Sunday, June 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Professionals must join the IAS

THIS refers to the debate on UPSC reforms under the heading “Should doctors, engineers be banned from joining the IAS?” by Mr Ram Varma and Dr V. Eshwar Anand (May 25). It is a matter of extreme regret that the Standing Committee of Parliament on Home Affairs has expressed shock over the high number of IIT and MBBS graduates getting selected to the IAS and has proposed to debar them from joining the civil services.

As an engineer, I feel, such a proposal is against the fundamental right of the engineers and the doctors to opt for any career they want. Over the years, civil services have hogged most of the glamour and power while the technical services have degenerated into non-entities. Under the circumstances, it comes natural to any professional to try for an entry into civil services.

The committee has given a strange argument that the government spends lakhs of rupees on the education of every engineer or doctor and this expenditure goes “down the drain” when they opt for the IAS.

If the committee is so concerned about the expenditure incurred by the government, why doesn’t it ensure a proper job for every engineer and doctor that the country produces? Today, thousands of them are unemployed or underemployed. Every year, the country is producing more than two lakh professionals, a major percentage of whom sits idle. Strange that the committee shows more concern for a few 50 or 60 that get inducted into the IAS than this army of useful talent that sits idle because of unemployment!

Jagvir Goyal, Chandigarh



I would not go so far as to put a ban on doctors and engineers joining the IAS. But it is obvious that government money spent on producing a doctor or an engineer, who elects to join the IAS, goes waste, and the community is deprived of an essential service.

I would suggest that the emoluments of doctors and engineers should be suitably raised to prevent them from changing over to a non-technical service.

V. P. Malhotra, IAS (retd) Chandigarh


The Union Government should not bar doctors and engineers from joining the IAS. Instead, they should be encouraged to join the civil services because they can be better administrators and able advisers as they are brilliant and intelligent. More important, their scientific knowledge will be an additional asset.

A fresh medical graduate (MBBS, BDS etc) of the 23-25 age group should try for IAS if he/she desires. But a medical post-graduate or super-specialist of the 26-28 age group should feel satisfied in his/her specialisation in the public interest. Government (public) money is wasted in every possible manner. Huge funds are spent on elections and then on maintaining our MPs and legislators. Member of Parliament). It is common knowledge what kind of service they are rendering to the people.

As young professionals, our professional want to serve the country but are soon lost in their struggle for survival. Brain dran has not helped either the professional or the nation. Job opportunities abroad are shrinking day by day. If there are career opportunities and job satisfaction, good doctors may not opt for the civil services.

The IAS examination is one of the few exams that is fairly conducted by the UPSC. Nobody should be allowed to erode its credibility for one’s selfish gains. I am afraid, many politicians would like to have persons with low IQ as IAS officers so that they would act at their bidding and follow the dictates of the political masters.

Dr U.S. Bansal, Chandigarh


I fully agree with Mr Ram Verma that doctors and engineers should be allowed to join the highly privileged civil services. There are many angles to this situation. Barring brilliant persons to join the elite services of the country will not only be discriminatory but also a loss to the nation because it will be deprived of intelligent people to manage various affairs. It is a fact that the best brains in the country join the engineering and medical colleges after competing at +2 level; the competition is so stiff that only the top most boys and girls are able to succeed. This cream of the society is the most capable lot in that age group and if they wish, they should be allowed to compete.

The country requires brilliant managers and bureaucrats to run its affairs and it is only the topmost intelligent people who can do the same. If it is felt that by allowing the professionals to join the IAS, the administration is wasting their talent, it would be a wrong notion for the simple reason that they can be very good bureaucrats.

The jobs of secretaries and others in the technical departments should be manned by the bureaucrats with technical qualifications and not by those having degrees in English Literature, History and Political Science. The individual examples quoted by Mr Ram Verma requires attention and this move should be nipped in the bud.

V.K. Gupta, Palampur

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