UPSC results of Assam candidates worry CM Himanta

Assam candidates continue to cut a sorry figure in the UPSC, and this trend has worried CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.
UPSC results of Assam candidates worry CM Himanta


GUWAHATI: Assam candidates continue to cut a sorry figure in the UPSC, and this trend has worried Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Only two candidates – Shilpa Khanikar (506th) and Ayushi Kalwar (618th) – from Assam made it to the UPSC-2021 merit list declared yesterday. Samiksha J Behani, a newly-wedded daughter-in-law on Assam, also made it to the merit list, ranking 186th. Shilpa and Khanikar will not get IAS cadre. They will get allied cadres under Group A or Group B of Central Services.

Reacting to the performance of Assamese candidates, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "Only two or three candidates from Assam making it to an all-India merit list of 900-1000 candidates is an ominous signal. We need conducive atmospheres in our educational institutions. Our colleges and universities need to act in that line. The State Government took the matter seriously. The government has already formed Assam Youth Commission to make the state candidates perform well in all-India level examinations."

One can count on one's fingertips the number of Assamese IAS officers in the state. Among around 180 IAS officers in the state, only Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua, Additional Chief Secretary PK Barthakur, Barnali Deka, Biswajit Pegu, Narayan Konwar, Aranyak Saikia (2020 batch) and Swapnanil Paul (2020 batch) are directly-recruited IAS officers. The state also has a few Assamese IAS officers on promotion from ACS cadres.

The state administration will have to wait for a long time to get an Assamese Chief Secretary after the superannuation of Jishnu Barua. In the past few years, the state had Assamese Chief Secretaries in HN Das, JP Rajkhowa, Pranab Baruah, Prabir Kumar Dutta, Naba Kumar Das, Prafulla Sarma, Kumar Sanjay Krishna and others.

According to a few retired Assamese IAS officers, the reasons behind fewer Assamese candidates cracking UPSC are lack of hard work, the spirit of competition, dedication and an educational atmosphere. According to them, the colleges and universities of the state lack the atmosphere that can help students inculcate competitive spirit. To crack UPSC, one has to focus from the graduation days. A wrong notion prevails that 'coaching centres can make one crack UPSC'. Coaching centres can only fine-tune a candidate who has to gather knowledge himself from his college days.

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