Civil services: 5-8 years of prep 'waste of youthful energy', says Sanjeev Sanyal

Sanyal said one should only attempt UPSC or other such examinations if one wants to become an administrator

Publicity poster for the 2023 Hindi film '12th Fail', focused on UPSC aspirants (courtesy: Disney + Hotstar)
Publicity poster for the 2023 Hindi film '12th Fail', focused on UPSC aspirants (courtesy: Disney + Hotstar)
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PTI

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) member Sanjeev Sanyal has said five-eight years of preparation for the civil services examination by lakhs of students is a "waste of youthful energy".

Sanyal said one should only attempt UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) or other such examinations if one wants to become an administrator.

"As mentioned, it (is) perfectly fine to attempt the UPSC or other such exams, but only if the person wants to be an administrator. The problem is that lakhs of people are spending 5-8 years repeatedly doing this exam as a 'way of life'. This is such a waste of youthful energy," Sanyal said in a series of posts on social media platform X.

Sanyal further said it may come as a surprise, but claimed his view is shared by most bureaucrats, who cleared the exam at some point.

"An attempt or two is fine for those who really want this path, but spending your entire 20s for it...is unhealthy," he said.

The economist pointed out that an entire industry "indeed, entire cities like Kota" is dedicated to taking an exam where less than one per cent of applicants will succeed. "And this is (happening) every year. Imagine this huge effort being directed at other fields," he said.

The UPSC conducts the civil services examination every year in three stages — preliminary, mains and personality test (interview) — to select officers for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.

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