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 Professionals in Civil Services

The issue of Professional graduates particularly the Engineers and Doctors going for the Civil Services has always attracted attention and even a bit of censure across India. Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has observed it tantamount to wastage of professional skills acquired at great cost and "throwing the funds spent on the candidates' professional education down the drain". I am rather surprised to see virtually the same arguments being repeated ad verbatim now in Kashmir after the latest IAS results in which four people from valley- Dr Shah Faesal, Dr Umair, Dr Rayees and Dr Showkat qualified for the service. Incidentally all of them happen to be professionals. Last year also three people from the state- Er Imtiyaz, Dr Raghav Langer, Dr Shahid Iqbal who joined Indian Civil services were from professional background. Four or five people from State who joined Indian Forest Services in recent past are again from professional background. I don’t have the exact statistics about the number of professionals joining the State Civil Services (KAS), but they certainly outnumber the people with regular academic background. There were many voices against the so-called internal brain drain and several comments were presented — some of them severe on our alleged misdemeanor (of deserting the profession)!
I suppose all these people are marred by a myopic view.The first argument is that after having obtained professional degrees they are getting into the IAS/KAS due to which these seats are lost to those who would have pursued engineering or medical or other professional careers. Second, the money spent by the Government on providing a subsidized professional education is wasted. In every batch of Engineers or Doctors produced in state a decent percentage go abroad, many go in for higher studies within the state or other parts of the country, few lucky ones get the PSC confirmation and the rest are rendered jobless. We have seen engineers joining banks and doctors seeking Rehber-e-Taleem. So, many of those not in the civil services are not in jobs related to their fields: would this also be called wastage?
When a doctor or engineer goes abroad we used to call it brain drain. Now we call it brain gain and are proud of our new hero: the NRK with dollars in his pocket. Compared to the NRK, a professional joining the civil services is able to make a more direct and lasting contribution to the nation and to nation-building. Today, the NRK professional is an asset; the resident professional who stayed back to work for the good of his nation is a drain on its resources. Some logic!
Third, the notion that civil services are meant for liberal arts or history graduates or B. Sc graduate students has long been rubbished. Today's civil servant has a very complex, even technical job on hand. Engineers in the IAS have been making sterling contributions within the Government — especially in technology related areas.
As regards quality, a quick look of admission to various courses is revealing. The number of people opting for science subjects is highest at the +2 level, perhaps because of our society's obsession with engineering and medicine. After the 12th standard exams best among science students flock to the courses like Medicine and Engineering. Now by saying that professional in the civil services are a drain we are virtually saying that the best students should not enter our public services! Of course it can be argued that exams do not reveal true the potential; that many brilliant students without facilities/tuition are unable to compete. But, these are entirely separate issues that need to be dealt with on a different footing. As long as exams and marks are used to decide merit we have to acknowledge them as a measuring scale. So, how professionals can possibly reduce the quality of intake beats me.
The last argument is that professionals usually opt for Engineering/Science/Maths for their optional papers, which are scoring, and so have an unfair advantage.  But the fact is professionals cracking civil services exam usually opt for at least one arts paper: Sociology, Psychology, Urdu and Public Administration, Economics etc. Quality, sheer quality, is rarely defeated by artful — or for that matter — artless machinations!
In the specific context of whether our doctors or engineers should join the service, the assertion of wealth of talent and skill, carefully nurtured being ‘wasted’ in the civil services, and that these services can be manned by ‘lesser mortals’ or the ‘generalists seems odd to me. How surprising that a service that is highly valued in terms of the potential contribution it can make to the management and governance, should be considered inappropriate for the skilled and the talented. I would think it is here that their services would be required the most for the greater common good. The expansion in the duties of the government makes it imperative that the civil services are manned by people with caliber. After all, the standard of administration depends on the people appointed to these very responsible posts. It might even be said (without being flippant) that it is the duty of talented young persons to serve the nation.
From the angle of the society also, professionals in civil services can bring about cross-fertilisation of talents to the enrichment of the vibrancy and resilience of public service as a whole. It has certainly a lot to do with some of the qualities associated with the trained mind of the professionals-precision, mastery of detail, sense of perfection, logical analysis, focus on the essentials and result-orientation. They can understand technical aspects of schemes better, conducive to more effective implementation. In civil services they have the opportunity directly to influence the Government on a wide variety of problems and issues, and emerge as broadband personalities sooner. And we must realise that there ought to be space for every discipline within the civil services even if the need to have professionals of all hues entering it has never been greater than it is now.
The apparent intellectual disdain of the civil services is perhaps caused by some of our own insecurities, especially in institutions of higher learning. Incidentally all those who happen to take the view against professional joining civil services are from routine academics. Doesn’t it indirectly put a question mark on their own credibility?
By the way how many Dr Shah Faesals’, Dr Umairs’ Dr Showkat’s or Er Imtiyaz’s we have send to these services in the past? A few professionals opting for these services should not sound alarming. Let’s hope more and more people from our valley get into these services so that these pseudo-critiques really have a point to make.


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Overview of comments


(dr fayyaz ganaie, 2010-07-04 14:52)

im in full agreement with you regardin age factor but choose to diagree with you on civil services/KAS point.dear mam,it said that civil services are the key wheels on which machinery of a state runs.they are the persons who frame policies and programmes to run the country.there policies create environment which is investment friendly,which promote business/private sector.there policies touch lives of millions of poor and drowntrodden,otherwise if left at the mercy of market forces these poor citizen will face hell.i feel a civil servent is more than a glorified clerk.and one can understand this thing only when we join civils.money factor is a moral issue.people like doctors,engineers i think earn more then a civil servent.regard

Old papers of AD-Stat

(Parveen S, 2010-06-02 23:50)

Dear Friends,

Kindly upload the old paers of AD-Statitcs.

Share experience

(Sebu, 2010-05-02 17:16)

Always a treat to read ur articles.Looking more for ur experiences as a Kas officer


(pareesa, 2010-02-28 21:20)

sir .... can we use calculator fr stats ??? if yes which one scientific or the normal one
thanking u

good work

(student, 2009-11-17 20:52)

Thanks a lot sir for ur valuable suggestions both on ur site as well as in the classes.
It is really commendable that despite ur hectic schedule u have been putting in earnest efforts for helping us crack the exams.
keep up the good work.

Great job

(Muzamil, 2009-08-19 17:38)

KASHMIR Study Circle is doing a great job indeed. I stand a beneficiary of your coaching classes. Thanks for your guidance and personal attention.


(hilal ahmad pir, 2009-08-19 15:30)

Nodoubt your institute offers quality coaching and guidence besides your efforts for boosting the aspirants for the exam is nodoubt worthless and overwhelming but there seems no relaxation for the aspirants hailing from farflung areas of the valley. there is hidden talent in those aspirants and need your kind attention. they have to bear boarding and lodging as well which adds to their miseries and ultimately can't afford resulting an end to their way to success. hope for your kind attention.
hilal kupwara. 9906772761