Declining number of successful Hindi medium aspirants in Civil Services
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has declared the results of 2019 exam. 829 candidates have been selected.
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has declared the results of 2019 exam. 829 candidates have been selected. These selected candidates will hold senior positions in the government machinery, as senior administrators, diplomats, senior police officials etc. These are the backbone of the government and was termed steel frame of India by Sardar Patel. Everything is up to the mark till here. But the worrying trend witnessed by the past few years, also continued this year. Actually, the number of students excelling in this exam-taking Hindi as a medium of examination is declining. This time highest ranker with Hindi medium secured 317th rank. Means up to rank 316th was dominated by the students of English medium. There may be a few exceptions also.
For the person securing 317th rank, getting higher cadres like IAS, IPS or IFS will be impossible. Although other services are also prestigious, these three cadres are most popular and are considered creamy cadre of the government services. It is a fact that till about ten years ago, 3-4 toppers among top 10 were of Hindi medium only. But now it is highly worrying that the first successful candidate of Hindi medium came after 316 English medium students. Let's have a flashback. Till 2010,45 per cent of Hindi medium candidates were qualifying prelims and were sitting for Mains. But now this number has declined to mere 10-12 per cent. It is said by many that the biggest factor of this dropping curve is, candidates are not able to qualify prelims itself and failed to secure a seat for mains exam. We have to admit that there is something deficient in the system itself, otherwise, this large number of decline in the Hindi medium students would not have been witnessed. This pattern of the selection of English medium students in large number and Hindi medium students tasting failure mainly in civil services is highly troublesome for more than half of the population of the country. The big question is the student groups who were performing better a few years ago, what has led to their almost worst results.
My opinion is that mindset acts about language play a major role. The examiners do not appreciate the answers written in Hindi, even though it is, in many instances, better than answers of many English medium students. Also, the confidence of Hindi speakers is lower than English speaker students, as English is not seen as a language in India but has been advertised and promoted as a class apart, due to our colonial history, previous(Congress) government policies and missionary(Christian) schools in India. The British propounded the theory of white men burden in which they claimed their existence in India, because of God's order, to civilise English speaking and uncivilised native Hindi speakers. They did everything to prove their race superior to Indians and their language superior to Hindi. This mindset is present in most of the Indians even after seven decades of Independence. The atmosphere of the interview room adds woe to the worries. Even students with their sheer hard workable to succeed to qualify Mains, s/he will not get the sufficient number in an interview, to make it to the final list. Then is it just a hoax to educate in mother tongue? Akbar Allahabadi rightly said, "Talim ka zor itna, tehzib ka shor kitna. Barkat jo nahi hoti, niyat ki kharabi hai". (We focus on education and leave behind manners. If we do not succeed, it is because of our dishonesty towards our goals).
Why are Hindi medium students unsuccessful at the first plaNewsce? Some reasons that can be pointed out are-lack of quality study materials available in Hindi, incorrect translation of textbooks and question papers(google translated passages and questions, sometimes are completely irrelevant and has a different meaning ),less numbers given by examiners while evaluating copies(sometimes deliberately) and underestimation of Hindi medium, weaker economic and educational background of Hindi medium students and examiners, lesser number of students of Hindi medium vis-a-vis English medium. etc.
It is evident that we have an ample amount of coaching institutions but we do lack in coaching institutes with quality faculties and study materials. They boast to teach students to clear various competitive exams. Almost every city of the country is filled with coaching Institutes which claim to make the students prepare to clear these exams, from clerk to civil services, they blow their own trumpet. Coaching students with Hindi medium has emerged as mushrooms, in every streets and locality. Mukherjee Nagar of Delhi encompasses a large number of these institutes. Don't they have qualified faculties? If your educator is not qualified up to the level the most prestigious exam of the country demands, then you cannot expect better results. It is also possible that the so-called better institutions also somehow lack in providing good level study materials. They advise students to hunt for study materials on the internet. These materials are mainly in English. Even the main newspapers prescribed by toppers are The Hindu and Indian Express which are also in English. Now it completely depends on Hindi medium students to understand these materials, grasp its core and present it in the exam in Hindi without any faults in grammar. If such condition continues then, India will never get again a Foreign Secretary like Mr. Shashank. Mr. Shashank was a successful foreign secretary. He has a record of excelling in the exam with bright colours with Hindi medium.
Many of these institutes are indulged in misinformation and wrong advertisements, in order to lure more students. Many of the toppers also take money from the institutes and speak better for them to make a positive image of the Institute. All theses propaganda along with a dream of golden future with top government positions and prestigious life made many parents to even sell their valuable land, houses and other assets, in order to admit their children in these costly institutes. If the quality of study is good it pays for the student endeavour, but if the quality is not up to the mark, after all these sacrifices and spending a year or two, the students and their parents feel cheated by these institutes and feel themselves helpless. This concern should also be addressed by the government. Some coaching institutes also charge up to two lakhs for a few months course. Rent of accommodation and food is extra. Due to vast syllabus and less time, many students prefer to eat outside foods lacking nutrients and proper hygiene, rather than preparing themselves and studies for that time, this food often has a negative impact on the health of aspirants. All this has become a business strategy rather than imparting education. This is also a factor for less number of Hindi medium students as most of them are from the weaker economic background.
On one hand, India desires Hindi to be granted official language status at United Nations, on the other hand, Hindi is losing its glory in our top bureaucracy, and students opting for it, feels themselves in a regretting position. To bring Hindi on the world stage, the first positive and firm step was initiated by Former PM of India, heavenly abode Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. His love for Hindi is known to the entire world. He always did poetry in Hindi and often recite it on public stages. First Vishwa Hindi Sammelan(World Hindi Conference ) was held in Nagpur in 1975. In this conference, a resolution was passed to take steps taken to grant Hindi the status of the official language of UN. After two years of this, Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji, then foreign minister of Janata Party government, gave a magnificent Historic speech in Hindi on 4th October 1977 at the conference of United Nations General Assembly. Prior to him, none of the PM or the Foreign Minister or not even any representative had used Hindi at the United Nations Assembly. After his speech at the United Nations, a positive attitude, happiness, pride and a sense of inspiring atmosphere was created not only among Indians but also in Hindi lovers across the globe. But now Hindi is facing a misfortune and a sad treatment even at the place of its origin. This is not merely a worrying but unfortunate situation.
It is mere coincidence that when everyone is sad with the demoralising performance of the civil services aspirants, the recently declared results of Hindi of students of 10th and 12th of Uttar Pradesh State is highly worrying. Means no positive news is coming from anywhere regarding Hindi.
Are students losing interests to understand, study and pursuing Hindi as a career in Uttar Pradesh? Are teachers of Hindi not able to perform their duties as a teacher? These two questions are relevant as the failure of lakhs of students in their mother tongue raises many questions. This is having a far-reaching impact. Students who opt for intermediate and matric exams in Hindi medium and do not study it religiously, then in future they will become unsuccessful in the prestigious exams like UPSC. Actually, the pseudo persons who call themselves Hindi patrons and those who earn on the name of Hindi will have to answer why are students of Hindi medium and aspirants from school level upto highly important exams like UPSC are failing to achieve the desired and expected results?
(Writer is senior editor, columnist and Former MP)