Dr. Farooq Ahmad Peer
There is a general feeling that the intelligent and talented youth of Jammu and Kashmir have been moving out of the UT in search of better future opportunities but regrettably, are not competing for the Civil Service Examination at the national level. The representation of our youth in the elite service of IAS seems to be alarmingly declining which may have nightmarish results in future.
The next five years will witness exit of a big number of top officers in the administration which is likely to create a vacuum with no back up available. Therefore, we have a duty here to infuse interest among the youth of the UT to compete for this service and thereby, ensure their participation in the ‘administrative set up. Our youth have been witnessing and experiencing hard situation for so many years and they have not been able to prod themselves with the much needed information, source materials and exposure to such competitive examinations.
Also we don’t inculcate in them the spirit of competitiveness and create awareness that there are chances for them to make entry into many superior professions, provided they strive hard and show interest like their counterparts in other parts of the country. Our colleges and universities have not been able to guide and help the aspirants and have been providing only traditional education continuously and this has made our youth apathetic to think about other things in life. We should encourage them to excel and explore the possibilities of their entry in the passageways of authority which is very important for the survival.
A mere focus on politics alone won’t serve our society, but
an entry into the civil services will boost the morale of the upcoming generation. We can proceed on by appreciating the ones who have qualified it. Focus on a few areas will not serve any purpose and this has to be expanded to a wider area.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at the centre and the Public Service Commission at State level are the authorities / agencies which conduct examinations to recruit candidates for various Government Services such as Civil Services, medical Services, and Engineering Services etc. The Civil Services however have always an added attraction and glamour. Consequently, the selection process is much more competitive and challenging.
The civil service is an imperative service in a democratic country like India. For effective administration, it is vital that our political leaders are given non- partisan and impartial advice. Effective co-ordination is required between the various institutions of governance for the development and upliftment of the country. Policy making needs to be effective and regulated and able leaders are required at every level of administration. In addition to this, civil services executives/ servants must offer free, candid and unbiased advice to the government irrespective of who is in power to realize; their responsibility to the public who elect the government.
Keeping in mind the role played by the Civil Service executive / servant, it is fair and reasonable that recruitment to these services is done in a conservative and honest manner. As of today, there are more than twenty services in the government that recruit their workforce based on the civil services examination conducted by the UPSC and PSC.
We all know that it is not easy to crack the civil services examination. Is it for the highly intelligent? Or for those who possess outstanding academic records?
For which graduates it is easy? Does one need extensive study? Does one need good coaching? In reality, passing civil services examination has no short cuts and no magic tricks.
The aspirants have to plan their study and work accordingly. In the previous few years’ results we find that toppers did all come from various backgrounds and some of them had not even distinctions in their degrees. All toppers had access and way in to the same books that lakhs and thousands of other students had. The only thing they differently did was that they practised writing, appeared in mock tests, were confident, kept patience and had good luck.
There are several challenges before civil services aspirants— fright of examination, panic of unemployment, worry of failure, lack of information, requirement of proper guidance and right resources to prepare for the examination.
Anyone with a valid graduate degree is eligible to appear for the civil services examination. The upper age limit for people from certain categories ( SC, ST, OBC, Disabled etc.) is relaxed and they are allowed for more attempts than the general category candidates.
Facing the interview is the final impediment/ stumbling in the civil services examination. While facing the interview, one has to be confident, loaded with information. It is important to be polite and humble with the panel of interviewers. Before answering a question, one has to be sure about the right answer and at the same time short and brief. In case of not knowing the answer, one should be open and honest in admitting it. It is possible that interviewers may not agree with ones opinion and the best defence is not to be too defensive.
In short, to become a civil service servant is a matter of great honour and grace. In order to be successful, one needs to be methodical, logical, disciplined and systematic and regular about the study plan. It is extremely important to avoid mythology and focus on Practice and hard work which is vital for the success of civil services examination.
Throughout the course of my career, I have come across students who have harboured rich desires in their minds. Some wanted to be doctors, some wanted to be engineers and some wanted to study at a foreign university. I found the development of this mentality owing to the ambience around, but have always failed to perceive as to why this hasn’t been extended to civil services as well.
And probably the fact is that the Civil Service needs a Big, Big and Big Effort.
Dr. Farooq Ahmad Peer