Civil services officials at the centre and states play an important role. This is a fact that has been prevalent since its inception in the 19th century when the IAS was known as the ICS (Indian Civil Service). This elite civil service of the British Empire ruled from 1858 to 1947 and its members governed over 300 million people in our country. Lord Cornwallis is said to be the father of the modern Indian Civil Service. The British called ICS the steel frame of India. Administration When the British government took over India from the East India Company and a common service became necessary for smooth administration, the rulers appointed these officers to enforce British rule and laws in India. For this Lord Cornwallis wanted to capture educated (graduate) intelligent and energetic youth, so he proposed the Indian Civil Service. The examination for recruitment to this prestigious service was held in London. UPSC was founded in 1924 and was given this task. Given the nature and contribution of ICS to administration, India continued to develop the service after independence. After many changes from time to time, it is still with us and is considered the most prestigious service in India. It can be like blindness if one believes that the bureaucracy does not rule the centre or the states, this scenario is witnessed daily. The success of any government depends on the handling of the serving members of this elite, a perception inherited from the British Raj and unchallenged even today. It is a fact that most of the politicians who are part of the government do not have experience, decision-making ability, knowledge of file work, technicalities, rules and regulations etc., so bureaucrats become their guiding stars. Because they depend. on them. . Experts believe that any government succeeds if it has committed, dedicated and honest IAS officers, but failure is imminent if it does not. It was all women in the civil services results as three toppers are women including Shruti Sharma, Ankita Agarwal, and Gamini Singla. Among the total candidates who passed the exam – 508 males and 177 females in 2021 compared to 216 in 2020. Shubham Kumar was the first topper in the exam, the second was Jagarti Awasthi, and the third was Ankita Jain.
Making a non-English speaker top: Because of the abundance of talent. Since the introduction of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in 2011, a large number of candidates, especially from small towns and villages, have cleared the preliminary and main examinations. Be among the lucky ones who are shortlisted after facing the tough UPSC interview. Experts say the success of candidates from non-English speaking universities and small towns has become a consistent feature in civil services exams, though it is not very encouraging due to several inherent weaknesses and disadvantages. According to an assessment, the number of candidates with non-English backgrounds declined from 48.4 per cent in 2008 to just 8.7 per cent in 2017 but UPSC officials refused to confirm the numbers.
UPSC needs reforms: Experts, educationists and academicians believe that UPSC should conduct an exercise on the candidates they select in which they study the regional, linguistic and educational profiles. They feel this is important because, on the one hand, the government is emphasizing domain expertise within the civil services while the latter is taking engineers or doctors from similar backgrounds. The Government of India can play an important role in advising the State Governments to introduce a new syllabus along the lines of the Union Civil Services, thereby laying the foundation for IAS candidates who will be confident as well as better equipped. So far the state commissions not changing the IAS pattern is hurting crores of candidates who have to give up years of preparation based on the old pattern as it is completely irrelevant for the next level of civil services exam.
Civil Services Eligibility: The introduction of the civil services aptitude test has changed the scenario, as engineering degree aspirants have some advantages. It was in 2011 that the Central Government introduced the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) and the result is very encouraging. Statistics show that now English-speaking candidates from all urban centres, not just Delhi, are performing better in the exam. Similarly, a decade ago, candidates from small universities and small non-English speaking towns started cracking all the ranks of the civil services and the trend is on the upswing. Due to this factor, this elite service has acquired an all-India character. The introduction of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in the UPSC preliminary examination has also led to an increase in the number of engineering candidates passing the IAS examination. CSAT was introduced in 2011 and many IAS aspirants say that the new pattern is beneficial for candidates with technical degrees. In response to the strong backlash, the commissions declared the CSAT eligible for central examination. Some aspirants believe that the introduction of the CSAT exam has played a favourable role for engineering students appearing for this exam. Every year, the difficulty level of CSAT papers has finally increased. It usually pays an opportunity cost for many non-engineering students while science students should do better here. CSAT includes questions on Mathematical Aptitude, Analytical Ability, and Reasoning. English Comprehension, etc. There are two papers in UPSC Prelims i.e. General Studies I paper and General Studies-II (CSAT) paper. While the score in GS Paper-I determines whether you qualify for the cut-off for preliminary exams, CSAT is qualifying in nature. A candidate needs to score 33% or more than 66 marks for the CSAT paper which creates a level playing field for all the candidates.
The success of any government depends on the handling of the serving members of this elite, a perception inherited from the British Raj and unchallenged even today. It is a fact that most of the politicians who are part of the government do not have experience, decision-making ability, knowledge of file work, technicalities, rules and regulations etc., so bureaucrats become their guiding stars.
Engineering background, a plus: The maximum intake is from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, etc., and the three-year data shows that 40 per cent of the selected candidates have an engineering background as they score advantage in the selection of subjects. Pick up. Despite UPSC’s diversification efforts. The country still accounts for 60 per cent of the new civil services as engineers. UPSC uses a secret formula to ‘normalize’ scores in optional subjects to bridge the gap between marks in humanities and technical subjects like mathematics that may or may not be to the satisfaction of candidates. Some of the former UPSC chairpersons argued that engineers, with their scientific backgrounds, generally find CSAT easier than humanities graduates. Another reason for the increase in the number of engineering graduates is the sheer number of engineers in the country. Lack of adequate employment opportunities leads to a natural tendency among the youth toward other professions including civil service. But they have different opinions about the success of different categories. He believes that no special stream is required to qualify for the civil service examination. But, engineers need good analytical skills and more knowledge to qualify for the exam.
Moreover, engineering graduates, more often than not, have previous experience in writing competitive exams. Many of them must have gone through tough exams like IIT-JEE, BITSAT etc. All this is a valuable experience, even if the content of the exams is different from the civil service. The former chairperson says that speaking English and having a government school background has not created a barrier for aspiring IAS officers from small towns and rural areas, which was a big stigma in the past. They feel that candidates belonging to the rich and elite classes have the advantage of joining coaching institutes but this gap has narrowed due to the ability and hard work of candidates from other groups of society. Experts have agreed that there is a dire need for special training in young IAS officers to inculcate dedication and commitment to serve in rural areas, thus the grievances of needy sections of society in the country. can be remedied. This will help the procedure go away.
(The author is a freelancer. Views are his own)