Throughout the course of my career I have come across students who have harboured rich desires. Some wanted to be doctors, some engineers and some wanted to study at a foreign university. I found the development of this mentality owing to the ambience around, but have always failed to discern as to why this hasn’t been extended to civil services as well. A student in our society is fed with the importance of matriculation examination as he approaches the same. As he clears the first hurdle, people from all around start blowing the trumpet of medical examination and as such cajole and coerce (in a majority of cases) a student to take up medical subjects. He roams around the city tuition centres for two and a half years and if he is among the lucky ones, he makes it the medical colleges. If not then he ends up earning the wrath of relatives and parents who accuse him of continuous negligence and blame his careless attitude for his failure. It is a pertinent fact that medical and engineering degrees form the crux of professional services and an entry into these colleges is a significant achievement. But what is more important than that is an entry into the prestigious civil services. Over the years several generations have overlooked this prestigious field and thus it has lead to a serious deficiency of Kashmiris in the civil services. The Civil Services Examinations which have been conducted by the Public Service Commission during the last fifteen years explicitly show that 65 % of candidates from Jammu and 35% of candidates only from Valley have appeared in these Examinations. The figures clearly reveal that Kashmiri youth is less interested in this kind of competitive examination as compared to Jammu based candidates. Same is the case with IAS examination in which candidates from other states are taking participation more enthusiastically than the Kashmiri candidates. And during the last two years there has been very low percentage of IAS Qualifiers from the valley. As a result of this fact, we may have less representation of Kashmiri officers in the State administration in future. Our columnists, writers, educationists, bureaucrats, doctors, and intellectuals have been invariably contributing on varying subjects to buff their creative prowess. Although all concerns are being touched by these elevated classes of our society starting from routine and lacklustre politics but an indispensable issue of declining representation of Kashmiri youth in Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) is being ignored. There is a general feeling that the intelligent and talented youth of Kashmir have been moving out of the state in search of better future opportunities and are not competing for the elite service. The representation of Kashmir in the elite service of IAS and KAS seems to be alarmingly declining. Between the years 2014-2018, we witnessed exit of a huge number of Kashmiri top officers in the States administration and within another two years there will be almost complete vacuum. Therefore, we have a duty here to infuse interest among the youth of the Valley to compete for this service and thereby, ensure their participation in the State ‘administrative set up. Our youth have been witnessing and experiencing turbulent situation for the last 30 years and they have not been able to prod themselves with the much needed information, source materials and exposure to such competitive examinations. Also we don’t inculcate in them the spirit of competitiveness and create awareness that there are chances for them to make entry into many superior professions, provided they strive hard and show interest like their counterparts in other parts of the country.
Our colleges and universities have not been able to guide and help the aspirants and also have been providing traditional education continuously and this has made our youth apathetic to think about other things in life. We should encourage them to excel and explore the possibilities of their entry in the passageways of authority which is very important for the survival of the Valleyits. A mere focus on Kashmiri politics alone won’t serve our society, but an entry into the civil services will boost the morale of the upcoming generation. We write about religion, personalities, drugs, politics and movements but somehow shy away from our responsibility with respect to writing about the civil services. Yes, religion is important for those who believe in it, personalities are important as their inspiring lives encourage the youth, drug menace tells us about the hazards of drugs, politics gives an idea about the raging issues or disputes, but civil services and administration are unbelievably important and an immaculate part of our set up. We can proceed on by appreciating the ones who have qualified it.
Focus on a few areas will not serve any purpose and this has to be expanded to a wider area.