Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lure of bureaucracy: Engineers outnumber humanities list

In the present times of job uncertainties and layoffs, the lure of bureaucracy is clear. The trend of engineers and doctors joining Civil Services has gone up significantly in the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) results announced today. Those tracking the development said salary revision for government officials following the 6th Pay Commission recommendation has made Civil Services an enticing option once again for many, especially in the backdrop of the economic slowdown and job cuts. However, the biggest attraction is the prestige and status attached to the job of a bureaucrat, an IAS (Indian Administrative Services) officer pointed out, requesting anonymity.

Although the accurate number crunching of the Civil Services results would take time, estimates indicate that around 40 to 42 per cent of the candidates who have cleared the exam are engineers. Doctors make around 10 to 12 per cent of the total numbers. Humanities graduates or post-graduates, who used to be the main contenders for IAS and IFS several years ago, are just about 19 to 20 per cent of the 920 candidates.

In comparison, the Civil Services examination conducted in 2008-09, for which results were announced in 2009-10, only 25 per cent of those who cleared the exam were engineers and just a little over six per cent were doctors. The number of humanities grads and post-grads who cleared the exam in 2008-09 was quite high — at well over 40 per cent, according to the UPSC annual report published last year. According to Prof. Pulin Nayak of the Delhi School of Economics, Civil Services is definitely an attractive option. It’s a secure service for a long period, salary is good and perks (house, medical and conveyance) are attractive too, he said.

The number of vacancies for Civil Services, the top ranks going to IAS and IFS and the rest to IPS and central services, varies from year to year. Way back in 1999, the number was just 411, the following years clocked 427, 417, 310, 457, 453, 457, 533, 734 and 881 in 2008-09. Out of the 881, 791 were recommended for selection.

In the results announced today, there were five women in the top 25 list and 12 in the first 100. The topper is a woman — S. Divyadharshini, a student of Ambedkar Law University in Chennai who appeared for the Civil Services exams for the second time, said a statement issued by UPSC. Sweta Mohanty, a B.Tech. from Hyderabad, was ranked second and this was her third attempt. R.V. Varun Kumar was third and is a BDS from Ragas Dental College, Chennai. This was his third attempt.

Among the top 25, 15 are engineering grads, five were medical students and the remaining from the humanities, commerce and management.

Source: Business Standard, May 12, 2011
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