It is quite evident that being a civil servant i.e., IAS officer or an IPS officer is a very tough job and doesn’t pay even half of what the candidates can make in private sector. Even the powers enjoyed by civil servants have been curtailed to an extent recently.
Sarkari babus also have a very bad reputation when it comes to red-tapism and corruption among the general public in India. But still, lakhs every year attempt to clear the examination. So, what actually motivates or inspires candidates every year to take upon the world’s toughest recruitment test?
Well, the answer is quite simple! The key motivation for all IAS aspirants is not the money or power that comes with the job, but the opportunity to serve the country and contribute to its growth and well-being. Despite all the drawbacks mentioned above, there is no doubt that the primary administration and law and order of the country are in the hands of civil servants. In fact, there have been several exemplary civil servants, IAS and IPS officers included; which have helped shape the country that we live in. Some have even gone on to inspire popular movies like Aamir Khan’s Sarfarosh as well as lesser known films like Katiyabaaz; which show how civil servants work relentlessly for the betterment of the country and its citizens.
To help inspire IAS aspirants, we have listed down some real life ‘Dabangg’ civil servants, who have gone above and beyond their duties to serve this country.
1. Ajit Doval
Ajit Doval is a name which has been in the news headlines recently; thanks to India’s proactive action to defend its border against terrorists and anti-national elements. Mr Doval is currently appointed as the National Security Advisor to the PM and he is the 5th person to hold this title. Prior to this, Ajit Doval served the country as an IPS officer who was appointed in 1968 in the Kerala cadre. Popularly known as India’s spymaster; Ajit Doval earned this nickname during his stint as the director of Intelligence Bureau in 2004-05. He also headed the operations wing of IB for over a decade.
As far as his work resume is concerned, it boasts of commendable work during his years as an IPS officer. He also played an active role in anti-insurgency operations in troubled states of Kashmir, Mizoram and Punjab. Another feather in his cap was added, when he managed to terminate all 15 hijacking of Indian Airlines aircraft from 1971-1999. During his spy days, Mr Doval has also served as an undercover agent for a high-risk assignment in Pakistan.
2. Ashok Khemka
Ashok Khemka is another IAS officer made famous due to their proactive approach to take upon corruption. Originally from Kolkata, Mr Khemka is an IITian who joined the Haryana cadre as an IAS officer in 1991. He is most popularly known for exposing the irregularities in the land deal worth Rs 57 crore between the real estate giant DLF group and Sonia Gandhi’s son in law, Robert Vadra. Prior to this, he had also unearthed a scam in Haryana Seed Development Corporation, where the corporation was being sold seeds at inflated prices. As a reward for his good work, Mr Khemka has been awarded 45 transfers in his 23 years of service. Recently, two chargesheets have also been filed against him for failing his responsibilities as the Haryana Seed Development Corporation.
3. Durga Shakti Nagpal
Well, if you thought India only produced Dabangg male civil servants, then Ms Nagpal is here to prove your wrong. Durga Shakti Nagpal began her career as an IAS officer with Punjab cadre in June 2011. Keeping in line with her first name which epitomizes female power in Hindu mythology; Durga Shakti Nagpal has been phenomenal in serving the country by exposing the corruption. During her stint as an IAS officer in Punjab, she exposed a land scam in Mohali.
In August 2012, she was moved to Uttar Pradesh cadre, where she was appointed as the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) in Gautam Budh Nagar. It was here that she acted against the ‘sand-mafia’ in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. She formed special investigation teams to track and expose illegal sand mining on Yamuna and Hindon river banks. During this operation, under her watch, the administration managed to confiscate 24 dumper trucks and 300 trolleys; to top this, 15 people were also arrested. Like all honest IAS officers, she was also rewarded for her good work with suspension.
4. Armstrong Pame
One of the biggest strengths of India is its diversity and this also stands true when it comes to IAS officers and civil servants, as proven by Mr Armstrong Pame. Mr Pame is the first IAS officer from Zeme Tribe of the Naga Peoples. Originally from Tamenglong district of Manipur, Armstrong Pame is known as the ‘Miracle Man’ who build a 100 km long road famously known as the “Peoples’ Road” connecting Manipur to Nagaland and Assam. The toughest part about his achievement is that he built the “Peoples’ Road” without any financial help from the government. The road was built with help of funds offered by general public and through the money raised through social media. He also went ahead and contributed his own salary for this cause. He is a true hero and an embodiment of quote ‘where there is will, there is way’.
5. Shivdeep Waman Lande
If you think that only Salman Khan can take upon several goons and criminals and also solve problems faced by local people, who were wrong; Bihar IPS officer Shivdeep Waman Lande also manages to do these and much more. Mr Lande originally hails from Akola in Maharashtra and has been appointed as an IPS office of 2006 Batch of Bihar cadre. Mr Lande did an incredible job in handling the law and order situation Superintendent of Police in Araria, Purnia and Munger districts of Bihar, which were known for their notorious crime rates. He took upon criminals and goons, cosmetic mafia, eve teasers. When he was appointed as Superintendent of police in Patna, the crime rate of the capital dropped drastically.
