NEW DELHI: For the second consecutive year, over 50 Muslim candidates have qualified for the coveted civil services.
An analysis of the civil services examination results, declared by the Union Public Service Commission on Friday, shows that 51 candidates from the community cleared the three-stage examination. This is one short of the figure from the previous year, when 52 cracked the exam. In percentage terms, 5.15 per cent of the successful candidates are Muslims as 990 qualified this year.
Saad Miya Khan, at number 25, secured the highest rank.
The increasing number of Muslims clearing the exam, considered the toughest in the country, is being attributed to the community’s concerted effort to groom Muslim youths for the top bureaucracy.
The need to push Muslim youth into the civil services was felt after the Rajinder Sachar Committee, set up in 2005 to examine the status of Muslims in India, found that just 3 per cent were in top administrative jobs.
The Sachar Committee report served as a wake-up call, so in 2007, community elders decided to groom bright Muslim youths for the test.
“The report was an eye-opener for us. We realised that while 90 per cent of the total governance-related functions are carried out by top bureaucrats, there are so few Muslims who represent us,” said Syed Zafar Mahmood, a former civil servant.
He has been running the Sir Syed Coaching and Guidance Centre under the parent organisation, the Zakat Foundation of India, since 2007, which offers scholarships to about 50 students annually. This year, 26 students from his centre qualified.“Unless Muslims get into the decision making and implementation process of various government programmes, how will the face of the community change?” he asked.
His concerns are justified. Prior to 2012, when 31 candidates made it to the final list, not even those many students qualified to be what is considered the “most sought-after” government job in the country.
Some other popular academies for Muslim students are IKLAS IAS Academy in Chennai, Aaghaz Foundation in Lucknow, Hamdard Study Circle in New Delhi, M.P. Waqf Board in Bhopal, Noor and Jahan Foundation in Hyderabad.
‘Representation must be proportional to population’
As there were 14.2% Muslims in India as per the Census 2011, the aim should be to reach a proportional representation in administrative and police services, Mahmood said. “We still have a long way to go but the growth has been remarkable since last year”