For power, money and service

For power, money and service

For power, money and service

With scams involving bureaucrats surfacing daily and a growing resentment among civil servants against autocratic politicians, if anyone thought that the craze of being an IAS officer had waned, they couldn’t be more mistaken.

The results of the Union Public Service Commission Examination 2011-12 are out and the topper is a lady doctor from AIIMS. The third rank holder is an alumnus of IIT Delhi. The result is identical to last year’s when 15 out of the top 25 were engineers, five were doctors and the rest from various backgrounds, and mirrors a trend noticed since early this decade.

The question is, what prompts professionally established doctors, engineers, IIM and law graduates to go for civil services after already having spent four to five years studying for their respective degrees? Is it a change in ambition or pragmatic thinking which encourages thought about a financially secure ‘government job?’ Metrolife speaks to a few ‘aspirants’ to understand the reasoning.

Dr. Pankaj Das, who did his MBBS from Assam Medical College and is now working at a hospital in Delhi, is another. He reasons in the following order: His father’s dream to see him as an IAS officer, an opportunity for social service and job security. What about the five years of medical studies? “If I don’t clear UPSC, I can always continue my practice.”

C. Parthsarthy, who completed his Bachelor of Business Administration from a top university in USA and was working with Deloitte Consultants, provides more convincing reasons. “While working at Deloitte, I realized that I can’t spend all my life driving someone else’s profit. There has to be a higher purpose to education and life. Initially, I was planning to work with the World Bank or UN but it dawned on me that my country has so much scope for good administrative work. So I quit my job and am now preparing for IAS full-time.”

And what if he does not clear the exam after having chucked his high-paying corporate job? “To achieve something big, you have to make certain sacrifices. IAS is a life-long commitment. You have to have the willingness to accept the consequences of your decision. No pain, no gain.” That does explain the big switch.

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