The significance of Civil Services in the context of any civilized society cannot be over emphasized though its nature, behavioral orientation, professional competence and equation of relationship with the political leadership and society at large always constitute a very relevant subject – matter for debate and discussion. The imperatives of reorienting our services ‘in sync ‘with changing profile of the powerful entities of time and space is a rule of universal relevance.
The reason being the constantly changing ecological setting of Civil Services in terms of evolving value system, growing will and aspirations of society, unending undulating waves of convergent and divergent forces of formation and deformation etc. to mention a few which demand appropriate acclimatization of services to avoid friction and irrelevance.
There is no denying the fact that reforms in the Civil services was long overdue in India and therefore the initiative taken by the UPSC was, at the first instance, well accepted by all of us including the students who are in the mode of agitation these days. But the outcome of the initiatives taken by the UPSC, particularly the one related to the introduction of CSAT merits serious reconsideration by the honorable members of the esteemed commission and the Government beyond the narrow confines of an examination and the syllabus.
Any sort of typical bureaucratic ‘ad- hocism’ and politically motivated decisions may have very serious implications for our society as it is governed by the civil servants in almost all the conceivable spheres of life in a modern state right from before the birth of an individual to his death or even beyond that.
The deteriorating standards of services in the wake of technical and technological obsolescence, politically ordained reservation, hydra -headed monster of corruption born out of unholy nexus between the public servants and corporate entities and the consequent increase in the’ trust deficit’ between the administration and society have already eaten into the institutional credibility, competence and integrity of Civil services. Therefore, while pursuing reforms in Civil services whether it is related to the syllabus of the examination, the selection process or others the Government should approach the issue in a very coherent and holistic manner.
Given the ‘cut and thrust’ of this highly competitive examination, even a little unintended bias emanating from one or other fallacies runs the risk of jeopardizing the future of tens of thousands of hard working students who are being made to pay through their nose for what is largely attributable to our undemocratic ally designed educational system.
The mind boggling heterogeneity and formalism surrounding our educational system initiates the process of abolishing ‘level playing field’ on the very day a child, depending on the socio economic standing of his parents, is admitted in a Hindi or English medium school (subject to few exceptions scripted by the intervention of God).
We need to remember that the difference between the English medium education and others is not merely a case of language but a divergent behavioral orientation of students in terms of values, scientific temperament and personal intellectual disposition. The present scheme of examination therefore not merely puts the Hindi medium candidates at the disadvantage but also runs the risk of returning unsuitable candidates to run the administration who may be seriously deficient in their understanding of ‘value laden’ and multidimensional environmental setting of Indian administration colored and conditioned by the our peculiar value system which has evolved from time immemorial.
There is no denying the fact that we are undergoing the stage of transition which is always characterized by the friction of conflicting interests and the UPSC is not an exception. Therefore, it will take some time before a far more credible, dynamic and judiciously designed ‘pattern of examination’ is developed keeping uppermost in mind the larger interest of the society in long term. But the present pattern of examination is found to be a little deficient at the very threshold level itself.
I hope the politico- administrative leadership of the country would reflect on the issue with highest level of objectivity, dynamism and due sensitivity given the gravity of the subject matter which ‘inter alia’ holds unfathomable significance and instrumental worth in pursuance of the objectives of a welfare state.
It is to be noted that we are not merely discussing the pattern of examination; we are confronting an issue, the policy decisions on which would determine the color, content and quality of our Civil Servants in the coming future who at the very first instance are looked up to by the people seeking justice in one or other denominations.
……………………………………………………………… we have to decide because we cannot settle for anything short of highly competent and humane civil servants with head erect, chest forward and thoughts steeled.