|A section of IAS probationers|
FIVE years ago, as many as 43 IAS officers selected were engineers out of a total of 148. And only 45 of 2011 batch IAS were simple graduates. Contrast this with 2015 batch IAS. As high as 159 of 180 IAS selected as IAS were simple graduates whereas the number of selected candidates with engineering background has drastically come down to mere 15, according to…an analysis done by a business daily, Business Standard on Sunday, taking the data from the government’s personnel department—DoPT. And in 2015, only four were post-graduates against 44 post-graduates in 2011. In the last five years, the highest number of engineering students (55 out of 169 IAS) became IAS officers in 2012 batch. The number of engineering students-turned-IAS was 31 both in 2013 and 2014. So far as women IAS officers are concerned, the percentage has improved in the last three years. In 2011, as less as 15.5% of IAS was women — which improved to 19.5% in the following year. In the last three years, almost one out of three IAS officers selected were women (about 30%).
The study is however restricted only to IAS, and the other officers opting for Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service etc., (recruited from the same UPSC examination), are not factored in.
Another interesting statistics in the same newspaper’s graphic is that the number of MBBS and CAs becoming IAS has drastically come down in the year -- 2015. As against 19 in 2012 (18 each in 2013 and 2014), only two from this category (MBBS, CA) were qualified as IAS in 2015, among 180 IAS selected.
Does this mean, the UPSC question papers or the marking system in general have again gone in favour of simple science or arts graduates? In 1970s and 1980s, many arts and science degree holders got into IAS, but then, there was a sudden surge of engineers including many from the IITs in IAS, IFS, IPS etc. For the UPSC, which conducts the civil services examinations annually, it has been a difficult balancing act to weigh high-scoring engineering subjects or physics and maths with relatively low-scoring history or political science, under the same measure. UPSC conducts this examination in three stages — prelims as qualifying only and then mains and personality test. The mains examination carries the maximum weight, and the prelims marks are not being counted in the final ranking.
If the statistics of the IAS officers in the last five years are taken into account, the maximum number of them comes from the state of Uttar Pradesh (118 successful candidates in five years), followed by Rajasthan (97) and Tamil Nadu (90).
Only 17 IAS officers in the last five years belong to Madhya Pradesh, a not so good sign for the state of that size with proximity to the capita city of Delhi and with no language barriers. A student can appear for the UPSC examination in Hindi too. Also, only 7 from West Bengal could make into IAS in the last five years.