Let me briefly introduce myself. I am Bhupinder Kumar, B-Tech ECE 2004-2008. I joined the IAS in the year 2011. Currently, I am posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Bhadarwah which is a really small town at around 200 kms from the capital city of Jammu. Before joining the service, I had a small stint at Headstrong Consultancy where I worked for around 8 months before saying good-bye to the corporate world.
ENTRY INTO CIVIL SERVICES
The thought of getting into the civil services didn’t occur to me till I quit my first job at Headstrong. I candidly accept that I had quit Headstrong without exploring any alternative. The work was not exciting to me and hence I decided not to hold onto it.
HELP FROM IITG LIFE
IITs are great institutions and IITG adheres to that legacy. The exposure at IITs is exceptional. All throughout the semester, one is bogged down by the numerous assignments, excruciating labs, quizzes, mid-sems, end-sems, etc. In addition to that, we have Alcheringa, Inter IIT, Techniche and Manthan. Over and above we have our own space for movies and friends (boys and girls both). What I have learnt out of all this is to optimise my effort within the constraints that my conditions put across me. This attitude has helped me getting into the service and has kept me going while I am still there.
Talking of my job-I love my job for the opportunity it offers to do good to commoners at an early stage of your career. Broadly speaking, my work deals with land revenue administration, law and order administration as well as the monitoring of execution of various schemes at the grass root level. All government functionaries working in my jurisdiction are accountable to me. Basically it is a really big team consisting of a variety of people who one has to lead for execution of various things. The range of activities is vast and cannot be described very precisely. For anything and everything, people come to me, especially the weaker and poorer sections of our society. It is not possible to meet all the demands, yet I try to do my best to ameliorate the grievances in whatever manner, as permitted by the law.
I like my job for the opportunity it offers to travel and serve in different places, to meet people from all walks of life and have an exposure to different cultures, languages, etc.
TYPICAL DAY AT WORK
My current job offers me a great deal of flexibility. For example, a day can begin with the inspection of a hospital or a school to be followed by an election related meeting which is succeeded by two hours of court work. There are occasional law and order situations as well and they are more ticklish because of their emergent nature and their potential for unpleasant repercussions. Since my current Position is a field posting, it is a 24X7 job and puts considerable restrictions on my free movement as well as on my holidays.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ASPIRANTS
Some of the civil servants have earned a bad repute for themselves and the service. I believe that the service is much more that any of its members. Many of us in the service still believe in honesty and neutrality and strive hard to uphold the law above all. I believe the willingness to empathise with the poor is a great asset to deliver justice. Conflict resolution and perception management are essential ingredients for a successful civil servant. This is no good place for those who are impatient and short-tempered. These are the qualities which all the civil servants must carry.
GOOD AND BAD ASPECTS OF THE JOB
I hate the fact that on many occasions, even the best of your intentions meet with undue hindrances and pressures. I also hate the fact that the uncertainty related to the postings tends to disturb your personal life.
ADVICE FOR STUDENTS
All those who are keen on making a career into the civil services must have their own good reasons to be there. Sufficient time should be spent pondering upon the simple question of ‘Why Civil Services’? Only when a conviction is felt, should one plunge into this field. The remaining part of getting into the service is just a beaten road. There is an element of destiny as well. But I guess we are all destined to be someone, to do something. Isn’t it?
Bhupinder Kumar, IAS
P.S. These are my personal views based on my experiences of past three years in the service.