily accessible for all with the use of technology. For his efforts, he was chosen as the best DGP in the country in various surveys and for awards, including the prestigious SKOCH awards. 

During an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Sawang talked about his efforts to incorporate technology in policing and also opened up about why he chose IPS as a career.

ANDHRA POLICE SEVA APP 

A 1986-IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, Mr. Sawang is presently the Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission. He also served as DIG of Warangal and Karimnagar ranges, DIG Anti-Corruption Bureau and headed the state Special Intelligence Branch. 

In 2020, Mr. Sawang’s team started a survey and identified around 79 issues that a common man approaches a police station for. “Most of these issues required lots of time and there was a long waiting line for almost each work. We wanted to sort this out and make the process easier for people,” he said. 

Based on the survey results, the AP police team under the leadership of Mr. Sawang devised the AP Police Seva App. It not only made the process of filing a FIR easy, but anyone could collect their documents by emailing or downloading them. Such is the success of this app that within five months of its the launch, it had 2,64,000 downloads of FIR. 

He served as the DGP of Andhra Pradesh

Similarly, for women related issues, a separate app called DISHA Mobile app was launched. These technological reforms in Andhra Police made filing of FIRs, complaints and SOS requests easier and faster. At the same time, the introduction of technology made the police department more transparent and accountable. Apart from these apps, a file management system was also introduced which helped in speedy investigations and completion of 85 per cent of the cases.

Talking about the importance of technology in efficient policing, Mr. Sawang said, “It is high time we merged technology with governance. It will ensure transparency, plus the work will be more organised. For many years, mobile has become an integral part of everyone’s life. We prefer to perform tasks with a click of a button and I though this should be replicated in police service, too.”

CHOSE IPS TO HONOUR FATHER’S ADVICE 

Mr. Sawang has his roots in Assam and spent most of his childhood in Arunachal Pradesh. Due to the nature of his father’s work, he moved to various states and did his education from various schools. It was this exposure that got him inclined towards the civil services. Although, he wanted to be an IAS, he opted for IPS on his father’s advice. “My first preference was IAS and then the Foreign Service. But, my father advised me to join the police service. He believed that as IPS, I will get more opportunity to serve and create a direct impact.” 

UNITED NATIONS EXPERIENCE

Mr. Sawang is one of the few officers who got the opportunity to serve in the United Nations. While there, he along with 17 other agencies developed a framework. He headed Security and Rule of Law within that framework and also served in the United Nations Mission in Liberia. 

Recalling that time, he said, “I consider myself fortunate to have got this rare opportunity. It was an enriching and a satisfying experience for me. I learnt about the best practices followed globally and also got an opportunity to work with other verticals of the United Nations. And all these things gave me tremendous exposure and experience of outside the policing domain.” 

With such enriching experiences and a highly successful career that is decorated with awards and medals, little wonder then that he says: “Today, when I look back, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.” 


Indian Masterminds Stories

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