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Indian Civil Services gets its DU

Delhi University, well known for its academics excellence, can boast of another feather in its cap - the maximum number of alumni in the Indian Civil Services, reports Swaha Sahoo.
None | By Swaha Sahoo, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2008 12:57 AM IST

Delhi University, well known for its academics excellence, can boast of another feather in its cap — the maximum number of alumni in the Indian Civil Services.

According to data released by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for years 2002-2005, DU tops the list of universities whose graduates made it to the Civil Services. While the total number of DU graduates who sat for the Civil Services (Mains) exam in the four years stood at 1,615, the total number who qualified was the highest at 214. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) comes in second with 663 who wrote the test and 108 who qualified.

“Delhi University gets some of the best students from all over India. Moreover, students come with the aim of cracking the Civil Services. While they study at DU they enroll in coaching classes,” said Gurpreet Singh Tuteja, Deputy Dean (students welfare).

“Many of them secure good percentage in order to retain their hostel seats and continue preparation for the Civil Services exams,” he said.

The course structure of DU was also another factor, said aspirants and teachers. “The UPSC syllabus is similar to that of DU in many ways. When last year UPSC made changes in the Botany paper, we realized that they had just added some of the new subjects already introduced by DU,” said Rajindra Bharti, who completed his Botany (H) from Zakir Hussain College in 2007. Bharti is preparing for the Civil Services exams this year.

DU teachers are also on the UPSC panel for revision of syllabus and examination of papers. “The undergraduate Math syllabus is in tune with competitive exams. Moreover, UPSC consults DU experts in various matters,” said S.C. Arora, HoD, Math.

The overall competitive environment is another factor contributing to the success of DU graduates.

“Delhi is an intellectual centre and the best resources are available to IAS aspirants. The best coaching institutes are also hear,” said Sriram Srirangam, Director of Sriram’s IAS. “Moreover, with UPSC right next door we are up to date with changing trends and have former civil servants as teachers,” Srirangam said.

Although the highest number of civil servants is from DU, the success rate of candidates is less compared to those from IIT and JNU.

In 2005, 19.32 per cent of IIT graduates who took the test made it to the Civil Services. While the figure for JNU stood at 16.3 per cent, DU’s success rate was 13.2 per cent.

Moreover, a sizeable number of applicants are also from Allahabad University, Lucknow University, Patna University and Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur, but only a handful qualify for the Civil Services.

JK Dadoo, Delhi Environment Secretary, feels although the number of civil servants coming out of DU is the highest, they are far from impressive. “In the 60s and 70s St Stephen’s alone used to provide 30 to 40 civil servants every year,” said Dadoo, who passed out of St Stephen’s in 1978.

“Back then one-third of civil servants came from DU. Today it might still be the highest but the numbers have fallen,” he said.

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