Mask of Lateral Entry

The Union Govt takes the early steps to undo the reservation system and fill up the civil services with ideological fans and favourites.

By
Maqbool Ahmed Siraj

The drastic decrease in the intake of cadre from the Union Public Service Commission has gone unnoticed in the humdrum of the General Elections. The readers and viewers of the media might have casually gone through the news item that only 759 persons were selected for the placement in the top civil service cadre of the nation this year. Usually this number ranged between 1,100 to 1,200.
It is not difficult to understand the reason why the BJP-led NDA government has opted for this drastic decrease of the brightest youth who clear the stringent criteria to be placed in the most important positions of administration. Civil Services cadres are known as steel frame of India as they man the services from where emerge the most crucial decisions. The RSS-BJP’s discomfort from such selection has always been known as these men and women are selected after a process where their intelligence quotient, wisdom, analytical competence and decision-making is tested thoroughly. This is simply anathema to groups which are deeply immersed in antiquated ideologies and look for adherents rather than reason-based thinking individuals. They could be stumbling blocks for parties whose initiatives are dipped deep into an ideology that does not see all people as equal before the law and are committed to demands of justice.
With nearly 50 per cent of the civil services jobs being reserved for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Communities (OBCs), the BJP and the Sangh Parivar do not see their design of undoing the social justice platform which has gathered a host of communities who have been historically been treated unfairly. It is perhaps in this context that the NDA Government has gone for cutting down the numbers which will throttle their prospects at the entry point.
There could be opponents of this hypothesis. But one needs to look for other sources from where the Modi Government would be harvesting the minds and hands it needs to run the administration. Even before bringing down the intake, the Government had made it plain that it would allow for lateral entry of individuals with competence and expertise from the private sector. It is something akin to the capitalist United States which neither has a reservation system in place, nor a past of historical suppression of the underprivileged communities. This clearly spills the beans. The kind of people who predominantly man the private sector’s industry and services are those who belong to uppercaste sections. Naturally, the ones going to be drawn from the private sector will have their origin from the privileged communities. Thus while the intake of the SCs, STs and the OBCs will be effectively checked, the Union Government would fill up the cadres with individuals who have not experienced the historical prejudices and will not be expected to be sensitive to the issues of justice, equity and fairness. One could see through the game the saffron parivar is upto while having anointed Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of the country who does not tire of claiming himself to be from the OBCs as could be seen during electioneering in Uttar Pradesh.
It is clear that the agenda of immiserising the entire underprivileged classes has been brought forth under the mask of lateral entry. It is time to question if the nation is taking a U-turn from the dream Dr. Ambedkar had envisioned for it by leveling the playground from historical gradients.

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