Wake up call to civil service aspirants

It’s the most perplexing time for the recently passed out college graduates. While it is gratifying to have a degree most youngsters are not content with being ‘just a graduate’. Some want to go for higher studies, some plan to take up a vocation and scour the job market, while some others are as yet undecided about what they want to do in life.

Even as the students chalk out their career paths, an interesting feature that has caught Metrolife’s interest is the new-found interest amongst youngsters for a ‘secure government job with decent work timings’.

While in the not too distant past government jobs had lost favour with the youngsters, looking for savvied placements with multi-nationals, the trend seems to be slowly and surely reversing.

Suddenly, there seems to be a wave of civil service aspirants in the country, with a whopping number of students from Arts courses enrolling with coaching
institutes that train all the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) aspirants.

Speaking of Delhi particularly, the city is flooded with famous coaching institutes for civil services. From Khan Study Group in Mukherjee Nagar to Vajiram, Rao in Karol Bagh and Rau’s IAS Academy at Barakhamba Road, thousands of graduate and post-graduate students opt for these coaching institutes in the hope of clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams and interviews.

So, what propels these students to choose civil services as a career option? Is it the job security or the fact that it’s a well paid government job with retirement benefits?
Metrolife spoke to Shubham Jha, a Political Science graduate from Lady Sri Ram College (LSR), Delhi University (DU), who shares her experiences as a civil service aspirant.

“Mostly, students from the humanities background opt for IAS because the structure of our courses covers a vast amount of syllabus for UPSC. We are already well versed with the General Studies part of the exam and Maths and Science are the only subjects that are to be prepared,” she says.

However, it’s astonishing to see how every single person belonging to the Arts stream like Sociology, History or Political Science, will have civil services as a career option. Jha clarifies, “As a recent graduate from DU, I have concluded that there exists this aura in the university that makes the students hungry for higher authority, to bring about a change. It is primarily because of this reason that clearing a UPSC will always be a part of the plan or a back-up plan for any Arts’ graduate.”

Unlike other aspirants who usually opt for coaching after their graduation, Jha enrolled for coaching classes while in the third year of her graduation, at Rau’s IAS Academy.  
“The coaching institutes are a like a place of madness!” she laughs. “When I started with the classes, there were as many 100 enthusiastic students, all of who were instilled with the spirit of clearing the exams. However, after five months, the class is left with just 40 per cent of the students,” Jha tells Metrolife.

Apart from the obvious reason of job security, most students aim at clearing IAS because it is assures a well paid job which comes tagged with respect, a smart designation, the convenient government facilities and good salary, according to Jha.

“But people tend to forget the hard work and dedication that is involved in reaching that pedestal. Most of the students only want to feel and be the ‘power’ of being in the administration. But only those who are ready to accept the responsibility that is complementary to that power, end up clearing the exams,” she adds.

While aspirants repeatedly take these coaching classes for four-five years, Rityusha Tiwari, a lecturer of Foreign Policies in DU, feels that gaining mere academic knowledge is not sufficient.

“There is a huge divide between the section of people who are actually going to take over the country’s administration and the section of people who are just academicians that are knowledgeable but won’t clear the exams, because they are critics,” she tells Metrolife.

To be a part of IAS, one needs to be positive about the three governing pillars of the country. “Through my experience, I can say that the academic class is never entertained in these exams. One needs to follow the way in which the questions are to be answered. Those who are critical about the governing policies and administration are mostly left with writing research papers all their lives,” adds Tiwari.

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