It was December 1, 2011. The occasion was the 3rd annual lecture of the UPSC lecture series on governance to be presented by former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Chairman Agarwal in his remark said how UPSC was reviewing its methods and processes of recruiting civil servants in “a changed paradigm”. He said good governance largely depends on correct manning of the public services by the people with “right attitude and ethics”. After talking about the revised scheme of the civil services (preliminary) examination, he further added that UPSC constituted a high power panel to suggest possible changes in the pattern of civil services (main) examination. Then he said: “I would like to make it very clear that the endeavour of the Commission is to ensure that all the candidates are judged on the basis of in-depth knowledge and understanding rather than information gathered at the last moment.”
In fact, the creator of the CSAT looked into the complaints that more and more candidates could crack the examination not because of their in-depth knowledge and intelligence but thanks to their last-minute gathering of information.
In the same function, Dr Kalam congratulated UPSC for having “a clean record of selecting the candidate for the required task insulated from societal turbulence”. In fact, in the last six decades, UPSC selected nearly quarter of a million candidates, after examining over forty-six million applicants which, as Dr Kalam mentioned, is equivalent to the entire population of South Africa or England. “UPSC has in spite of various factors affecting societal dynamics, has conducted examinations, interviews, personality tests and recommending suitable candidate for various services, particularly civil services dealing with district administration, law and order, agriculture services, communication services, medical services, railway services and engineering services under this intense competition,” Dr Kalam said.
Finally, Dr Kalam gives a list of attributes to become a good leader:
a. Leader must have a vision.
b. Leader must have passion to realize the vision.
c. Leader must be able to travel into an unexplored path.
d. Leader must know how to manage a success and failure.
e. Leader must have courage to take decisions.
f. Leader should have nobility in management.
g. Leader should be transparent in every action.
h. Leader becomes the master of the problem, defeats the problem and succeeds.
i. Leader must work with integrity and succeed with integrity.