LBS National Academy of Administration,
I was writing a series of articles two years ago when a number of IAS and Group A officers, decided to jump into the uncertainties of private sector, and became CEOs overnight. Various prominent companies in India, mainly those in infrastructure space, including Larsen & Toubro (L&T), IL&FS, IDFC, GMR, Ramky Infrastructure to name a few, recruited senior government officials at key management positions, preferring them over those with rich private sector experience. Even consultancy firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) attracted talents from IAS cadres. The trend is reversed altogether after the global economic slowdown hit the capabilities of the private sector, though temporarily, to participate in big public private partnership (PPP) projects. What has also made Babus stick to their current positions, is the massive 6th Pay Commission bonanza for government employees, making their pay packages respectable though not yet comparable with that of CEOs. Now, let’s come to the news point. There have been media reports saying that Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) examination this year has seen a rise of 42% - up from last year’s figure of 2.8 lakh to a little over 4 lakh. Incredible! But the bigger question here is babudom has still remained a pure middle class dream. Most of the children of IAS and allied services officers prefer to take GRE, or CAT rather than taking up UPSC examination. The Harvard Business School or IIM-Ahmedabad are still the preferred destinations than making an attempt to get trained at IAS academy at Mussoorie!