Civil Services Examination

The results of the board exams are out. Thousands have scored more than 95% and a few have scored 499/500. Some of them have expressed the desire to become an IAS, IFS, IPS officer. Wonderful and welcome. They inspire others also who have scored between 50-95%. Preparations start simultaneously with choice of graduate programmes.

Close to a million would take their Civil Service Exams annually. A reality check would help them set their goals in an informed manner. As only some of them will enter the Civil Services, the others will need to keep some kind of a second option ready. A second option does not mean an option for second grade.

Around 9,00,000 applications are received for the Civil Services Examination for recruitment in all 900 persons. That means so much of wastage of talent and human resources.

It raises a question if those failing to get through are unemployable. They are not and, they ought not be.

Then why is so much congestion in one stream?

What is more important: a job or the IAS, IPS and other civil service?

Is the attraction for the Civil Services logical or justified?

When I wrote my IAS Etc. Exam in 1970, there were few better opportunities. Today, there are any number of opportunities and they are much better options for a brilliant person, better paying and superior work culture.

The bureaucrats know it much better than the candidates competing for the civil services. The shortcoming is that of our education system, which does not provide professional counselling at class X or XII, exposing the youth to those opportunities. We as a nation waste so much human capital. Fond of using catchy phrases like “Waste To Energy”, we never try to convert human resource waste to energy. If we do professional counselling at secondary and senior secondary level, we will not waste even one person.


India is a populous country but short of trained professionals.

We waste too much time and money on news, entertainment and politics. Have we ever discussed with the youth the concept, investment, personnel requirement, capital, technology, management and such other aspects behind these businesses?

We have never heard our teachers, guides or mentors calling news, entertainment and politics “business”. But the fact remains it is all highly profitable business. We waste time debating the pros and cons of banning Tik Tok whereas the business goes on increasing the reach of Tik Tok! All the 8,99,100 candidates who fail to get selected can get into one of these businesses and many more they might not have even heard of.

How many years are devoted for preparation for the Civil Services Examination? No less than three years of intense preparation. After 3 years or more devoted to the preparation of an exam, the results of which are never certain, the candidates get only frustration in reward. Had they devoted the same time or less for acquiring some professional qualification, they would have started earning well. Now they are unemployed.

There are more than 8,99,100 jobs available in many areas including the news industry, entertainment industry and politics industry and it is no rocket science to acquire necessary qualifications in half the time devoted to preparation for the civil Services to land a quality job in any of these areas.

If the schools educate their pupils properly, the stress on students about competitive exams will be reduced to a great extent.

Since comparison of different professions is meaningless, it is enough to say that every profession offers best of opportunities for growth and advancement. Just to illustrate the point, a lawyer with 10 to 15 years of practice may become a Judge of the High Court whereas a civil servant with that much of length of service may reach the Joint Secretary level maximum.

Newspapers carry full page advertisements and pamphlets offering coaching for Civil Services Exams. Students from Tier II and III towns fall for them easily. They have ambition, dreams and mind for preparation, but no coaching centre tell them about these simple facts, which are so essential to take a decision.

The exorbitant fee puts a huge financial burden on lakhs of these civil services aspirants.

It is our moral duty to place the facts before them. Here is one illustration: I have come across an article about the Current Affairs part for the civil services exams. It has always been challenging to be up to date on current affairs. The candidate is expected to know every subject under the sun thoroughly. Unless a key to the answers is provided to the examiners, not even half of them would be able to do correct making. I don’t find any logic in harassing candidates to such an extent, especially when education standards in the country are as varied as the income levels of the people. This gives an advantage to city folks with high proficiency in English language and access to good reading material in print or electronic format. More than 90% of it is lost by the time a new recruit settles down in his first job. The information for transaction of government business is so much more than the knowledge of the current affairs for the CS Exam.


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