Concerned about the higher number of engineers being selected as civil servants, a parliamentary panel has recommended a comprehensive re-evaluation of the recruitment procedure for the UPSC civil services exam.
The panel highlighted that over 70 percent of candidates selected through the civil services exam in recent years hailed from technical or medical backgrounds. The panel stated that due to this trend, the country is losing exceptional doctors and engineers.
The Department-Related Standing Committee on Personal, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice, in its 131st report titled “Review of Functioning of Recruitment Organisation of Government of India,” emphasized that a considerable number of technocrats were shifting away from their specialized domains due to the allure of becoming civil servants.
The committee noted that this trend could potentially have negative impacts on other crucial sectors.
The data pertaining to the educational backgrounds of candidates selected through the civil services exams conducted from 2011 to 2020 revealed significant shifts. The percentage of candidates with an engineering background surged from 46 percent in 2011 to 65 percent in 2020. However, the proportion of candidates with a medical background selected for civil services dwindled from 14 percent in 2011 to a mere 4 percent currently.
The percentage of candidates with humanities backgrounds fluctuated between 23 percent and 28 percent, with the exception of 2012 when 40 percent of successful aspirants hailed from this category. In 2020, 23 percent of candidates with humanities backgrounds were selected for civil services, compared to 27 percent in 2011.
The committee further urged a reduction in the duration of the recruitment test conducted by UPSC, citing the financial implications and erosion of human capital caused by the protracted process. It suggested that the entire recruitment process should ideally be completed within a six-month timeframe and proposed the adoption of computer-based examinations.
Highlighting the role of civil servants as intermediaries between the government and the general public, the committee underscored the vital need for a human touch and empathetic approach in their grassroots operations. The recommendation entailed providing civil servants with training that fosters compassionate and understanding perspectives towards various issues.
Additionally, the panel suggested enhanced training for civil servants to effectively handle challenging law and order situations and recommended bolstering their understanding of legal matters, given their quasi-judicial responsibilities.