Barely a month after clearing the Indian civil service exams, the recruits are facing a new challenge.
The Prime Minister's Office has proposed in a note last week that the allocation of the new recruits to different services should be based not only their marks in the UPSC exam, but also on how they perform in a ‘foundation course’ or orientation exercise that lasts three months.
However, what the government does not clarify is who would mark the candidates in such a scenario. While many candidates think that their instructors at the training academy in Mussoorie will serve as judges, they are of the opinion that it will be an arbitrary assessment.
The process till now was purely on the marks they scored in the entrance exam.
Speaking to NDTV, a former member of the UPSC said that the proposal leaves scope for manipulation. He added, "At the moment it is very clear, all up to marks. But with the new system, if you have a candidate who you want to go to the IFS, you can pressure the academy or whoever is giving marks for the foundation course to give them 90 per cent. That could mean they get precedence over those who are actual toppers in UPSC.''
Government sources, on their part, stressed that the note from the PMO is just a proposal and not a directive.
They add that giving the training course some stake in a candidate's positioning would help solve the problem of some services being over-subscribed.
Recruits who are to start training are considering sending a petition to the government where they want to point out how the crucial services will be then decided by a non-constitutional body like course directors.
Congress on their part has picked up the topic to accuse the government of trying to get round merit with its own preferences for civil servants.
Taking to Twitter, Congress President Rahul Gandhi wrote, “Rise up students, your future is at risk! RSS wants what’s rightfully yours. The letter below reveals the PM’s plan to appoint officers of RSS’s choice into the Central Services, by manipulating the merit list using subjective criteria, instead of exam rankings.”
Rise up students, your future is at risk! RSS wants what’s rightfully yours. The letter below reveals the PM’s plan to appoint officers of RSS’s choice into the Central Services, by manipulating the merit list using subjective criteria, instead of exam rankings. #ByeByeUPSC pic.twitter.com/VSElwErKqe
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 22, 2018
h was quick to retort, “How is the RSS involved in all this? Rahul Gandhi sees RSS in everything. Right now, the proposal is to see if the foundation course can be scored or not.”