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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

Subject Selection for KAS

(Abheek Dutta, 2011-05-04 15:14)

Hi Sir,

I had completed my engineering in CSE and have been working for a software company for the past 4 years. Please assist in subject selection considring KAs exam. Many thanks !!

Professional in Civil Services ( TO BUKHARI SIR)

(Sohan Sharma, 2010-11-05 11:43)

I am B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering and now doing M.S(Research)in CSE from IIT Delhi. I am going to appear in the KAS 2009 interview. I appreciate your logical justification for professionals in the civil services and it will help us answer questions on the same subject matter. Thanks

sir we want aspirant Blog back

(uzma ismail, 2010-10-28 00:44)

Bukahari sir

Kindly allow us to use aspirants Blog ..one final chance



(AMIR, 2010-10-23 21:37)


Please enable the Aspirants Blog,there asre some non serious candidates who are writing unnecessary and unwanted things but that doesnt mean genuine candidates should suffer.Sir you are first one who started this Forum in Jk.Please reopen it again..even in blogs of famous personalities some time some undesirable messages are there ,but they dont close the Blog.Please reopen it again.


(Blog, 2010-10-26 11:50)

Dear Amir,

Due to some unscruployes elements posting some undesirable matter on the blog post, it has been disabled by the Admin.

You can talk to the Admin in this regard.

Re: Dear Dr Fayaz

(dr fayyaz ganaie, 2010-07-29 14:17)

that is so nice of you sir.thanks a lot.i will be meeting you shortly inshallah.

Dear Dr Fayaz

(Bukhari, 2010-07-06 19:11)

Glad to learn that u hav d same optionls as i had.
As far as missing the marks in GS-I is concerned, more than 98% people would have missed about that number of marks in that paper. So no need to carry anxiety about it.
Interview is rather ur personality test. You cant change ur personality over night. yes keep a vigil on Current affairs.Go through newspaper editorials esp those of The Hindu and
Concentrate on IAS 2011 Prel. Best o luck..

Re: Dear Dr Fayaz

(dr fayyaz ganaie, 2010-07-11 07:12)

thanks a lot sir.
sir some guys advised me to change the second optional i.e zoology for IAS.what is your advice sir.im pretty comfortable with anthro and have no plan to change it.but regarding zoology im a bit confused.although i was comfortable with zoology in KAS mains and secured 249 marks in KAS prelim but i think IAS is a different thing in someways.what is your take sir.please advice.

Re: Re: Dear Dr Fayaz

(Bukhari, 2010-07-17 06:32)

Please give me an exact idea about your academics, like what are your current engagements, where from u hv done ur B.VSc., what is your age? Whether the score 249 was inclusive of GS? so that i would be in a better position to suggest..


Re: Re: Re: Dear Dr Fayaz

(dr fayyaz ganaie, 2010-07-17 10:22)

asalam o alaikum sir..hi,
i graduated from SKUAST jammu in 2009 itself.i enrolled for a masters in veterinary physiology but withdrew later from the semmester so as to prepare wholly for the civil services examination.i attended coaching classes of KU for GS only.we had a very good faculty there from delhi.for prelims i had hardly prepared but managed to score 100 marks in GS nad 249 IN Zoology.for mains i opted for zoology and anthro.i preapared on ma own the optionals and attended coaching classes for gs.sir, this january i stepped in to 28 year of my age.meanwhile,im now practicg as a consultant with pro-vet consulting.as for anthro is concerned im pretty comfortable and did well in mains KAS and feel very secure with anthro in IAS,Judging from the previous years question papers.

Dear Dr Fayaz

(Bukhari, 2010-07-21 19:06)

U being a product of SKUAST should actually be more confident about zoology!!! More so when u hav got 249/300 in KAS prel. last time...U must be prepared well and i say exceptionally well.
I would rather suggest to think of dropping Anthro because its is not so scoring subject in UPSC. Only 9 candidates qualified the IAS last year with Anthro, that too with low ranks...
Because it is inherently low scoring subject. As regards zoology, In UPSC it comparatively a very good subject. Besides u being from Professional background and a SKUAST product, I would presume u have gone through the courses in Statistics
. If zoology is not scoring subject in general , the statistices porton will definitely make for that loss o 30-40 Marks. I have personal experience in IFoS exam. I scored pretty well in UPSC and so did my other fiends...So I would sugggest to think on the lines of skipping Anthro and not zoology if u are about IAS. And the other subject is debatble. You can see me personally so that we can talk at length. Dont take a decision merely because someone says so and so...

