Gorkhas and Civil Service By Roshan Gurung
Civil services examination in India is considered the second toughest exam in the world after the French civil services exam. Prior to the independence, it was much more complex than the present form. It is considered as the highly prestigious exam which selects the IAS, IPS, IFS, IFoS, IRS and many other group A and B Central civil services. The posts of IAS, IPS and IFoS are the all India services which have high powers and prestige in the field of civil, police and forest administration. Among the other central services, Indian Foreign Service is the top most one and enjoys equal status to that of all India services. The recruits of IFS are known as diplomats who serve abroad in the embassies of Indian Government. The significant aspects of the all India services are that they serve both under the central and state government anywhere in India. The exam is conducted by the UPSC. Therefore, it is also known as UPSC exam. Since, the top post is IAS, it is also popularly known as IAS exam. The services of the IAS can be various under civil administration starting from SDOs, DCs, Secretaries, Directors etc. Likewise, IPS serves as DSP, SP, IGP, DIG and also the head of paramilitary forces and other agencies linked with internal security. Indian Forest Service officer serves as DFOs, Chief Conservators etc. So, the exam which selects the country’s administrators is so complex, lengthy and tough that it is often regarded as mother of all exams which can be cracked by smart and intelligent approach. It is to be noted that to be eligible for this exam one has to be degree holder in any stream from a recognized university. Remember no higher marks or percentage is required just passing marks are sufficient. UPSC provides enough attempts to try for this exam such as 6 attempts for GEN, 9 for OBC (NCL) and unlimited for SC/STs. The age limits are 32, 35 and 37 respectively for GEN, OBC and SC/STs.
The exam is conducted in three phases prelims, mains and interview. A prelim is the first step consisting GS and CSAT papers. One has to get 66 out of 200 marks in CSAT. The selection to prelims is determined by the marks of only GS paper having 200 marks. This phase is optional type with negative markings. The GS paper contains broadly about Indian politics, history, economics, geography, environments and climate change, biodiversity, current affairs etc. Similarly CSAT consists of comprehension test, basic numeracy, data interpretations, and logical reasoning etc. After clearing the first stage, the next is MAINS or written part. Here, the papers are compulsory General English and Language paper of 300 marks each. It is only when these papers are cleared then others are checked. One has to select any one language out of 23 from the schedule. The candidates from NE states except Assam need not have to give language paper. Now the other papers are GS with 250 marks each, Essay paper with 250 marks and any optional subject having two papers with 250 marks each. The contents of GS 1 are history and geography of India and World, art and cultural heritage of India. GS 2 has politics, governance, rights issues, social schemes etc. GS 3 has economics, environment, biodiversity, disaster management, science and technology etc. Lastly, GS 4 contains ethics, integrity, aptitude etc. The syllabus of optional papers can be checked from upscgov.in or directly from internet. So, after clearing the mains exam out of 1750 then interview is taken out of 275 marks. The interview part is like climax of an interesting suspense thriller movie. It is the total scored marks of MAINS + INTERVIEW that is counted for selection. Hence, interview becomes crucial which may increase or decrease the final marks. The whole process of this exam is interesting and memorable one. Even if one do not get selected he or she becomes the most enlightened and knowledgeable person. Every year UPSC releases the calendar for the exam containing date of notification. It can be checked from upsc.gov.in.
Above all, though the forest service prelims exam and the attempts are same but the educational requirement has to be degree in science and the MAINS papers are different. It consists of GS of 300 marks, English of 300 marks, and two science subjects, as optional, each having two papers with 200 marks each. So it is of 1400 marks. The interview is of 300 marks. Every year more than five lakh aspirants apply for this coveted exam but only around 1000 are selected as a whole, out of which top ones may get IAS, IPS, IFS etc as per their preferences. This mother of all exams is conducted with utmost sincerity for a period of a year. The recruits of this exam gets speed promotions in compare to the state civil services. For example, an IAS becomes DC within four to five years but State civil services officers has to wait at least fifteen years to become DC. That is why every year many lakhs equally smart, hardworking, highly committed aspirants sit for this exam. UPSC also conducts all the officers' exam of various departments.
Let me mention a bit about State Civil Services exam also. As per UPSC article 315 has provision of State Public Service Commission (SPSC) such as APSC, WBPSC, MPSC, TNPSC, SPSC etc. These bodies also functions similar to that of UPSC. The top most posts in states are selected by this commission. The pattern varies in different states but the basic schemes remains the same. These officers are known as Assam Civil Service, West Bengal Civil Service, Manipur Civil Service, Tamil Nadu Civil Service, Assam Police Service, Sikkim Police Service and so on. These are the highest level services in terms of power and prestige in a state. Besides all the state officers of higher grades are selected by SPSC. The pattern of ACS exam can be checked from apscgov.in . Also, we have APSC MAINS group in Facebook, any one can get information from there. The best part of state civil services officers are that they work in their own state.
