In conversation with Mr. Shri K. Siddhartha | IANS NEWS DESK

In conversation with Mr. Shri K. Siddhartha | IANS NEWS DESK

In conversation with Mr. Shri K Siddhartha, a polymath, Earth & Space Scientist, advisor to multiple governments, Author of 50 books | IANS NEWS DESK

Sanjeev Sanyal Recently Commented That Indian Youth Are Wasting Time Preparing For Upsc In Their Primary Years. What Do You Have To Say? Why Do Indian Youth Dream Of Passing The Upsc Exam When They Already Know Their Chances Of Success Are 0.2%?

In conversation with Mr. Sri K Siddhartha, a polymath, Earth & Space Scientist, advisor to multiple governments, Author of 50 books

1.Sanjeev Sanyal Recently Commented That Indian Youth Are Wasting Time Preparing For Upsc In Their Primary Years. What Do You Have To Say? Why Do

Indian Youth Dream Of Passing The Upsc Exam When They Already Know Their Chances Of Success Are 0.2%?

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Sanjeev Sanyal argued that the number of aspirants for the UPSC exam is too high, reflecting the complacency of many youth who want to be in government service. He argued that the examination becomes a gamble and thwarts their creativity, reflecting the mindset of complacent youth who want to be in the lap of government service.

The large number of students were awed by the colonial nature of the Civil Services, offering power, accountability, and lifetime security with just one examination. However, they may also be daredevils, wasting time by joining “National Past Time” or being far from the reality of UPSC coaching and preparations. A million students prepare for the UPSC exam annually, but only 1000 officers are selected annually. Attempting UPSC efforts shows a positive approach towards life, while failing after multiple attempts can turn them into a cluttered personality.

2. You Have Worked Closely On Bureaucratic Reforms. Do You See A Major Reform In Civil Services As To Selection And Functioning? Even Sanjeev Sanyal Also Hinted At The Same In A Recent Interview.

The recommendations made during the Baswan Committee were not implemented, leading to significant changes. The reforms needed are at three levels: the selection procedure and examination of civil services, focusing on the attitudinal component rather than the information component, and separating testing for selection for various institutions. The training level should be decolonized, considering Bharat’s past, historical mishaps, future, and the theme of vasudhaiva kutumbakam. The service level should be more service-oriented, empathy-based, solution-oriented, and people- oriented rather than feudal or colonial-oriented. This would make the service sector more accountable to the people and working norms.

3. Is the civil service worth its work in India? What do you have to say about the true nature of civil services in India?

India’s bureaucracy is considered one of the most inefficient in Asia, with only a small percentage of the population working for the government and living off the people. This has led to a lack of progress and growth in sectors such as aviation, shipping, film, software, education, and more. The country’s economy has grown despite the bureaucracy, but it has also faced challenges such as the suppression of new ideas and talent, which undermines the brand of the Indian Institute of Standards and Technology (IAS).

4. How Come India Has Had an Unreformed Bureaucracy Since Partition?

After China’s liberation in 1949, the country inherited a bureaucracy created by British rulers to serve their Queen and Parliament. The Indian Civil Services were designed and trained to extract maximum revenues from locals. India’s red-tapism began during colonial rule, with the British government selecting smart Indians for service. Despite 70 years of independence, native rulers have not much tempered the colonial legacy.

5. What are the problems with Indian bureaucracy?

The Indian bureaucracy faces numerous unresolved issues, including the presence of too many babus, which hinders the development of a competent, transparent, and accountable government. The bureaucracy’s inefficiency is attributed to the inability to hold civil services accountable for their actions, leading to a system of realistic and plausible alibis. Government officials also carry an aura of apathy and rudeness, often using rules to make life difficult for citizens. Honesty is divided among financial, social, and political matters, with some being financially honest but dishonest in other spheres.

6. There Is Lots Of Hype About Civil Services Toppers Right Now. To What Extent Is It Good For Them And For The Services?

The hype has evolved. During our times, it never used to, but post-2014, there has been a reasonable degree of hype centered around a candidate’s extraordinary abilities, if they have any. It’s good because a candidate enjoys all that attention; after all, it’s one of the rewards of their hard work. However, it’s not good for the services since the hype is not what the services are all about. The services are all about serving the people, not ruling them. Also, such hype damages the attitudinal fabric of the candidates, who are meant to be humble and down to earth in order to serve the people.

7. Ias Toppers: What Makes Them?

Out of 12 lakh aspirants, only 1,000 qualify and make it to the final rank. Toppers possess traits such as a unique personality, self-understanding, social capital, leadership, academic skills, and a learner’s attitude. They understand topics, gather relevant information, and convert knowledge into wisdom. Attitude is crucial, with clear, receptive minds, imagination, and a balance of perception and thinking. Toppers have solution-oriented thinking, making them positive, progressive, and innovative. These traits set them apart from others and contribute to their success in the selection process.

8. Does The Present System Of Selection The Civil Services Examination (Cse) Conducted By Upsc Justice To Fulfill The Objective? Does It Recruit The Best Talent?