Take care,


Re: Dear Dr Fayaz

(dr fayyaz ganaie, 2010-07-23 11:20)

thanks a lot sir for your precious suggestion.i will definitelly make it a point to see you at the earliest.i will for sure pay serious attention to your suggestion.sir,where im supposed to meet you?ksc?jus lemme know..

To Bukhari

(Javiad Peerzada, 2010-07-15 18:41)

Can you please share your Marks in KAS ,so that new comers will get an idea ,hwo much score is needed,though it depends on the merit which varies from time to time..an example like MBBS 180/225 in any year is always safe and selected..Request you to share and example like that.
Peerzada Trali

Re: To Bukhari

(Bukhari, 2010-07-17 06:35)

Dear Javid,

I cant exactly recall my marks, but it was in 330's in all the subjects i.e. GS, Zoology and Anthropology. besides i had some 89 marks in Essay.
I woluld try to collect the cutoff marks of previous year and shara with u all.

Re: Re: To Bukhari

(SS B, 2010-07-17 15:32)

THANKS for the information.


Re: Re: To Bukhari

(Majid wani, 2010-07-18 13:33)

Shanawaz sir

What was your rank in KAS List . can you please share what was cutoff for final selection in year 2005 for open Merit


Re: To Bukhari

(Syed Imtyaz, 2010-07-24 23:30)

Thanks for sharing your marks. Can you please share your category also?

to shahnawaz sir..

(dr fayyaz ganaie, 2010-07-04 15:01)

hi sir,
im BVSC &AH,and have wrote the recent KAS mains exams.zollogy n anthropology are my optionals.i have done quite well but missed about 70 marks in GS1 and a few about 2o marks in zoology.meanwhile,im planning to appear in IAS.but since mains esults are yet to come,im in kinda of dilemma.please suggest me what i goota do next.prepare interview or IAS.regards


(sana, 2010-07-02 16:07)

PLEASE GUIDE THE ASPIRANTS THat they should qualify it before 30 at least otherwise it is wastage of time,JK Govt last time observed people are joining in late 30 to civil services that is why one SRO was notified that age limit will 18 to 30 but now due to unemployment in jk raised it is up to 35.Sir India is not marching ahead because of Buraeuracy but on a strong private sector which happened after liberlisation of 1991.You must remember when Home minister of india visited JK last year and asked questions to bareucrats even they were not aware about their departments leave Globalisation aside ...KAS is nothing but a dignified Clerk sir yes on money front it is wonderful job...


(Bukhari, 2010-07-03 14:24)

Your suggestion is very good and is widely acknowledged that people should join 'cs in their twenties. It is high time we reduce the age limit for CS.

India is not marching.... Na. I dont agree entirely. It is the guided regulation which is required in a country like India. Developed countries have progresed because of the impetus provided by its strong buraeucracy. We can not effort complete privatisation. Just recall the recent Financial crisis and Dubai...
Just dont go by Media reports. Having first hand interaction with the State buraeucracy I think they are as good as many across the country. Its just bcoz of the political culture around which makes them not to deliver at times.
Yes someone among us has to be dignified clerk. After all we are "Civil/Public Servants' in real sense. But then shall we call the corporate people glorified labourers. No.
Again yes, money is the criteria for many, But yet it is also a place for the dedicated workaholic, the reformer, the man of ideas, the man who wants to replace red-tape with flexibility and initiative. It is not fair to assume that individual motivations to opt for the civil services are always malevolent. There are several examples of civil servants who valiantly crossed seemingly insurmountable hurdles and contributed to social development or sought to clean up the system.

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