‘IAS officer’s pen is mightier than scalpel’

Chennai, May 4 (IANS) He firmly believes that the “pen is mightier than the scalpel” in the service of people at least in India and A. Arun Thamburaj would soon wield his weapon on entering the prestigious Indian Administrative Service.

Thamburaj, a qualified doctor and an IAS topper from Tamil Nadu came sixth in the 2012 civil services exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the results of which were declared Friday.

Incidentally the hand that held the scalpel for a brief period is now holding the baton as an IPS officer, forgoing lucrative opportunities overseas in 2010, and will soon hold the mighty pen.

He is also arguing his case in the apex court to know how he got low marks in Zoology – his pet subject – in the 2010 civil services exam pushing him far down in the overall rankings and making him take the Indian Police Service (IPS).

“The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is a wonderful professional organisation. Despite the case I have filed against the organisation, I have been selected,” Arun Thamburaj told IANS over phone from Mysore, where he is on election duty for the May 5 Karnataka assembly polls.

While his family members and college professors feel that the civil services have gained at the cost of medicine, (sister A. Roopa is a dentist) Arun Thamburaj strongly feels otherwise.

“It is not the question of gain or loss. At the end of the day it is the question of being able to serve the people. In India an IAS officer can really make a difference to the lives of common people even working within the existing system, compared to a doctor and I have seen this in my life,” he said.

“Throughout his academic career he was a topper. He stood first in the plus two examinations among the children of the police officials and got the chief minister’s gold medal,” T. Ashok, a retired superintendent of police told IANS about his son.

“He also got two gold medals in MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) in surgery and gynecology subjects and finished his house surgeonship at the Madras Medical College,” Ashok said.

During his training in Mussoorie he stood first in Hindi and got the gold medal among the IAS and IPS cadets, the proud father said about his son.

Speaking about his case in the apex court Arun Thamburaj said he wanted a re-evaluation of the Zoology paper. He also wanted to see his answer sheet and applied for this under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Arun Thamburaj got just 197 marks out of 600 in Zoology, the optional paper in 2010 civil services exams.

The case is coming up for hearing soon and he will be arguing it as party in person as he is not in a position to hire a lawyer.

“I am not fighting the UPSC which I feel is a wonderful professional organisation. All I want to know is how I got low marks in that paper,” he reiterated.

“Even though many of his college mates have gone abroad and are raking in dollars, my son wants to be in India,” Ashok said.

“One may earn money abroad. But it is not possible to make even a slight change in the system for the benefit of the people. I want to be in India and that is why I gave IAS as my first choice followed by IPS and IFS (Indian Foreign Service),” Arun Thamburaj said.

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