The decision to do away with red beacons on VIP vehicles has been hailed almost by all sections of the society. But it seems that its unintended consequences were not anticipated by the cabinet when the decision regarding the same was being taken. In a bizarre consequence of this decision, a large section of the civil services aspirants throughout the India are planning to boycott the preliminary examination of UPSC which is to be held on 18th of June this year.
Santosh, an aspirant of the exam who has been preparing for this exam for last three years, explains in details. He says “Gone are the days when bulk of the UPSC aspirants used to come from poor family and had social science background. After the introduction of CSAT paper in 2011, where the focus was on Maths, the nature of aspirants taking this exam changed. Now engineers from upper middle class and upper class constitute the bulk of the examinee. Most of them have come for preparation after having left their high paying jobs. What’s their incentive to join this low paying sarkari jobs when they are aware that the bureaucrats’ powers are decreasing on a daily basis? It’s the BECONS on their vehicles. These BEACONS are the last symbol of feudalism in our bureaucracy which is reflecting corporatization tendencies now. They represent the MAI-BAAP SARKAR model where the civil servants sit on a higher pedestrian than a common man, at least figuratively. The Beacon represented that difference. One can compromise with a low salary and lesser powers but not on this issue of doing away with beacons. There is no more incentive left for us to prepare for this examination.”
The ramifications of this decision were quick to be felt across the country. In Delhi, Mukherjee Nagar and Old Rajendra Nagar are two places where most of the aspirants live. Both these places always buzz with students but was not the case today. These two places gave a deserted look. There were more number of students present at the New Delhi railway stations and Inter State Bus terminals than at these two places. Similar reports are also pouring in from regional centres of preparation such as Hyderabad and Chennai.
On the other hand, a small section of aspirants are planning to join emergency services instead, as government has allowed the use of beacons on these vehicles. An aspirant who wants to be anonymous said, “My father strictly told me to join these services instead, as it is his dream to see his son sitting in a beaconed vehicle. It also suits me because there would be lesser competition, as compared to UPSC examination, to join these services.”
The government may have to reassess its decision because of this new development. An official of UPSC told this reporter that the agency was keeping a close look on the development and any decision regarding the same will be shared with Media at an appropriate time. Till then let’s wait and watch and let this development unfold fully before a decision regarding the same is taken by the government.