Monday, August 31, 2009

Personnel Administration Stuff - More quota candidates make it to civil services

The following article gives some points regarding reservation and can be used to build your arguments for or against the reservation. You can have any view but again you need to be balanced and diplomatic as long as you convey your message clearly with sufficient examples you should be ok.
More quota candidates make it to civil services
Recruitment trends of civil services show it could be time to take a fresh look at the quota system that accords favourable entry to candidates from the three reserved categories.
The Supreme Court has withheld its verdict in the civil services recruitment rules case. But the entry pattern of all-India and central services over the past three years shows the percentage of new bureaucrats from the reserved categories - Other Backward Classes  (OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) - exceeds that of general candidates.
The "backlog" of quota vacancies is one reason for this, but the pattern also establishes that a large number of OBC, SC and ST candidates have been consistently bagging high ranks on the merit list.
At present, 49.5 per cent of central government jobs are reserved for the three categories - 27, 15 and 7.5 per cent for OBCs, SCs and STs respectively.
But statistics show that while in 2008, as many as 384 (53 per cent) of the 720 entrants to the civil services belonged to the reserved categories, the figure in 2007 was 349 (55 per cent) of 635 selections by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). In 2006, the number was 246 (55 per cent) out of 451 recommendations.
The entry trend for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is more revealing. Of the 116 candidates recommended for the coveted service in 2008, 67 (58 per cent) came from the reserved pool. This number was 62 (56 per cent) in 2007 when 111 IAS appointments were made and 52 (58 per cent) the year before against 89 recommendations.
That reserved category candidates have been consistently performing well in UPSC's civil services exam is evident as 58 of the top 200 candidates in 2008 came from the three categories, while their number was an impressive 83 in 2007 and 63 the year before. In all three years, OBC candidates bagged the lion's share; their entry figure in top-200 was 43, 65 and 44 respectively for 2008, 2007 and 2006.
Official sources said it was an evident case of "upward mobility" by civil service aspirants from the three quota pools because of an improvement in education system and other logistical support available exclusively to them.
"But taking a relook requires a great deal of political will and the courage to call a spade a spade. Given the country's politico-electoral matrix, no government will dare to bell the cat," a senior official said.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is yet to pronounce whether reserved category candidates selected on merit should be appointed against reserved posts or under general quota.
The apex court had earlier stayed a Madras High Court order that such candidates should be accommodated in the general list so that reserved category candidates get the maximum benefits.
The high court had nullified Section 16(2) of Civil Services Examination Rules, holding that it ran counter to the benefit of OBC, SC and ST candidates and was not affirmative in achieving social justice.
The rule provides for migration from one service to another based on a candidate's option and preference.
The government contended that it could be done only if reserved category candidates forego the benefit of getting a more preferred service, an advantage they can avail of by using their reserved status. The government also cited Supreme Court judgments which say that the quantum of reservation should not exceed 50 per cent.
"Till a few years ago, the reserved vacancies were not being filled as there weren't enough candidates who qualified for the civil service jobs. Now the situation has changed. The government's directions to fill the backlog have also changed the entry pattern," an official said.

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