Harikrishna Pillai admits that a bureaucrat’s job is no cakewalk.
In the same breath, the 23-year-old marketing management student is also sure that the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendation of a 40 per cent hike in salaries for civil servants won’t translate into him or his peers appearing for the competitive examinations.
“The format of promotions based on seniority and without team-based incentives in the government sector is not appealing. It is difficult to get in but easy to stay on. Moreover, the 40 per cent figure is camouflaged,” said Pillai, student at Matunga’s Welingkar Institute of Management and Research.
He added: “We cannot generalise that this move will make civil services striking as a career. However, the sector will at least be considered by those still deciding their goals.”
Like undergraduate student Kunal Shinde whose aspiration to be a civil servant has only got firmer. “More students will see civil services as a career opportunity. This is also because the image of a low salary in this sector will cease to exist,” said the 19-year-old second year Arts student from Ruia College, Matunga.
In a city like Mumbai that offers a wide array of career opportunities, civil services, as a career, has never been on the top five. As against states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh where most students struggle for years to become a babu, Maharashtra is far behind.
Aspirants, academicians and tutors are, however, not too sure if the recommendation means anything.
“It seems like a big salary. But Rs 80,000 for a principal secretary is not much. The hike is a good move but not enough to make the sector lucrative,” said Ajit Padwal who runs the Lakshya IAS Academy, Dadar.
According to Padwal, a management graduate from a premier B-school will take home Rs 80,000 or more as starting salary. “But a principal secretary will earn that much after putting in 20 years of service,” he said.
Agreed aspirant Rohan Samant (25) who said the difference would be felt by those high on the ladder, not at the entry level. “Though on paper it looks very enticing, the hike will not be a factor to get thousands into the profession,” Samant said.
But experts opine the revised salaries will result in more students opting for civil services.
Avinash Dharmadhikari, chief administrator of Chanakya Mandal, an academy for civil service aspirants, said: “The recommended hike will help the government draw better talent. In Maharashtra, there used to be aspirants for the civil service from all backgrounds, including engineering and information technology. Now the new pay will further boost their number.”
He added: “I have been getting calls from Mussourie training centre for civil service officers. Most of my students are happy with the new recommendation.”
(With inputs from Yogesh Joshi)