I am not yet into the service but…

Technically, I am not an IAS officer yet. I have only been recommended by the UPSC for appointment into the IAS. The Government of India has to send me an offer of appointment before I am formally inducted into the IAS. 9 months of Preliminary training awaits me before I get my first field posting as Asst. Collector (Under Training). But I was shocked to know that bribing doesnt always wait for all these formalities to end to reveal itself. Was also surprised to know the subtle forms in which it comes. Yes you have been misguided. Villains dont walk into your office with a huge suitcases loaded with cash. Bribing, small or large has its own subtle forms. I recently received a phone call from a popular civil services magazine which i didnt use and i strongly disapprove from the examination perspective. This was how it went:

Rep: We would like to take your interview for our xyz magazine.

Me : Ok. But i cannot endorse your magazine as i havent used it.

Rep : Thats ok. Its a questionnaire. Plus we are also giving you a cash award for your achievement( I later got to know from another source that the amount works out to be 5000 rupees).

Why the hell should they give me a cash award?? Every year people top the exam. I havent even used their magazine. The catch is in the questionnaire that we are asked to fill. “Apart from our magazine …… what else did you read?”, “How long have you been reading xyz magazine” were some of the questions to name a few. They also change some of our answers to suit their ends too. In the end, the interview would turn out to be an open endorsement of the magazine by us and the so called ‘cash award’ a payment for that!!

Thanks to Supreet singh IAS who had blogged about this here, i could call their bluff. Still i couldnt give him a firm ‘No’ when he called and said “I will call back in an hour”. I called back some 20 minutes later and said I would neither endorse their magazine by appearing in the interview nor accept any monetary reward from them.

He has rightly titled the post as ‘…Warning to the future toppers…’ But many in the rank list may be either too naive to know or may find it ok due to the prospect of reaching out and inspiring more people. By the time it is discovered that the interviews have been distorted and we have been made to endorse their product, it will be too late. And also the  ‘cash award’ will ensure that they dont create any problems afterwards.

It seems the training for being an upright civil servant begins even before you reach Mussourie. Firm ‘No’s’ to such invitations, felicitation events organised by shady individuals is only the beginning of a very long journey.

Posted on May 20, 2011, in from my life, Indian Administrative Service, Political, Social and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Reminded of a quote supposedly by Chanakya (haven’t been able to verify) “A King/Mantri shall not accept any personal gifts, for none is given expecting nothing in return”

  2. Hi Gokul,

    There are many aspirants like me who are waiting for your posts on your strategy for GS, essay and optionals, book lists and other sources of preparation.

    Please share your experiences as soon as poosible.
    I know it’s the time to take some rest and enjoy before you again get busy with your training and all… But believe me your posts will help significantly CSE aspirants.


  3. Hi Gokul,

    There are many aspirants like me who are waiting for your posts on your strategy for GS, essay and optionals, book lists and other sources of preparation.

    Please share your experiences as soon as poosible.
    I know it’s the time to take some rest and enjoy before you again get busy with your training and all… But believe me your posts will help significantly CSE aspirants……..


    • Hi rohit
      I havent got much free time after results. Thats why the delay. Just posted this because to forewarn others

  4. Really Good decision.

    Rs.5000 to you and Rs.50000 ripped off the readers, and still these magazines have
    no decent content
    + ads on every second page
    +5 topper interview (with no helpful hints, except that I read CSR in bold fonts)
    =Spending 60 Rs. a month on mag and you get a study-material barely worth 20 pages!

    Speaking of ads, Now the Physics and Public Administration coaching classes of Delhi, (about whom you’d have never heard of) will also publish your photo above their ads (congratulating you in very small sized font) to make an impression like you were their student.

    I saw that trick being used for Shah Faizal last time.
    Some of them were so aggressive they put their coaching class stamp over his photo like he needed some Visa clearance from them.

  5. Dear Gokul, congratz for your success, I had read your civils interview and it was quiet impressive, after Mr Alphose Kannathanam (Ex I.A.S) ( I used to see his video when ever feeling demotivated) you are the second keralite who inspired me. Continue your efforts for upliftment of ethical/moral values of the country.

    • Hi Syed
      Thanks for the wishes. Its too early to compare with persons like Kannanthanam. Will strive to remain loyal to the constitution and thus to the people of India throughout my career

      • Only a few IAS officers has conquered the hearts of Keralites, hoping you to be the next one. And please start preparing to write a Service story !

  6. dhanya shankar

    HI Gokul

  7. shashank anand mishra

    Wasnt too surprised on reading this!! I think you’re going to face more of this during Police enquiry. It happens up here in North. Police-walas will ask you directly in the name of “goodwill”

    • Thats a kind of low level bribery that you are forced to live with. But i dont think they will ask a would be officer!!

