National

Economist Sanyal Calls UPSC Exam Attempts 'Waste Of Energy', Ex-Bureaucrats Say That's 'Absurd'

Sanjeev Sanyal said that five to eight years of preparation for the civil services exam by lakhs of students is a "waste of youthful energy", adding that one should only attempt UPSC or other such examinations if one wants to become an administrator.

Economist Sanyal Calls UPSC Exam Attempts 'Waste Of Energy', Ex-Bureaucrats Say That's 'Absurd'
info_icon

A comment made by Sanjeev Sanyal, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), on preparation for the civil services exam did not go down well with former bureaucrats, who described the remarks as "absurd".

Sanjeev Sanyal said that five to eight years of preparation for the civil services exam by lakhs of students is a "waste of youthful energy", adding that one should only attempt UPSC or other such examinations if one wants to become an administrator.

"As mentioned, it [is] perfectly fine to attempt the UPSC or other such exams, but only if the person wants to be an administrator. The problem is that lakhs of people are spending 5-8 years repeatedly doing this exam as a 'way of life'. This is such a waste of youthful energy," he said in a series of posts on social media platform X.

'Absurd': Former Bureaucrats On Sanyal's Comments

Reacting to his Sanyal's comments, former IAS officer G Sundaram termed the same as "absurd". "It is absurd. India is a vast country. We are interested in a united India and that is why Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, [the first home minister of Independent India] created these services such as the Indian Administrative Service [IAS] and the Indian Police Service [IPS], among others. It is all working well."

There may be certain deficiencies which can of course be rectified, said Sundaram, a 1962-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, who superannuated as the Tourism Secretary

"His [Sanyal's] comments were completely avoidable," he said.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the civil services examination every year in three stages -- preliminary, main and personality test (interview) -- to select officers for different central services.

'Not A Waste Of Energy'

K Sarkar, former secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training, also said that Sanyal's remark was avoidable. "It is not a waste of youthful energy or resources. I don't agree with his assertion," said the 1979-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre.

Sarkar said a lot of people aspire to be part of the government services. "These are the best services in India to contribute towards nation-building and development. His comments were avoidable."

Another former bureaucrat, Kiran Puri, said preparing for the civil services examination "is not a waste of youthful energy".

"Those who are academically strong and knowledgeable, they only join the civil services. Civil servants are needed to run this country," Kiran Puri, a 1983-batch Central Secretariat Service officer, said in a post on social media.

"If talented people do not devote their energy and attention towards becoming a part of the civil services then how will the nation's development be ensured," she said.

"We need the best of minds to be part of the civil services to contribute to the growth of the country and to ensure further ease of governance," said Puri, who served as the Joint Secretary in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances under the Union Personnel Ministry.

Former CEC Partially Agrees With Sanyal

Former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi, however, partially agreed with Sanyal's comments. "He is partially right. Young people are putting in seven to eight years preparing for the civil services examination. Some people leave lucrative jobs and hefty salaries to be a part of these services," he said.

Quraishi, a former IAS officer, suggested limiting the number of attempts being provided to appear in the civil services examination.

"There are too many attempts being provided for the civil services examination. It can be limited to a maximum of three attempts as it was earlier. There may be some extra attempts for people belonging to scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and other backward classes," he said.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement