50 Muslim candidates cleared UPSC Civil Services Exam, set a new record – Still a long way to go

New Delhi: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) declared the results of Civil Service Examination which was conducted in December 2016. This year 50 Muslim candidates cleared the examination, the highest ever in the history of UPSC.

This year 10 Muslims got their names listed in top 100 ranks. Among the 50 Muslim candidates who cleared the exam, 6 are women.

Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat, a Kashmiri youth from Handwara of North Kashmir cleared the exam with All India Rank 10. Along with him, 13 more Kashmiri youths cleared the exam.

Sohail Qasim Meer, son of a head constable, Mohammed Qasim Meer of Srinagar cleared Civil Service Exam in the first attempt itself. His All India Rank is 125. He graduated from Govt. Degree College, Bemina and Management Education from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. His family hails from Anantnag of South Kashmir.

Salam Siddiqui, former principal of Mumtaz Inter College who cleared this prestigious exam said that the credit of his success goes to several non-profit and social organisations.

This year out of 50 Muslim candidates, who cleared the exam, 16 are helped by Zakat Foundation of India which provides free coaching for Civil Service Exam.

This achievement may be in response to the Sachar Committee Report, which was released in the month of November 2006. In the report, concerns were expressed regarding poor representation of Muslims in Govt. jobs.

According to the report published in Hindustan Times, 36 Muslims cleared Civil Service exam in 2016. In 2015, 38 cleared whereas in 2014, 34 and in 2013, 30 cleared the exam.

However, this number is not impressive as the total population of Muslims is 13.4% and the percentage of Muslims clearing the exam is around 3%. The reasons for such low number are lack of education and unavailability of resources.

comparing the Muslim population percentage and the percentage of Muslim candidates who cleared the exam, Agha Pervez Masih, Administrator at Lucknow Guidance Centre, a free coaching centre run by the Aaaghaz Foundation, said that the figures are not very encouraging. He further said that the number should reach 170-180 to match with the population percentage.

It is to be noted that this year, the written exam for the Civil Services Exam was held in December 2016 followed by interviews for personality test between March and May this year.

A total of 1,099 candidates has been recommended for appointment besides a consolidated Reserve List of 172 candidates.