When the result of Civil Services – 2012 was declared it brought a huge smile on the face of the whole CA community reason being a Chartered Accountant coming up with flying colours in that examination. The 3rd rank holder of CA Examination 2010 secured 176th Rank in Civil Services exam 2011 and the ice breaking moment came when Civil Services 2012 ranks were declared. She topped the charts with 5th rank. It was her 2nd Attempt, in her first attempt she secured 176th rank and got IPS cadre. But the burning desire doesn’t end there. To get IAS she appeared again this time, the sitting IPS officer broke all the shackles and grabbed 5th rank. The girl from Rohtak (Haryana) having an outstanding academic record, an Alumni of SRCC not only made her parents and city proud but made entire professional arena very proud. Yes, you have rightly recognised her she is RUCHIKA KATYAL.
A name which is on the mouth of every civil service aspirant is Ruchika Katyal. Now she is a source of inspiration for every civil service aspirant especially CAs and CA Students. It can be a dream of anybody to become a civil servant because it is a very glamorous job with full of power, status and money. To be a civil servant is not less than be a king.
However it is not untrue to say that to pursue for civil services is not less than putting your hands in fire. Bulky Course, Technical examination, low percentage of results, every time beginning from start and only limited four attempts (for general class) are the bitter realities of Civil Services. Entry is very easy but once you enter either you will conquer the world or you will lose everything. My experience says that Aura of Civil Services can take anybody inside but coming outside of it is very difficult.
Here I am discussing factors which need to be considered especially by CAs and CA students while deciding to go for the civil services:
After studying a lot in CA curriculum, whether you have enough memory to grasp and retain the course which seems to equivalent to CA Course and vast in nature.
2. Own Decision:
Your decision must be your own decision which is with the consent of your Intuition. If it is not self-decision or imposed decision i.e. decision of your parents, friends, relatives etc. Don’t go for it. Also I would like to say go for it with whole heart. Make proper plan. Discuss with your seniors and parents. Go with a strong mind makeup. Don’t go for it half-heartedly as It will only frustrate and depress you.
3. Opportunity Cost:
To be very frank think twice or thrice while deciding for Civil Services after CA because opportunity cost is too high. After qualifying CA there are lot of expectations of your family that you will earn money and support them, do marriage and give your parents happiness of playing with their grandchildren.
Please check your family conditions as well. Whether still your parents are able to support you and wait for you for more two years because its general saying that everybody must try two attempts in Civil Services which means at least two years.
Don’t ignore your responsibilities. Consider responsibilities as well while taking such kind of hard decisions. Try to arrange some alternative source of finance so that danger of insolvency or lack of funds remains far from you. Writing, teaching, part time jobs can be good options for you. But arrange in advance.
5. Emotions and Flexibility:
Please check your nature first. Civil services mean frequent transfers and strict decisions. You have to remain far from your family for undefined period and sometime you have to take decisions which are against your nature and emotion. If you are an emotional person and less flexible in nature don’t go for it. It is better to be a HAPPY CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT THAN a DEPRESSED IAS OFFICER.
6. Intelligence Level and General Knowledge:
You should have a good IQ level and better General Knowledge. Your heart must beat for the country. You must live in a world outside Accounts and Taxation. Your nature must be like that you are aware about the problems of society and have ideas to curb them.
MYTHS ABOUT CIVIL SERVICES:
· Comfortable Life: One of the top most myths is Life of Civil Services is comfortable Life. Sorry sir, you are wrong. IAS/IPS officers have 24hours duty. Their duty is to administer and manage. They have to perform their duty without taking care of day and night. There is a very good example of Alex Paul Menon, Deputy Commissioner of district of Odisha who was kidnapped by Naxalites and they kept him in custody for near about one week. Recent killing of a DSP in Uttar pardesh by the politician Raja Bhaiya and its goonda elements very well explain the hard life of Civil Servants.
· Meant for Toppers: Civil services needs following attributes.
2. Strong thought process and articulation skills.
3. An open mind having good general knowledge.
4. A heart which beats for the country.
5. Good hold on your core subjects.
6. Practical approach towards problems.
7. Undoubtedly a combination of hardwork and smartwork.
It’s not compulsory that every topper have the above attributes resultantly even toppers are not able to crack the exams while bank benchers and average students break records.
· Money Making Job:
If you have perception in the mind that Civil Services is a money making job than CA is best for earning money. Earning money in Civil Services means corruption interlinked with lot of tensions while for CA's money making is a combination of tricky mind, convincing power, hard work and wider thinking.
· Puppet of Politician:
Politicians have tenure of five years. They come and go but Civil Servants have a tenure upto the date of retirement. Undoubtedly there are cases where Civil Servants are caught while serving and fulfilling illegal demands of the politicians but these types of cases happen when the civil servants have some ulterior motives which cannot be fulfilled without the help of politicians. Honest civil servants never indulge in corrupt practices. Yes there is a myth they serve politicians because they are afraid of transfers that’s totally wrong in today’s scenario because now there are strict rules and regulations on transfers like minimum three years postings, Transfer of Husband & wife (Both are Civil Servants) in same place.
· Part time Study:
Preparation of Civil Services requires full time study of at least one year with 6-8 hours in a day. It’s better to give 100% in one year instead of giving 20% for five years. Course looks easy but its bulkiness makes it difficult.
And the Realities are:
i. Discretionary Power:
Beautiful aspect of Civil Servants is that they have discretionary powers in their hand. They can take decisions of their own. However decision should be in conformity of law. It is not untrue to say that Civil Service is crown of thorns. One wrong decision can spoil the life of many.
ii. Transferable Job:
Problem with Civil Services is that their job is transferable. Irony is that we can compare their lives with nomads. Ashok Khemka, Senior IAS officer of Haryana was transferred 44 times in 22 years. [Ashok Khemka had raised the issues of irregularities in land dealings between DLF and Robert Vadhera (Sarkari Damad) in Gurgaon Haryana].
It is not untrue to say that “More the loyal an officer is, more are the chances of transfer is”
iii. Glamorous and powerful Job:
Job of a civil servant is a glamorous one. Let me tell you some things about civil servants.
a. Powers given to Civil Services Officers are enormous. We can compare their powers with powers of Lord Hanuman. Whole law and order and administration are in their hands.
b. They have the power to take decisions. These decisions are essential for policy implementation. They are one of the part of the Government i.e. Executors.
c. They have judicial powers as well. In some posts they can conduct their own courts and Janta Darbars. Duty Magistrates, Sub Divisional Magistrates and Superintendent of Police use to do that.
d. They are always given preference. They are chief guests of the various functions of societies, schools, colleges etc. of the city.
e. CTC of Civil Servant is not less than Rs. 5 lacs per month. (It Includes Accommodation, Car, Cook, Drivers etc.)
Now let me tell you something which is very attractive. For newly recruited Civil Servants Government of India
o Conducts training programmes and interactive sessions on general administration at centres located at Mussorrie, Faridabad, Hyderabad (Depend on Cadre and Service). They have been provided there world class lectures by eminent professors and interaction sessions with the stalwarts of various fields.
o Conducts training programme in foreign country to understand the administration culture outside India.
o Conducts an all India tour to understand about the India.
To Be Continued.
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Views expressed in the above article are personal in nature. These are based on my experience, knowledge and understanding. Readers’ views may be different and suggestions are welcome.
Main Purpose of the article is to guide students towards Civil Services. In next part I will discuss the methodology, role of coaching institutes with a light on their teaching methodologies, life after civil services, options available after civil services, a motivation write up for CAs.