IAS: New exam plan won’t help rural students

While endorsing the views of V. Eshwar Anand in his article “Grooming for IAS: Reforms must go beyond recruitment” (Sept 11), I also feel that the new proposal for an all-India entrance examination for civil services, after Class XII, will affect the prospects of rural students. Most rural schools and colleges do not have proper infrastructure and a competitive environment. Consequently, how can we expect them to compete with those in urban areas?

Elitism and aloofness will continue to haunt the bureaucracy if higher education is given the go-by in the recruitment of civil servants. Empirical studies have proved that most administrators are not sensitised to understand the sufferings of the teeming millions.

I doubt whether the best and the brightest selected from the schools would work for a free and egalitarian society. Because, the evil lies somewhere else. Owing to excessive political interference in the posting, transfer and promotion of IAS officers, the civil servants have lost their spirit of commitment and dedication.

We should not blindly ape France and Singapore models because the political systems there are more encouraging for specialists than in India.

Dr RAJKUMAR SIWACH, Lecturer (Public Admn), Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa (Haryana)

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A graduate is eligible to compete for civil services today. This system is okay because a graduate is supposed to be matured and knowledgeable. This also fills the gap between ruralites and urbanites. What is required is not an altogether new system but changes in the present system to meet the new challenges in the age of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation.

In the proposed system, candidates will be uncertain of their future as those who cannot make it after three or five years of training in the academy will be released with graduation or MBA degrees. In the new system, doctors, engineers etc., cannot become IAS officers as the entry level is at Class XII and not graduation.

The present system is time tested to meet the changing needs of society. But can’t we have a filter to release those prone to corruption? This will help weed out the corrupt and cleanse the system. The need is to have a new work culture. The prevailing system does not seem to encourage upright and honest persons.



The Centre’s proposal to catch our future administrators young is laudable. I think this is the most receptive age for training in any field. Doctors and engineers nowadays are more inclined towards the IAS. This is wastage of their scientific knowledge. To help them and make best use of their expertise, the Centre should instead strengthen the Central Engineering Services and Central Health Services.



Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has proposed a progressive administrative reform. Catching IAS officers young soon after the Class XII exam and imparting them specialised knowledge and training in a national academy for five years will produce intelligent and trained administrators. The proposal will also help prevent the wastage of medical and engineering talent in civil services.

HARISH AERY, Advocate, Hoshiarpur


I feel the one who is caught young will never be able to perform independently. Don’t catch them young. Instead let them be free. Let them be provided everything that is needed so that they could decide which way they could serve their country, with maturity, knowledge and wisdom.



A nation is known by its bureaucracy. That’s why, the civil services act as a link between the government and the citizens. Dr Manmohan Singh’s proposal is bold and can’t be faulted because we already have all-India entrance examinations for admission to engineering, medical and defence services. I would like to add that the country requires administrators who are more familiar with international trends — social, economic and intellectual.


Checking the birth rate

Apropos of your editorial “Curbing population” (Sept 15), it hardly needs any justification that the success of development planning depends upon the validity and reliability of data on socio-economic indicators including population (may not be based on religion and caste). Sustainable human development in India calls for minimum time log between the collection and publication of census data, consistency in the concepts and definitions of important data.

We, certainly, need to strengthen our data base in general and population in particular. There is no logic in making census data on religion a political issue which will lead us no where. To control population in India, there is a need to identify factors for social marketing of the family planning programme which will certainly make a difference in its social marketing strategy.

There is also a case for treating all human development activities including family planning programme as basic infrastructure for economic development. It is justified to treat every expenditure on such activities as investment.

Prof M.M. GOEL, Dept. of Economics, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra


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