Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister in the PMO, assured his party’s youth wing students from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Saturday that the Modi government wiull do away with rural and urban divide in recruiting future civil servants.
The Civil Services exam for the IAS and Allied Services is held by the Union Public services Commission (UPSC) every year and the government intervention last year made the commission do away with compulsory 22-mark questions to test English.
Dr Jitendra Singh said told the delegation that the Modi government is committed to provide “Maximum Governance with Minimum Government”. "We need to attract into Civil Services such youth who not only have calibre but also have an inborn aptitude for administration," said the minister.
Defending the last minute intervention in 2014, the minister said the decision has been taken to revise the pattern and syllabus of the Civil Services Exam (CSE) in such a manner as to provide a level playing field to all the aspirants, regardless of their background, rural or urban upbringing, or stream/subjects studied by them.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) decided to scrap the 22-mark English portion in CSAT-Paper II of the Preliminary Exam so that no aspirant would experience the disadvantage of not having studied in an English medium school or college.
The minister has stressed the need to devise a selection pattern which enables inclusion into Civil Services of such candidates who can live up to the requirements of governance in the 21st century India. But in a country like India, governance is difficult without a unifying language, that the minister and every new government is ignoring in the run for popular rural support.
While Hindi is not a unifying language, despite six decades fo independence, India is linguistically divided, let alone cultural diversity. While cross-state cadre among the IAS was envisioned by Indira Gandhi government for national unity, removing English altogether from the Civil services leads to bigger disaster than the British rule.
India’s future in the absence of an English-speaking collector would make him inalienable to non-Hindi speaking southern belt or the North-east, effectively dividing the population and their district collectors or revenue-generators of the districts as the minister put it to the delegation.
“We have come a long way since the time when a Collector was meant to collect revenue”, said Dr Jitendra Singh and added, “today we need Collectors who can generate revenue for a host of poverty eradication schemes introduced by PM Narendra Modi”. Is it possible without a lingua franca that is common to the ruler and the ruled?
So imagine a scenario where the collector will be appealing to the southern district of Coimbatore for contributions and particiaptes in fund-raising for Modi schemes like “Jan Dhan Yojana” not in Tamil or English but in Hindi. Reminiscent of the popular hatred against the British Raj that spoke in English and insulted the locals, we will see our new bureaucrats speaking in their native tongue to alienate the people they are supposed to provide governance.
Secondly, this measure will be self-defeating and gives ammunition to the local political leadership which is increasingly becoming corrupt and casteist in nature.
Governance has its own merits and demerits but over intervention by the successive governments in the recruitment process will dilute the UPSC’s independence and existence as an institution.
Forget governance, first protect unity of the nation and tackle the social factors before imposing modern governance on people, or else, the country may face the prospect of disintegration.