The increasing number of Muslims clearing the exam, considered the toughest in the country, is being attributed to the community’s concerted effort to groom Muslim youths for the top bureaucracy.
The need for this was felt after the Rajinder Sachar Committee, set up in 2005 to examine the status of Muslims in India, found that just 3 per cent were in top administrative jobs.
Fifty of the 1,099 candidates who cleared the civil services examination this year were Muslims, the highest since Independence.
“This is the first time so many Muslims have cleared the Union Public Service Commission examination,” said Zafar Mahmood, chairman and founder of the Zakat Foundation. “It seems the community is progressing.”
The NGO runs a civil service coaching centre for Muslim youth in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar.
A panel headed by retired judge Rajender Sachar had noted in 2006 that Muslims enjoyed just 3% representation in the civil services and 4% in the police service. About 4.5% of the students who cleared the civil service examination this year are Muslim.
Muslims make up roughly 3% of the IAS and IPS officers getting selected through the civil services exam each year. Given that Muslims constitute roughly 14% of the country’s population, media would like you to believe that Muslims have a lower chance of making it through the exams, there is prejudice against Muslims, they have lower representation, etc.
Estimates point out to approximately 2000-3000 applicants being Muslim out of the total 9.5 lakh applicants in 2014, which leads to a participation share of 0.2-0.3% as compared to a selection share of 3%. The reason for the low representation of Muslims in the IAS fraternity clearly is the lower share of Muslims in the applicants and not a bias in the selection process. A 2014 Economic and Political Weeklyarticle by Naseem A Zaidi (former chairperson of Aligarh Muslim University’s Economics department) had explored and analysed this in detail.