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The Union Public Service Commission governs the intake of civil servants into the vast bureaucratic apparatus.

Just a quick search on the widely popular photo and video-sharing social networking service Instagram, reveals the fad for civil services. As of writing this article, "UPSC" was tagged in 3.7 mn posts. Meanwhile, the twin sisters of the civil services, the "IAS" and the "IPS" garnered around 2.4 mn and 2.2 mn posts respectively. Collectively these three terms constitute around 8.3 mn posts, more than twice the number of followers of India's gold-winning Neeraj Chopra's official Instagram account.

So what has fuelled this sudden craze for the civil services, popularly dubbed as the UPSC?

The Civil Services predominantly is a powerful position in the government. A civil services job is supplemented by a plethora of perks and allowances, with some continuing even after retirement. The combination of power with job security is what makes the UPSC popular among the youth of the country.

Every year countless stories of how a poor village kid who struggled through the casteist society and finally made it to the top echelons of power, floods the media as soon as the final results list of the UPSC is announced. Reading such stories makes one ignorant about the fact that about 1 million people apply for the exam and less than 1 per cent of them are selected while the others are left in the lurch.

The selected ones go through a well-documented training course at LBSNAA in Mussorie. Once the training is completed they are posted in the vast bureaucratic apparatus of the country. There some show the true spirit of a civil servant whilst others mindlessly indulge in boasting about their job. The country has a slew of examples of prominent high ranking civil servants embroiled in unimaginably massive scandals.

A blue beacon car of a high ranking civil servant. Wikimedia commons.

Moreover, with the advent of social media, the boastfulness of civil servants has grown manifold. Social media is a good tool to influence the masses, but the intentions should be good too. There are numerous civil servants who post their sleazy workout videos, lascivious selfies and egoistic opinions on social media, ultimately misguiding the youth of the nation. Some even adeptly resemble the popular social media trends to gain popularity.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country and its masses are reeling under a barrage of problems. The middle class like the third estate is badly hit by a mammoth economical crisis all whilst the elite are busy pouting on social media. The recent belligerent demeanour of the Karnal Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) highlights the gross abuse of power by civil servants. The example adds up to the existing numerous cases of similar abuse of power. Apart from a few hardworking, dedicated civil servants, who truly represent the true spirit of the civil services the others are a scourge for the common masses.

Keywords: Civil services, covid-19, UPSC


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Devon Hamper/wikipedia

Books that you can read in 2022.

Reading allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the world around you, stimulating your creativity and keeping your mind engaged.

A list of new releases published by Aleph:

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?: How to Flourish in Our Turbulent Times

Many causes, including technology, climate change, demographics, and inequality, will cause our planet to change more in this century than in all of human history. Extreme change is offering unparalleled opportunities for individuals, companies, and society, as well as a 'adaptive challenge.' Those who can adapt to a fast-paced, complex, dynamic, and unpredictably changing world will prosper. Those who are unable to do so will suffer immensely.

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There are obvious signals that we need new ways of thinking about the world and our place in it all over the place. Our old ways of thinking about education, lifestyle, success, and happiness are no longer valid. What are the changes in the workplace? When future jobs are still being invented, how can you know what talents will be useful? Will 'jobs' even exist in the future, or will we be relegated to a world of projects and freelance work? What do you do with all of this and more?

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life? is a book on figuring out what you want to do with your life. Ravi Venkatesan argues that effective adaptation in the twenty-first century necessitates a "paradigm shift," a new attitude, new talents, and new techniques. Ravi also considers how, rather than drifting along like a piece of driftwood, we will need to live life more consciously, making deliberate decisions about who we are, what we do, and how we live.

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Neeraj Chopra: From Panipat to The Podium

On the night of August 7, 2021, a billion Indians' long-held desire came true as Neeraj Chopra won gold in the javelin in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The wait, on the other hand, had been extremely long. In reality, this is India's first individual gold medal in athletics since the modern Olympic Games began. The entire country showered him with affection when he did it in his signature flair and smile. The media went crazy, and the youth discovered a new source of inspiration. People flocked to get their photos taken with him, and businesses discovered a new wonder-ambassador. Neeraj Chopra: I'm Neeraj Chopra, and I'm From Panipat to the Podium begins in a small village in Panipat and tells the story of his formative years, which were marked by restricted resources and opportunities. It takes readers through his journey to Panchkula and then to the national camp in his quest to conquer the world.

My Cricket Hero: XII Indians on their XII favourite Cricketers

Pieces from Keki Daruwalla on Polly Umrigar, Fredun De Vitre on Chandu Borde, Gulu Ezekiel on Eknath Solkar, Hemant Kenkre on Sunil Gavaskar, Amrit Mathur on Salim Durani, Kersi Meher-Homji on Vijay Hazare and many more make for a great lockdown read.

It's A Wonderful World: A Memoir

His book is a provocative read that makes us wish we had a life like his. Khalid Ansari's life has been an exciting and purposeful journey in service to his fellow human beings, beginning with his birth in Mumbai's impoverished Madanpura to a father who began his life as an orphan and a mother from a poor household. Ansari has attempted to depict some highlights of a splendored life that he has been lucky to experience, catching stars while chasing rainbows in this 'donkey's tale'. It's been la vie en rose for him, from founding newspapers and magazines to representing his country at the United Nations, accompanying dignitaries on state visits, covering cricket Test matches, nine Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games, travelling the world, and being awarded the Padma Shri award. The author has worked hard to keep this narrative from devolving into a 'I-did-this-did-that' pat-on-the-back, shabash!' By 'spicing' it up with dollops of frothy stories and self-critical bon mots, he has attempted a discourse on the meaning of life, the 'right path,' and the like, even as he has attempted a discourse on the purpose of life, the 'right route,' and the like.

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