Along with fulfilling his job duties, he also took out time to listen to and resolve problems faced by the general public. In fact, when he was transferred from Patna, the people of the city took out candlelight march against this government decision; which clearly shows his popularity among the general public.
Apart from fighting crime, he is also socially active in serving the community by donating 60% of his salary for to a social organization which arranges marriage for poor girls and hostels for poor students.
Coming back to the female fire-power in Indian bureaucracy; B.Chandrakala is a name we cannot miss. Native of Andhra Pradesh; Ms Chandrakala became an IAS officer in 2008 under the Uttar Pradesh Cadre. Popularly known as the feisty District Magistrate of Bulandhshahar, she is popular among the people for taking a tough stand against corruption and irregularities in the government functioning.
She is known to publicly expose other government officers and politicians using their authority for their personal good and not fulfilling their job duties. Her Facebook video of taking upon civic contractor for using poor quality material and pitiable construction quality of the roads in Bulandhshahar went viral on social media, brought her to limelight. She is continuing her good work for people even today.
Mr S.R.Sankaran is popularly known as the ‘People’s IAS officer’. He was inducted in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1956 in Andhra Pradesh cadre. During his early years, he worked as the Sub-collector of Nandyal in Kurnool district in 1959 and District Collector of Adilabad, Khammam and Nellore. He was moved to the central government in 1971 as an assistant to Mohan Kumaramangalam, the then Minister for Steel and Mines. There too he played a very important role in the nationalization of coal mines. Thereafter, he moved back to his cadre in Andhra Pradesh and served as the Principal Secretary for Social Welfare with the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Among his many achievements, the key include his intense efforts to abolish bonded labour and for protecting rights of SC / ST and poor people. He also played very important role in the formulation of pro-poor policies that were implemented by the then government. Another factor that made him very popular among masses was his simple and down-to-earth lifestyle. He led a very transparent life with limited desire for materialistic things. He also worked as the chief negotiator for Andhra Pradesh Govt in 2004 for its campaign to end Naxalite violence. His commitment to serve the people of this country is an inspiration for every Indian.
8. Kiran Bedi
It is very often that when we picture a strong male IPS officer, we always remember Salman Khan; however, when it comes to female IPS officer only Kiran Bedi still rules the charts over any other actress who has played a cop on screen. Kiran Bedi holds the honour to be the first woman to join the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1972. She served the country for 35 years as an IPS officer before taking voluntary retirement in 2007. She was appointed to the Union territory cadre. During her long and illustrious career, she served in Delhi, Goa, Chandigarh and Mizoram. During her career, she has been known to lower crime rate of any area that fell under her jurisdiction. Apart from taking on the regular criminals, she also took upon corrupt government officials and politicians.
One famous instance from Kiran Bedi’s career is the related to her towing the former PM Indira Gandhi’s car while handling the traffic department of Delhi Police. During her stint at the traffic department of Delhi, she also earned the nickname of ‘Crane Bedi’ as she was known to tow vehicles of people for violation of traffic laws.
9. Vinod Rai
Another IAS officer that has made it to the front pages of newspapers; thanks to their habit of exposing corruption and taking on the irregularities in government functioning. Vinod Rai is a 1972 Batch IAS officer from Kerala cadre, who started his career as the sub-collector of Thrissur District. He served the Thrissur District for 8 years and was given the nickname of second Sakthan Thampuran for his role in the development of the Thrissur City.
However, his most popular public service period was more recent, when he was appointed as 11th Comptroller and Auditor General of India in 2008. In this role, Mr Rai played a phenomenal role in exposing major corruption scandals and scams including the Coal-Gate Scam, 2G Spectrum Allocation Scam, Delhi Commonwealth Games scam and Padmanabhaswamy Temple Audit. Currently, he is appointed as the chairman of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors.
10. Rajni Sekhri Sibal
Talk about Rajni and the face of ‘Thalaivaa’ come to the fore; however, the next person not only shares her first name with the southern superstar but also his commitment to serve the country. Rajni Sekhri Sibal is a 1986 batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, who is another female power house when it comes to civil servants. She is best known for helping expose the JBT teachers recruitment scam in Haryana. She is popularly referred as the woman who brought down former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala with “four metres of cloth”.
As we all know, the JBT teachers recruitment scam was the one where interview scores of 3200 teachers were manipulated to give jobs to those who had paid for it. Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was also involved in this scam. When Ms Sibal was asked to participate in the scam, she refused and was promptly transferred. However, her quick wits ensure that the scam was exposed. She ordered thick cotton bandages and sealed a steel almirah (cupboard) containing all the proof of the wrongdoing and asked her junior officers to sign the cloth in different places and take pictures. This way, the evidence held in the cupboard could not be tampered with. Finally, a CBI investigation was launched in which former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was found to be guilty.
These are just a few of the examples of honest and committed civil servants making a difference in the lives of common people and citizens of this country. However, there are many others who daily work hard, sometimes risking their own life and the lives of their loved ones; to make this country a better place for us to live. We pay our respects and gratitude to all such amazing officers who work to build the India that we can all be proud of.