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An estimated 4-minute read
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Reform of the Indian Civil Services

South Block

By Our Special Correspondent

In an exclusive revelation to our special lobby correspondent in South Block we have been informed of an upcoming reform in the Indian Civil Services. In a much touted effort to further Indian-ise the much rusted albeit still existent steel frame of the Indian Administration the government is mulling drastic changes that would cause a paradigm shift in the way people perceive the bureaucracy and the way it necessarily functioned.

For starters the Union Public Service Commission has decided to scrap the Civil Services Examination and take students through the Common Law Admission Test which is widely regarded as a model examination in the higher education arena as it is a sine qua non for Indian administrators to know the year in which Humayun was born or to be able to calculate 12% of 500. This exam shall also test the comprehension skills of the civil service aspirants as it is very important to decipher the near illegible incomprehensible notings of fellow bureaucrats or to make head or tail of our very erudite political class.

The law schools in India shall be tasked with conducting the examination and the training of future civil servants. The first module of the course involves participating in slug fests on a very popular legal portal called LegallyIndia.com wherein the law school-ites spend most of their day comparing the sizes and efficacy of their procreatory organs or sometimes which law school better. The three designated law schools are the ones in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

We interviewed the VC of the Hyderabad law school who told us that he had been long preparing his own students to face a war in case of an eventuality of India facing an attack on two fronts, something which apparently does not let him sleep soundly and thus crops up in every speech that he delivers.  He further stated that he fancies himself in the role of a Commander-in-Chief which involves urging everyone to don the camouflage green instead of the lawyer’s black robe.

After this revealing insight we travelled to Kolkata where the VC, a profound academic, told us of his academic pursuits and how they would train the civil servants on perfecting the art of ‘start ups’. Entrepreneurship, he claimed, “is a skill very important to our future bureaucrats after they are frustrated in their mid-careers due to the political dispensation and brilliant working conditions of our government offices.”

In Bengaluru we decided to interview a few students since we were already done talking to the Academics. A student said, “We are pretty excited to have future bureaucrats on campus except that we are posed with a major problem of what slot we allot them in our law school hierarchy”. Grapevine has it that the hierarchy goes like (in descending order) V year, Faculty members, IV Year, III Year, II Year, Non-teaching staff, I Year, canines, LLMs. They were thinking of allotting them a place in between the penultimate and last rungs.

Then we visited an old school bureaucrat who is a senior Secretary to the Government of India and asked of him his reactions to this sea change brought into the civil service entrance and training. Excerpts of the interview

Lex Fakes: Sir, what is the present status of the reforms...when do we expect a notification

Secretary: The wheels are in motion. You see, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Lex Fakes: Sir, do you think this is a good decision for the bureaucracy?

Secretary: I cannot comment on policy decisions. That is the prerogative of the Ministers. I am a humble civil servant of the Indian Government.

Lex Fakes: Sir, we have heard that the ICS-Colonial mentality has not been totally rooted out from the psyche....

Secretary: I cannot make sweeping generalisations but can assure you in the light of present facts, upon careful consideration, evaluation and examination of the said element with respect to the observations made by the Commission enquiring into the impugned matter which has off late been of the view that it is the mandate of the bureaucracy to aim to strive at achieving certain results after due deliberation, consultation and proper procedure wherein unnecessary expediting, notwithstanding the urgency of the matter, would lead to uncalled for confusion and would require effective measures to be undertaken after an enquiry into the subject matter in question.

Since we were pretty dazed after this very enlightening interview we thought of interacting with the VC of the Delhi law school who was apparently miffed that despite his political clout his law school was not amongst the chosen few. He claimed that his law school was the “Harvard of the East” and in fact informed us that Harvard was the Law School Delhi of the West.”

He promised us that he shall lodge a strong protest after he is made member of the Law Commission or Rajya Sabha which seemed as apparent as the formation of the State, a question deliberated by a committee of which he was a part.

We were then on a tour of a particular area in Delhi that is flooded with Civil Service Coaching Centres. It is more or less the civil service entrance coaching equivalent of G.B. Road.  We asked students about their views on the proposed changes and a boy from the the Hindi heartland cow-belt remarked “yeh laa iskool ka hai? Delhi university mein admission nahin mila ka?” (What is this ‘law school’? Did they not get admission into Delhi University?)

Lex Fakes.

Faking Legal News to the Dozen.

Photo by Deepak Gupta

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