Sanjeev Sanyal on UPSC: Youth aspire to become joint secretary, why not Elon Musk or Mukesh Ambani?

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New Delhi: PM Economic Advisory Council member Sanjeev Sanyal feels the country will benefit greatly if India’s youth quit easting their productive years preparing for UPSC exams. “Life in the bureaucracy is not meant for everybody. You will be happy only if you really want to do it,” said Sanyal in a podcast with Siddharth Ahluwalia who hosts The Neon Show.

Speaking on the trend among youth to pursue UPSC, Sanyal said that “young kids who have so much energy are wasting their time trying to crack UPSC.”

While he agreed that every country has the need for a bureaucracy, there’s a slim chance that the lakhs of people who sit for the exam will be able to clear it. “It makes no sense,” he said.

He said the country will benefit more if the same energy is directed towards sports, movie making, medicine, and science. “If the same energy is put into doing something else, we would be winning more Olympic gold medals, get better movies, better doctors, more scientists, and so on,” he said.

He attributed the craze for UPSC to the “poverty of spiration” citing the absence of role models with the dominance of pseudo-intellectuals (in West Bengal) and small-time local goon politicians (in Bihar).

He states that instead of aspiring to just become a civil servant, individuals would do better to “dream to be an Elon Musk or a Mukesh Ambani. Why do you dream to be a joint secretary?”

Who is Sanjeev Sanyal?

Sanjeev Sanyal is a member of the PM Economic Advisory Council. He also serves as secretary of the Indian government. He has previously served as the principal economic advisor to the finance minister and helped to formulate the G20 Global Action Plan for the international response to COVID-19.

He is a former global strategist and MD with Deutsche Bank.

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