KEEP YOURSELF STRONG & COMMITTED : A. Chandra
Joydeep Das Gupta, spoke exclusively with A. Chandra, IAS officer of West Bengal for Youthens.
1. Union Public Service is regarded as the most prime and plum for young aspirants who want to be in IAS and IPS, what was your inspiration to be in this service?
The ability to make a difference to the large diaspora in the country motivated me for looking at preparing for the Services. Since my father was in the IPS and most of my maternal side also has a bureaucratic background of IAS & IPS, I was aware of what the Service could achieve.
However, after my academics and working for a short while in the Corporate, it was my brother who provoked my passion to do something for the Nation. His encouragement and guidance helped me get into the IAS. I was initially disheartened after realising that there were only about 50 people who were being selected to the IAS from amongst the 8.5 Lakh people who took it. But perseverance and hardwork bore the right fruits for me. My mother was widowed at an early age and I was extremely clear that I had to do it for her to re-experience what she lost at a very young age.
2. You have both the power and also you can implement your ideas for the benefit of the society, what in particular a specific idea that you wish to implement for the people?
I wish that people get service & development at their doorsteps. I wish that the microeconomy of this Nation blossoms to ensure that an overall Growth is achieved. People should not wait for ages to receive something as simple as an application form or the guidelines to fill & submit it. More specifically, e-Governance & Rural development has always fascinated me. Of late I have started to realize that since India is growing faster in its towns and urban areas, Urban Development & Regional Planning holds the key.
The Nation has a huge potential of Human Resources but that needs to be harnessed properly. Skill Training & Vocational Courses are the next phase that would usher gainful employment for a plethora of under-privileged.
3. With powers comes corruption, your take on this?
If ideals and goals are clear then malafide in anyone’s intention could never occur. Most of us are taught to focus on subjects like Maths and Science in our academic life. We have never learnt the importance of Nation Building. If the word “sacrifice” is explained to the young generation by showing what was a Jalianwala Baug or what was the prison in Andamans only then will it be more comprehensible. History is never emphasized as a subject of importance. The youth must see what have we lost to achieve the present.
Additionally, goodness must be highlighted in the media rather than the tradition of emphasizing on failures. Pessimistic media often disheartens a young mind. Reality must be revealed but even Good News is some news.
With positive thinking as a society, I believe that even with power there would be negligible corruption. If you love your country …. and I mean truly love it, then the thought of corruption would not arise.
Additionally, with greater awareness & better communication the propensity to tilt towards corruption would also get reduced.
4. How do you see the position of Legislature and Executive in our country?
The Constitution of India prescribes specific roles but harmony amongst the three pillars of Legislature/ Polity, Executive/Government & the Judiciary is most desirable. The quality of Legislature is changing and is finding its equilibrium in this new century. The Executive & Judiciary have also not been spared from the winds of change. In these circumstances it remains our duty as a citizen to ensure that the Constitution is held pristine above any other thing or person.
The Legislature & Executive both have their importance but for the development of a nation it becomes essential that the two synchronize their efforts. Policy making by the Legislative and Policy Implementation by the Executive would reach its desired goal only if both are with the same purpose, objectives and drive.
I would love to see more youth getting in the Legislative and Executive rather than feeling melancholic & ranting failures. If they seek change…. they must change themselves. Get in and lend your contribution is what would be the best gift that any Indian could give his motherland.
5. What reforms do you think needs to be introduced for the cleansing the democratic structure of the country?
A permanent executive was the backbone of this nation alongwith an independent judiciary. The need of the hour is to preserve (if not reinstate) the same. The executive needs to be bold enough to withstand anything that is ultra-vires to the people & nation. Their work has always been best harnessed when they were allowed to operate without fear or favour. So the first thing that is needed is Administrative Reforms that must be implemented by each State in a time bound manner. Transfers, frivolous enquiries and Suspension have become the latest weapons of demoralizing one arm of the Constitution. Fixed tenures and placing people in the jobs based on their competencies rather than the subjectivity of ‘pick and choose’ would help.
Electoral reforms is the other aspect like the need for “everyone” to vote. A system could be introduced where three choices are to be given by a voter. There should be two rounds of counting of votes. In the first round the votes of the third candidate would get apportioned based upon the choices made under choice 1 or 2 candidate. That means that under any case scenario only the one getting more than 50% of the votes would win by the second round.
The other reform would be to allow to sabbaticals for people from their work to contest and get selected in the elections. A well read person doing a job in a company would get leave for 5 years and the period for contesting elections like a ward of a municipal area.
To inculcate discipline and nation building we must ensure that voluntary service like NCC, Scouts etc. is encouraged. A higher percentage of grace marks need to be accorded for children who have undergone these or have done some short courses in any of the armed forces including paramilitary.
6. Your advice and message to future aspirants?
Faith in yourself, commitment towards the Nation & a burning desire in your heart to qualify can make anyone motivated for qualifying the services. Dedication and long term perseverance is the key…. remember that it’s a marathon of sustained hardwork of 17-18 hours for at least a year that could ensure your success.
At the end you must have the blessings of your parents and the good wishes of your loved ones who will help you conquer pangs of frustration that would crop up every now and then during the phase of preparation. You need to keep yourself strong & committed.