Don’t Waste Time on UPSC – PM Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal

Sanjeev Sanyal

Sanjeev Sanyal, an economist and advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has recently sparked a debate with his views on the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam. He suggests that the energy spent on preparing for the UPSC could be better utilized in fields such as sports, entertainment, medicine, entrepreneurship, or scientific research unless someone is genuinely interested in administrative roles.

Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), expressed these views during “The Neon Show” podcast hosted by Siddhartha Ahluwalia. He argues that too many young individuals are investing their prime years preparing for the UPSC exam, which he believes yields limited benefits given the small number of positions available.

He emphasized the need for more first-generation billionaires who can drive job creation and innovation. He advocates that young people should look at other alternatives. “At the end of it if you must dream, surely you should dream to be Elon Musk, or Mukesh Ambani, why did you dream to be Joint Secretary?” he said.

Sanjeev Sanyal asserts that redirecting this energy towards other endeavors would yield greater societal benefits. “If they put the same energy into doing something else, we will be winning more Olympic gold medals, we will be seeing better movies being made, we’d see better doctors, we would see more entrepreneurs, scientists, and so on,” he explained.

He also deems the pursuit of a bureaucratic career a potential waste of time for those lacking genuine interest in administrative roles, noting the monotony associated with such positions. “Life in bureaucracy is not meant for everybody and large parts of it, as with any profession, are largely dull and boring, and about passing files up and down. And unless you really wanted to do it, and you know, you’re not going to be particularly happy with it,” he added.

Drawing parallels with regional aspirations in India, Sanjeev Sanyal said: “Just like Bengal aspired for pseudo intellectuals and union leaders, Bihar aspired to small-time, local goon politicians, or UPSC. So in an environment where those are the role models, you can either become a local goon or basically become a civil servant. Now even that (UPSC), although it’s better than being a goon, even that is a poverty of aspiration,” he said.

Sanjeev Sanyal’s comments have ignited a debate on the need for a shift in mindset among young people in India. His perspective challenges the traditional path of success and encourages young people to redefine their aspirations, aiming for innovation and job creation rather than settling for the monotony of bureaucratic roles.

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