The answer is yes or no. Yes, because it is one of the toughest examinations in the world, and indeed, some rare talents are selected. No, because other than examination-specialized talent, some rare talents are left behind because of prelims, particularly Hindi students who have very good grass-roots management skills. It is

also because talent and attitude are two different things; talent for administration is different, talent for academics is different, and talent for qualifying examinations is different. Moreover, if the students are selected, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of morality, ethics, attitude, service spirit, empathy, etc.

A 3-hour examination of ethics, integrity, and aptitude and an interview adequate to test the character of candidates. Values, sincerity, and patriotism are much greater virtues than talent in selection.

9. That Means It Must Be Considered That The Selection Process And The Selected Between Are Anomalous, And There Are Serious Issues In Selection That Need To Be Addressed.

So we have actually grown despite bureaucracy. There are reasons to believe that. There are two aspects to consider here: one, despite the prevalence of terrific talent, why do we lag behind in taking the best administrators in bureaucracy, and second, after selection, why even the best become unfit for the country, unresponsive to the needs and aspirations of the people, and rather obstructive. To a large extent, the selection process has to be blamed. There are grave anomalies between the traits required and the selection procedure prevalent. We take talent, but we forget whether that exceptional talent has character and values or not. We forget the basic dictum: “Values and morality can compensate for an intellectual and talent shortage, but talent and intelligence can never make up for a lack of values and morality.” Integrity and knowledge are both required for effective, transparent, and ethical governance. A civil servant shall have high values to maintain public interest in the conduct of his duties, and that is questionable.

10. As An Indian, Are You Concerned About How And Who Inspires Them To Join Ias Coaching?

Young youth (15–20 years old) are easy to inspire for evolution. Most children are inspired by 30- or 1-minute Instagram videos, or they decide on their life goal after watching reels on YouTube. It does concern me, since most of the time, the talent is thwarted by their distinctiveness and niche in preparation. Also, the students never come to know whether they were ever fit for this examination. It also concerns me because the same method for teaching physics students cannot be applied to a history student. There are issues with how mass motivational cheating through cheap reel marketing is done to attract students and change their perception. In this fish market, everyone becomes a mentor without having any trait of a mentor, and students too pick up their mentors without having any knowledge of the difference between a mentor and a teacher. The glitz and glamour of social media and the hype generated become too much for the hapless students.

11. Can The Students Identify The Reality Of The Institutes They Are Joining?
Can we expect our freshly born 12th-born students not to fall for their advertisement

sunshine through reels, glamorous claims, and advertising blitz?

12.Do You Suggest A Wider Reform.. Best Possible Suggestion For Selection, Examination Reform To Begin With As Part Of Bureaucratic Reform?

The text suggests several reforms at the Prelims, Mains, and Interview levels of the Civil Service examination. The preliminary test should be a selection test, while the main test should focus on language, flow, coherence, and analysis. The question paper should include multiple words, allowing for a more comprehensive test. Examiners should be trained to check the language, analysis, coherence, and arrangement of answers rather than just the facts. The interview stage should be a two-stage process, with a greater allocation of marks. The training stage should be revamped and restructured, with a common pool of candidates selected based on aptitude, interest, and performance. The best suggestion is to recruit potential civil servants at the grass-roots level, provide them with a degree in administration, and assign them services based on aptitude, interest, and performance.

13. Why Can’t India Have A Civil Service College That Awards Graduate Degrees To Students And Selects The Deserving Ones To Serve In The Government When They Finally Graduate?

Yes, that will be very good. It’s a very good idea. This way, the chosen candidates can be trained and guided in the manner that the country requires them to be. They will be less arrogant, more flexible, and more empathetic, and since they have gone through the lowest hierarchy to the one hierarchy where they are recruited now, they will understand the problems better. Also, they can be made to understand the country better, and they will be far better candidates to make them learn. They will also be far more flexible and responsive, with all the traits required in bureaucracy that can be easily imbibed in them.

Any argument against this has to take into account whether the 35 years of service the country are more important than the three years of difficulty in making them.

14. The Bureaucracy Still Runs The Government, And The Country’s Development Is Owed To Them. What Do You Think?

The Indian government is running well, but the extent to which it can be improved is uncertain. Civil servants receive respect, facilities, and benefits, but they also face heavy costs. The bureaucracy has devised methods to harm the national interest, with the ultimate blame falling on politicians and the government. The Indian economy has grown at a rate of over 7% despite the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy has damaged the psyche of the people, allowing them to perceive them as dispensing favours rather than serving them. This approach is not citizen-centric, and the reasons for this are primarily due to the bureaucracy’s attitude and work. Factors such as deficiencies in existing institutional structures and some citizens’ perceptions of superiority contribute to this. The bureaucracy suppresses new ideas and innovation, undermining the brand IAS and preventing the implementation of innovation promotion plans.

15. What Can Be The Basic Direction Of Bureaucratic Reform?

Bureaucratic reforms are essential to address issues such as accountability, governance restructuring, and public perception of Services. Reforming Service Conditions, Reorganising Government Governance, And Changing public perception can help. Renaming services and removing colonial stigma can also help. Article 311 should be diluted or abolished, and disciplinary processes should be lightened. Eligible people should be held accountable to the civil service, and they should undergo rigorous selection and training procedures. A greater induction of specialists in civil services and a lateral entry system can lead to more qualified professionals at top decision-making levels. Computerization of applications, requests, clearances, and permissions can also be an effective solution.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service (IANS)

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