All-India and Central Services: India

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The number of persons receiving pensions and family pensions from the Government of India (presumably in 2014-15), according to age and the departments, ministries that they had served; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India
Number of IAS and other Group A service officers at the level of Secretary and Additional Secretary to the Government of India, 1972 to 2015; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, November 16, 2015

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Civil services: Not Bihar, it’s UP all the way

The Times of India

Not Bihar, it’s UP all the way in civil services

On Average, Over 16% Of Selected Students Are From Uttar Pradesh

Rema Nagarajan | TIG

Clipping, too

New Delhi: Popular perception is that Biharis dominate the civil services. However, it is Bihar’s neighbour, Uttar Pradesh that dominates the civil services year after year. On an average, over 16% of the selected candidates for the civil services each year are from UP. In the latest 2006 civil services examination results, UP maintains its 16% share.

In comparison, Bihar’s contribution is an average 2%, though this year it has gone up to 5%. Delhi’s contribution to the civil services is an average 26%, but this would include not only those from Delhi but also from Bihar, Orissa, the North East, West Bengal and even UP. Even if we were to concede half of Delhi’s contribution to Bihar, it would still not match UP.

Over 11 universities of UP have candidates appearing for the examination with at least a few making it each year. But the university that records the greatest success in UP is the University of Allahabad that is the fifth largest contributing university to the civil services. Allahabad university tops in terms of the number of students appearing for the civil services exam. The other big contributors to the civil services from UP are IIT Kanpur, University of Lucknow and Benaras Hindu University, in that order.

Quite predictably, the highest number of successful candidates in civil services exam are from DU followed by JNU. University of Rajasthan is third, followed by Punjab University. The top eight contributing universities are all from north, followed by University of Pune and University of Bangalore in ninth and tenth respectively. On the basis of the number of candidates appearing for the civil services mains, the top 15 universities are all from the north again, except Osmania University in Andhra Pradesh that figures in the 11th place.

Among IITs, Delhi takes the lead, followed by Kanpur, Roorkee, Kharagpur and Mumbai in that order. In IIT Chennai, interest in civil services appears to have dried up completely, except for a slight resurgence in 2004. Liberalisation and better job prospects in the corporate sector could have something to do with it. While northern universities might dominate top spots, when it comes to states, following Delhi and UP, the states that send the maximum number of candidates are Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, followed by Andhra Pradesh.

These states have a larger number of universities from where students appear for the exam, and even if the number of candidates appearing may not be as large a number as in Delhi or UP, the success rate seems better. The states with the least contribution seem to be Goa and Assam, if we are to discount the North Eastern states, as many students from there appear for the examination as Delhi candidates.

While Tamils may have retained their sway over the civil services, the Bengali babus, the original brown sahibs, seem to have lost out. Bengal’s contribution to the civil services is just a little over 2%, with the bulk from University of Calcutta and IIT Kharagpur. Even Jadhavpur University has little or no contribution. Interestingly, Delhi and UP’s share in the all India civil services is declining as states like Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana gradually improve their share. Also see stats TOI Wed page 15

Differently abled officers in the civil services

The Times of India, Dec 03 2015

Rema Nagarajan   Differently abled who crack civil services often fight legal wars for service they deserve

Access denied: How babus find ways to disable an able cause

Ira Singhal, a woman with dis abilities, topping the civil serv ices this year, symbolised the travails and triumph of the decade-long fight of the disabled to gain acceptance in the prestigious civil services. Despite being selected, she had earlier been denied a posting citing her disability and she was fighting a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal when she topped the exam and got IAS.

The 245 disabled candidates allocated various civil services in the last decade is testimony to the success of the disability sector's battle despite the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) finding new ways to harass disabled candidates who crack the civil services examinations.

The declaration of results each year is invariably followed by court cases filed by selected disabled candidates fighting to get into services of their choice and ones they deserve based on their rank.

Of the 245 allotted a service between 2005 and 2014, 121 have locomotor disability, 79 have hearing problems and 45 have visual disability . The largest number (45) has been allocated to the Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), while IAS has inducted 43.

The Revenue Service (I-T), Group `A', has absorbed 41 such candidates. Six with hearing impairment, two with locomotor disability and one with visual impairment have been inducted into the Foreign Service.

In this decade, 8,652 candidates were allotted to various civil services. The 245 with disabilities constituted 2.83% of the total, just short of the 3% reservation mandated by the 1995 Disability Act.

Roughly 2,000 made it to the civil services between 2000 and 2004. Had the disability quota been implemented, about 60 of them would've been disabled candidates. Barely 10 such actually got in during this period.

In 2000, Manoj Sadasivan, a hearing impaired, was given no service despite being ranked 222 out of 411, as there was no reservation for the disabled. His candidature was rejected on medical fitness grounds despite the president and even Kerala HC intervening favourably .