Now, where do the Gorkhas stand in the arena of such a coveted exams. The numbers of gorkha aspirants are increasing year by year but the success rate is very low that is why our people are rare in higher posts. But, it is a matter of pride for all of us that many gorkha sons and daughters have made to this exam. They have proved that we also can. Let me introduce some of the prominent names who cracked the UPSC conducted Civil Services Exam.
* Lalit Bahadur Pariyar: He was the first IAS from the gorkha community. He made to the prestigious exam in the year 1963. He was SDO, DC, Joint Secretary, Municipal Chairman etc. He was from Darjeeling and is no more now.
* Trilok nath Dewan: He was an IAS of 1969 batch and served in Andhra Pradesh cadre. He was the Chief Secretary of AP. He is the highest ranked Gorkha IAS outside Sikkim.
* Rinchen Ongmu: She is an IAS of 1979 batch from Sikkim and also was in same cadre. She became the first woman Chief Secretary of Sikkim.
* Choten D Lama: She was an IAS of 1999 batch from WB cadre and also from the same state. She served as SDO, DC, Joint Secretary, before her voluntary retirement.
* Megha N Dahal: He is an IAS of 2014 batch. He is the highest ranked gorkha till date by securing 63rd rank. It is a great luck for the Gorkhas of Assam that he is allotted Assam Cadre and serving as Asst.Commissioner in Jorhat.
* PG Tenzing: He was the IAS of 1986 batch from Kerela cadre. He held many key positions under the govt. of Kerela. He was from Sikkim and retired in 2007.
There is few other IAS serving in few states with majority of them in Sikkim. It also feels proud to introduce the FIRST WOMAN FOREIGN SECRETARY of India who was Chokila Tshring from Darjeeling. She cleared the CSE exam in the year 1964 and was selected in Indian Foreign Service. She served as diplomats for many years and probably the only IFS from Gorkha as a whole. Similarly, Jotsna Sitling was not only the first Gorkha Indian Forest Service officer but also the first female tribal IFoS. She is from Kalimpong and cleared the exam in 1987 and was 3rd in rank. Her cadre was Uttarakhand then Himachal where she gave the commendable service which fetched her the "Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puruskar'’ the highest environmental award of India in the year 2004 and also she bagged the best public servants' award in the year 2008. It is very much tragic that Gorkhas are present in almost every state of India but only few from Sikkim and Darjeeling are clearing the UPSC exam that also not consistently.
The case in the Indian Police Service is also not remarkable. The inspirational figures among the UPSC recruited IPS are as follows:
* Tenzing L. Lepcha: He became the first Sikkimis to get IPS. In 2012 he cleared the exam and now serving as SP in his home state cadre.
* Dawa Sherpa: He is an IPS officer currently serving as ADG in Gorakhpur Police.
* Sanjay Rana: He is an IPS officer currently serving as ADG in Madhya Pradesh Police.
* Aparajita Rai: She became the first gorkha female to be selected as IPS. Currently, she is also working in West Bengal Police. She is the Daughter of DFO from Sikkim.
* Namchin D Bhutia: Along with Aparajita in 2012, she also got selected to IPS. She is also from Sikkim and currently working in Meghalaya as SP.
* Vandana Karki: She is DIG in Manipur Police. Though she is MPS but the highest ranked officer among the gorkha woman.
Henuka Rai and Shiddarth Sandilya cleard CSE in 2017.
Besides, many state police service officers are also promoted as IPS. In fact, the number of promoted IAS, IPS are more than the directly recruits by the UPSC.
Now, let me discuss the presence of Gorkha in State Civil and Police services in some of the Gorkha inhabited states except Sikkim. According to the government data, West Bengal has the large number of State Civil Services Officers. Some of the top ranked WBCS Officers are:
* Gopal Lama : Director of labour
* JB Subba : AEO
* Kiran kumar Lohar : Executive Director
* TD Sherpa : Joint Secretary
* NB Bhutia : Executive Director
* PD Pradhan : Commissioner Siliguri
* Nilanjan Sandilya : MD CTC
* Pranit Sewa : ADM
* Shanta Pradhan : Secretary, Women Development Board
* T Lama : DY, DLRO
If you want to add more comments to the article or you see any thing incorrect please write a comment below and we will surely get back to you.