  8. george koshy

    Rs.5000 for the interview! no better than Mahatma Gandhi Narega wages.he thot its a win win- whch is the norm. but in u he found sme one who thinks otherwise. But one swallow does nt make summer. one case of rejection of a petty amount ofrs.5000 is nothing to tom tom about my teachers told me honesty is a life long game; requires rigourin thinking. not the sentimentalist bullshit that is lapped up and praised by psychophants.

  9. ravi dhawan

    hey gokul…i m ravi…also cleared civils…shocked to know that an interview can be distorted …i think i may hv been caught off – guard by one such magazine …waiting 4 them to publish…hope they do not publish anything not said or intended…anywaz congrats n keep up the gud work …which has been difficult 4 me to do coz of my current hectic training…my best wishes to u.

  10. Hi sir,ur giving nce help to the peoples those who r studying at home…sir in my last 2-attempts i was not able to crack prelims…i want to be ips…jst giv me tips..how to crack this exam.if possibl giv me ur email….thanks

  11. Divya Vishnu

    HEARTY CONGRATS GOKUL FOR CLEARING THE EXAM.Your article will really inspire many aspirants for sure…the question you have asked in the articlei.e. “why should i endorse something which was not used by me” is the core question each aspirant as well as the newly inducted officers should ask themselves…after this year’s result i saw many people recommending a particular institution in Kerala for EXAM PREPARATION…I had personally joined this institution and lost my money which to be frank i had borrowed for study purpose..I was actually shocked by the way in which they were giving classes.although run by Govt. the money went nowhere for the good of the aspirants.I am proud enough to say that I discouraged many of my knowhow’s from joining this institution b’coz even though those students could afford the lose of money,I wanted to prevent that money from reaching the wrong hands.this is my second chance in the civil services exam and the main worry I have is, about the new pattern of aptitude test which is unpredictable,though there are many anticipations about the pattern of questions.As a successful candidate what would you like to suggest me in this matter…the problem is that I’m from science stream and have not learned maths option…till 10th i have learned maths,and now I can manage with the maths part,though not confidently. I fair well in the other sections,so the mock tests I gave was not so bad,but I would like to have some suggestions from you on this matter…Congrats once again and hearty wishes for your bright future in administration and welfare of the people of ‘Bharat’.

    • Hi Divya
      I dont think you can expect much from any coaching institute though you may find good teachers once in a while. My association with that institute is limited to two free mock interviews and the kerala house accommodation. Well, its difficult to guess how the paper 2 will turn out to be. But anyway you will have to do some ‘aptitude’ part. Get one standard book on aptitude ( i used 2-3 books from time’s cat material) and study some basic theory on probability, numbers, interest etc. Practice some questions. About the remaining part, one can be sure only when the paper comes out on june 12. All the best

  12. mujeebu rahman k t

    Sir, Thanks for giving us a motivation to enter into Civil Service.

  13. Hi,

    I am a chinese Malaysian currently studying in the UK. I have met a lot of friends from India studying here as well speaking really highly of IAS officers back home. I am actually pretty curious as to why the exam standard has been set so high? I believe that Malaysia and India arent pretty far apart in terms of certain culture and governance. As both countries are ex-British colonials, we have the same democratic governance in place. Here in Malaysia, usually if one chooses to serve as an MP or a civil servant to society basically, the requirements arent as high compared to the private sector. This is of course due to the higher pay benefits and future prospects within the private sector. Forrgive me if sound ignorant by comparing Malaysia and India too closely together. This is of course coming from many conversations that Ive had with close friends from India. I cant seem to get a clear response as to why a civil servant job exam is extremely tough. In the business of politics back home or for civil servants, the drive to enter the services industry itself is based on passion or willingness to serve. Let us be honest here that parents in India dont spend 35 000 GBP of overseas education investment to allow their kids to serve back in the civil services industry. My point is I think it comes back to the basics of money which is extremely important in the world we live in today. Money is not everything as I do not want to come off as a shallow person. But from a parent`s stand point of view after heavy investments into a child`s education, what other factors would drive a person to take such a difficult exam for such little in return. Again, forgive me, I know services and contribution to society is deemed more important at the end of the day. It could possibly be more rewarding for some people than cash. Is it possible that rampant corruption plays a huge part as well back home? I have heard from friends here that many civil servants back home are in fact very well off, and that is no different to politicians back in Malaysia who resort to Nepotism and corruption. Our ex Prime Minister of Malaysia is so called clean and all minister`s pay are of public records. However, majority of them are prancing around in S class Mercedes and living in huge bungalows even after they have retired. My point is, is power one of the main issues here? I am not accusing anyone of anything but I would really like an honest answer from someone as I have a vast interest in world politics. Thank you for taking the time out to read this tedious and long post. Your reply will be greatly appreciated.

  14. Sir please suggest one magzine which is best.I get confuse for PD,CRONICLE,CST which is best

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