Inclusive system

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Inclusive system

Thursday, 25 May 2023 | Pioneer

Inclusive system

The top four positions in Civil Services Examination, 2022, have been by women

The final result of Civil Services Examination, 2022, came as a pleasant bit of news, as the top four ranks went to women aspirants. We don’t call it a pleasant surprise, because there is not much surprise in the result; women have been doing well in entering the workforce in various fields and at different levels. This is not the first time that women have done well in the civil services competition, which is one of the toughest in the country. This time, Ishita Kishore has topped the list, with Garima Lohia at the second position, Uma Harathi at the third, and Smriti Mishra fourth. In the previous year too, the top three positions were occupied by women. These results underline the fact that, despite a number of negatives plaguing the country, there is considerable vibrancy and vitality in society, which propels the rise of people, both men and women, by sheer intelligence, diligence and determination. Kishore, for instance, failed to clear the preliminary examination twice; in the third attempt, she topped the list. Then there is a head constable of Delhi Police who succeeded in joining the coveted civil services at the 667th rank. The stories of many successful candidates are inspirational and aspirational. They tell us that it is increasingly becoming possible for individuals from all sections of society to break the barriers of caste, class, community, region and gender. Of the successful civil services candidates, more than one-third, 34.2 per cent, are women—the highest ever percentage.

Apart from underlining the reality of women emancipation, the result also shows that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), a Constitutional body, has been doing its jobs professionally. In a country where most institutions have been undermined by politicians, bureaucrats, and others, the UPSC retains its reputation for objectivity and propriety. In the 1990s, a few cases of paper leak did surface, but on the whole the organization has not been smeared with any serious charges of corruption or misdemeanour. Credit for this should also go to the system, comprising policy and decision makers, which somehow never itched to mould the UPSC as per expedience. Not that the thought didn’t cross anyone’s mind; during the heyday of Indira Gandhi there was a lot of talk about ‘committed bureaucracy’ (as also of ‘committed judiciary’), but thankfully it did not translate into action. This act of omission on the part of the executive has paid rich dividends to the nation. For decades, the youngsters who became bureaucrats were apolitical, though many of them got infected with the ailments that afflict the system. Also, as we mentioned earlier, aspirants from all sections of society became part of the system, making it more inclusive. In terms of gender inclusion, the process has been quite brisk, as evident from the large number of women joining civil services in the last few years.

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