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Why a home hero wishes for Gujarat posting - UPSC ranker Rachit Raj rues lack of functional autonomy in Jharkhand

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A.S.R.P. MUKESH   |     |   Published 16.06.14, 12:00 AM

Love you Jharkhand, but want to tie the knot with Gujarat.

Daltonganj boy Rachit Raj, who turned the spotlight on Maoist-hit Palamau by clinching an all-India rank of three in the civil services examination, is in awe of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.

The 24-year-old is hoping hard that his first posting is in any part of the western state instead of his native Jharkhand. Asked why, Rachit reasoned that Gujarat offered functional autonomy, which his home state lacked. “As a civil servant and an administrator, it is very important that I get my own space. Bureaucracy needs freedom from unwanted political pressure to be able to make a difference. Unfortunately, Jharkhand is far away from it at the moment,” he said.

Speaking to The Telegraph from Delhi, the UPSC achiever said that his dream start depended on the status of vacancies, but he was keeping fingers crossed. “I want to begin my career on a positive note. Maybe, I shall return to Jharkhand with proven credentials sometime later.”

Hailing from a middle-class family, Rachit conceded that Palamau district headquarters Daltonganj — infamous for being both a Maoist bastion and grossly underdeveloped — had only gone from bad to worse over the years.

“Honestly, there is nothing called governance there. The law and order situation is on the decline. Among the few positive things are primary health centre buildings that have come up in Daltonganj, but their good use again is negligible. Development indicators like uninterrupted power and water supply show signs of regression to an undeveloped past,” he said matter-of-factly.

After completing his secondary studies from Sacred Heart School in Daltongonj in 2005, Rachit pursued his plus two at BITS-Pilani, Rajasthan, and in 2012, received his biotechnology degree from Vellore Institute of Technology.

He maintained that he had made up his mind to be a civil servant while in school. “However, I formally began preparation in December 2012 while in Delhi. Though I was confident of cracking the UPSC exam, being among the top three has come as pleasant surprise.”

What was his mantra for success?

“Smart study,” said the smarter youth. “Around four-five hours of dedication, divided into understanding concepts, revision of lessons and solving questions. It is very important to form your own opinion about whatever you read.”

And, what helped him crack the interview?

“I was asked very basic, yet opinion-based, questions on Jharkhand’s social issues. I was questioned how as a young administrator I would deal with them. For instance, they asked me how I would end the dowry practice. My answer was simple: by curing myopic outlook, bringing about gender equality and grooming personality of individuals, especially girls. Changing our mindset, our way of thinking is the key to such social malaise,” Rachit said.

The bright youth added a personal touch to his answer. “I said my mother was against dowry and my father’s family didn’t ask for it. Also, my elder brother who tied the knot recently had no-dowry as a precondition to getting married.”

If given a chance, what would he like to change about Jharkhand?

“As I said earlier, the style of functioning. We need good governance and proactive administration,” Rachit, who is now eagerly waiting for his training to formally kick off on September 1, said.

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