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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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