More Rural Youth Aspire For Civil Services Than Urban Ones

13 June 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Arteev Sharma

Jammu: More rural youth than urban ones in conflict-ridden Jammu and Kashmir appear to be aspiring for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). This is evident from the fact that six of the 10 candidates who have cracked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations have a rural background. Some of them have not taken coaching classes to prepare for the examinations. Three candidates from the frontier district of Poonch are good friends. Two of them, Owais Ahmed Rana and Mehtab Ahmed, belong to Mendhar tehsil while Qummer-ul-Zaman is a native of Phagla village in the Surankote area of Poonch. The trio had cleared the Kashmir Administrative Service examinations in 2011 and were serving in the state administration at present. Other candidates from the Jammu region who cracked the UPSC examinations this year are Vikrant Bhushan of Reasi, Afaq Ahmed Giri of the Bankoot area in Banihal tehsil and Abhishek Mahajan of Jammu. Shakeel Maqbool of the Wathoora Chadoora area of central Kashmir's Budgam district, Abid Hussain Sadiq Bhat of Hyderpora in Srinagar, Bashir Ahmed Bhat and Raja Yaqoob Farooq qualified the UPSC civil services examination. Talking to The Tribune, Mehtab Ahmed, currently serving as tehsildar (relief) in the Revenue Department in Jammu, said he cracked the exam in his second attempt. 'I had learnt much about the IAS during my school days, but limited resources always forced me to look for other options. I studied civil engineering at the NIT in Srinagar,' he said. He said his father was an imam at the local mosque and used to earn his livelihood through farming in his native village, Gursai in Mendhar. 'I still remember that we used to walk a long distance to reach school. It is not uncommon for him as students in remote areas still walk a long distance to attend school,' he said. 'In rural areas, there are limited job opportunities. The only option is to pursue education and work hard to get government jobs. There are a lot of job avenues in the private sector in urban areas,' he said. He said people in rural lived in fear psychosis that they would have to grease the palms of officers to get their work done in government departments. 'There is a need to change the prevailing system and the mindset of the people. I will work in this direction so that the common man feels secure in society,' he said. Afaq Ahmad Giri, a former core planning engineer with Nokia in Gurgaon, lost his mother Raziya Begum about two months before his preliminary examination. 'I had to resign from Nokia after the health of my mother deteriorated. I had a job offer in Brazil. I was not in position to concentrate on my studies, but my family and friends encouraged me. I qualified in the first attempt,' he said. He completed his schooling from Sainik School in Nagrota and did BE from the Government College for Engineering and Technology in Jammu. To a query about the rural youth aspiring for IAS more than the urban youth, he said, 'There are less job opportunities in rural pockets. This inspires the youth for government jobs, including the civil services.'