A case for Civil Services

WHILE THERE is a charm for professional courses such as Engineering, Medical, Biotechnology and MBA, students still think twice before taking up a career with the Civil Services. The number of students entering the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) from the south has dwindled, says T.N. Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Mr. Seshan, who served the Government in various capacities, says that civil service has been the backbone of the Indian government machinery. A highly competitive and challenging area, it involves a variety of jobs in different departments. Compared with private sector jobs this profession has job security. The prestige and power that comes along with these top-notch jobs is a definite reason for anybody to join this profession. The salary, allowances and facilities like healthcare, housing and conveyance also make it a lucrative profession, he added.

Unfortunately, many of the current generation students fail to understand the importance of Civil Services and go behind the `so-called' lucrative professions such as engineering and other courses. But the students, who aspire to enter into Civil Services, are not guided properly, feels Mr. Seshan.

He is of the view that getting into Civil Services is tough but if a student gets proper training, he can make his career. Every year, four lakh students write the examinations for the 700 vacancies that arise.

Mr. Seshan has now ventured into setting up an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) training centre in the City. `Pragnya Academy for Career Excellence' known as `PACE' came into existence in the second half of 2003 to bring out the hidden potential of the aspirants and fine tune them to the requirements. The objective behind the promotion of the academy was to arrest the fast decline that is taking place in the proportion of south Indians entering into civil services.

Mr. Seshan said that there was a time when more than half of the recruits to the Central Civil Services were from South India but now the number had come down. A few of the reasons were: higher financial packages offered by private sector companies particularly in IT area, notion of a high standard of English expected on the part of candidates aspiring for IAS and fear of political interference and corruption in administration.

PACE, he said, would address the above issues and would convince the IAS aspirants that Civil Services still offered a reasonably good salary apart from perks and it was not only for outstanding candidates with excellent command over English. Mr. Seshan opined that there would be political interference of job, but this would not affect one's growth.

PACE offered highly personalised coaching, designed after proper identification of the individual strength and weakness of the aspiring students. The coaching classes for the 2005 batch would start from July 1st 2004. The coaching classes would be held between 6.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. on all weekdays except on Fridays. On Sundays, the classes would be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The classes would take place at Boston School on T.T.K. Road in Chennai. Contact 24345868.

By Shanthi Kannan

Photo: S. Thanthoni