New Delhi: The UPSC has recruited 42 Muslim candidates through the Civil Services Exam (CSE) for the 2019 batch — up from 28 last year.
Safna Nazarudeen, who ranked 45, has secured the highest rank among Muslim candidates and is the only one from the community among the top 100.
According to the CSE results released by the UPSC Tuesday, a total of 829 candidates have cleared the latest exam. Muslim candidates comprise 5 per cent of this, as has been the trend over the last few years. Muslims are believed to constitute nearly 15 per cent of India’s population.
The number of Muslim candidates picked last year was 28, or 4 per cent of the 759 candidates recruited.
For the 2016 batch, for the first time in history, 50 Muslims were selected through the UPSC, with 10 making it to the top 100. In the 2017 batch, too, 50 Muslims were selected through the exam.
For the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 batches, this number was 30, 34, 38 and 36, respectively.
“Since 2016, the percentage of Muslim candidates has remained around 5 per cent, which is a big feat, considering that, since Independence, this number was around 2.5 per cent,” said Zafar Mahmood of the Zakat Foundation, which grooms Muslim candidates for the UPSC.
Out of the 42 candidates who have made it this year, 27 are from Zakat Foundation, Mahmood claimed.
The Sachar effect
The realisation among the community to invest more in civil services came with the 2006 Sachar Committee Report, which documented the poor representation of Muslims in government jobs, said Mahmood.
According to the report, at the time, just 3 per cent of IAS officers, 1.8 per cent of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers and 4 per cent of IPS officers were Muslim, even though the community comprised 13.4 per cent of the population at the time (2001 census).
“Since then, there has been a big change in the outlook of the community, and it has managed to bring the representation each year to 5 per cent,” Mahmood added. “However, considering the total percentage of Muslims in India is 15 per cent, we have to make three times the effort to bring the representation up,” he said.
He added that it is a matter of concern that only one Muslim candidate has made it to the top 100. “That just tells us that we have to keep making the effort.”
Over the past few years, several coaching centres have come up across India that provide free or subsidised coaching exclusively for Muslim candidates, like the Hamdard Study Circle, Aaghaz Foundation, Larkspur House, etc.