In a recent parliamentary standing committee report, a decline in humanities candidates pursuing civil services has been flagged as a cause for concern.
The report, focusing on the functioning of recruitment organisations in the government of India, reveals that the percentage of candidates from humanities qualifying for the civil services exam dropped from 27 per cent in 2011 to 23 per cent in 2020.
The report as mentioned by Indian Express, also emphasises that over 70 per cent of recent civil service recruits are from technical streams, mainly doctors and engineers.
While the increase in technocrats is seen as beneficial for digital literacy initiatives, concerns are raised about losing potential talent in specific areas crucial for national development.
Data from the report highlights that out of 833 candidates selected in the civil services examination 2020, 65 per cent had an engineering background, 4 per cent had a medical background, 23 per cent were from humanities, and 8 per cent fell into the "others" category.
While some argue that engineers bring technical expertise and adaptability, others believe that civil services demand a more multi-disciplinary approach.
The shift in the demographics of civil service aspirants is attributed to various factors, including changes in exam patterns and the increasing difficulty of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).
Experts argue that the tougher CSAT has made it challenging for humanities students, impacting their numbers in the qualifying rounds.
As the debate continues, the report's findings will likely influence discussions on recruitment policies and the evolving role of civil servants in a rapidly changing technological landscape.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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