Ravi Kumar Arora, selected in 2001, was rejected for “low vi sion“. He wasn't even being al lowed to appear again for the exam under the disability quota. After a court battle, he took the exam again, got selected in 2005 and was allocated IAS.

Similarly, Avikal Manu was selected in 2004 but told that his polio-affected right arm made him ineligible. He cleared the exam again in 2006 and with court help and the PM's intervention was allocated IRS.

In 2002, Rigzian Samphel and Lokesh Kumar, both physically challenged, had secured the120th and 132nd ranks among the 286 selected that year. They were relegated to the Indian Information Service though they were eligible for IAS. Only after they went to court and the PM stepped in they were allocated IAS. It's the struggle of several such determined candidates that's opened the doors for the disabled in the civil services.

While the overall picture now seems encouraging, it hides anomalies that persist such as allocating the disabled a service lower than what they're entitled to. Many accept it quietly.

The data hides the fact that many “successful“ candidates were allocated a service only after fighting long battles. Thousands of candidates with disabilities continue to take UPSC exams every year, though even today several are sent home after being selected.

Management Students Conspicuous By Their Absence

Rema Nagarajan | TIG

The Times of India

New Delhi: Bureaucracy? Perhaps, technocracy would be more apt, considering that more than a quarter of those who are selected in the all-India civil services examinations are engineers. The fact that an engineering student has topped the 2006 civil services list only reinforces the point.

A look at the educational qualification of candidates selected between 1998 and 2004 show that over 26% of them had an engineering degree. The number of engineers getting selected for the civil services, however, shows a slight dip over the years, while doctors are steadily increasing their share though medical science came into the fray only in the late 1980s.

Civil, mechanical and electrical engineering and medical science are optional subjects for the civil services main examinations, but engineering graduates and medical graduates are also known to choose other subjects like any of the pure science subjects or even humanities. ‘‘The peak was in the early 1990s,’’ recalls an IAS officer, himself an engineering graduate.

‘‘Out of about 80 IAS officers selected in 1991, nearly 50 were engineers. That was how strong the presence of engineers was. But with the introduction of the essay papers in 1983, on the recommendation of the Satish Chandra committee, the number of engineers coming into the civil services fell,’’ he adds.

One category that is conspicuous by its absence is management students. Government services seem to hold no charm for MBA graduates though a lot of bureaucratic work is all about managerial ability. Economic liberalisation since the mid-90s, which has created a huge demand for management graduates in the corporate sector, could explain such disinterest in government service. Except for one student who appeared and was selected from IIM Ahmedabad in 2003, there seem to be no MBA aspirants for the civil services. Lawyers too seem relatively less interested in the civil services.

Interestingly, over the years, graduates seem to do better than post-graduates and others with higher degrees. Graduates comprise nearly 60% of those selected, which of course includes engineering graduates. The success rate of those with a doctorate is not too encouraging. Candidates with a PG degree seem to fare better than those with PhDs.

History is invariably the subject chosen by the largest number of candidates as their optional subject in the main exam, followed by public administration, geography, Hindi literature, anthropology. However, those who have geography as their optional seem to have the highest success rate. Over 12% of selected candidates each year on average had geography as their optional, followed by 11% with public administration, and 9% who chose psychology. These are followed by history, sociology, mathematics and anthropology in that order.

However, if we were to confine the analysis to the subjects opted for by 100 or more candidates and look at the success ratios — the ratio of the number who appeared to the number selected — psychology is always among the top three subjects. The other two subjects in the top three might vary each year from Economics or Agriculture to even Mathematics or Tamil literature.

2002-2012: Profile of selected candidates

The Times of India, September 23, 2015

Rajiv Kumar

Expectations high from PM but he must fix bureaucratic talent crunch to deliver

Publicly available data from the Union Public Services Commission gives unfortunately , reveals a rather worrying trend. The competition for getting into the 24 covenanted civil services is as severe as it has ever been. Barely 0.36% of those applying in 2012 were selected as compared to 0.5% in 1997 (phew). Of those who finally made it, only 15.1% were between 21-24 years of age in 2012 compared to 17.4% in 2002. During the late 60s and 70s several joined the civil service straight after their undergraduate degrees. This would be unheard of today when as many as 35.8% of those selected in 2012 were older than 28 years. The rise in the share of `senior entrants' is partially because of an increase in the number of professionals, doctors, engineers and management graduates, whose share has more than doubled between 2002 and 2012. It still remains rather small at 15%, but the trend is clear. Moreover, the share of `reserved category candidates' including other backward castes, who have a higher age eligibility , has also risen from 48% in 2002 to 54% in 2012.Quite creditably , SC and ST candidates' share has gone up from 19% to 24% between 1998 and 2012. These senior entrants have limited career options and so could be easily under motivated. The conclusion is inescapable that top students, who would join at an early age, are not as keen as earlier to join the civil services. The writer is Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research and Founder Director of Pahle India Foundation

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