A new batch of administrators selected, now to train and deploy them well
Given how clueless the Sikkim Public Service Commission had presented itself to be when it conducted the Under Secretary exam in embarrassing fits and starts over the past two years, it is with a certain amount of relief and dollops of glee that Sikkim received announcement of the names of candidates selected for the latest line-up of administrators for the State Civil Service. Congratulations to the successful candidates and to the State. The latest examination for the junior grade Sikkim State Civil Service and Sikkim State Police Services was first held in October 2013 only to be scrapped in the face of widespread criticism over the manner in which it was conducted and the candidates took the exam afresh in July 2014. The civil services are a much sought after profession and it is unfortunate that Sikkim’s small size does not allow for it to be held more often. Of course, if the concerned agencies were more diligent, new administrators can surely be inducted into the State Civil Service more often than the present average of a new batch every eight years. Before the July 2014 exam, the Under Secretary exams were last held in the year 2006-07 and the one before that was in 1998. Now, as Sikkim pulls out the khadas to congratulate the 25 selected to train to become Under Secretaries and the two who will soon wear Sikkim Police uniforms as DSP’s, the State should also take stock and work out how these exams can be conducted more often that the current average of one every eight years.As for the successful crop of 27 whose names were announced recently, they can truly be counted as the cream of the Sikkimese willing to invest their youth and energies in public service. It must not have been easy to sustain either interest or preparations for the civil services in the face of inconsistent and erratic management by the State. When the exams were first announced, 5,431 candidates had registered for the preliminary examinations. By the time the government got around to announcing the dates for the exams, only 3,189 candidates were left interested enough to collect their admit cards. Eventually, 2,679 took the exam. Of these, 373 candidates made the cut for the main exams and now Sikkim has filled 25 posts of Under Secretaries and two posts of Deputy Superintendents of Police. The 27 are then among the most committed and most serious from among the bouquet of 5,431 youth of this generation interested and qualified to become administrators. Irrespective of how sought after a government job might appear, it takes special resolve to sustain preparations for such an employment over a period of nearly three years. An encouraging number of Sikkimese youth displayed such discipline and from among them, the present set of 27 has emerged, proving their mettle. The challenge for Sikkim will be to put this commitment to the best use by extending them the best training possible and ensuring that their spirit for service is never allowed to dissipate under the weight of disinterest that unfortunately clouds too many of their elders.
Here’s to wishing them all the best for the careers they have worked so hard to secure and to hoping that they deliver on all that Sikkim expects from its best.