Politics & Governance

Let Young Lives Blossom, Do Not Let Them Die Like IAS Aspirant Varun

NEW DELHI: A young man, all of 28 years, was aspiring to become a civil servant but abruptly and sadly ended his life on Sunday in the heat of the national Capital. Varun Subhash Chandran had failed to enter the examination centre, notified by the UPSC, in time on Sunday morning to take the preliminary exams of civil services. He was late only by four minutes.

This delay of four minutes weighed heavily on the mind and thought process of Varun and ultimately sniffed out his life as he committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan. The four minute-delay caused a young life to cease to exist and put a lid firmly on his aspirations and dreams. 

Apparently, he had wasted precious few minutes by going to a wrong examination centre and by the time he realized his mistake and rushed to the designated centre, the gates were closed. And after an hour or so he closed all the possibilities of life upon himself.

Let us ponder, what could have happened if was allowed entry to the examination centre by the supervising staff. The examination had not even begun, there were six minutes to go for that. Varun could have rushed to his seat and taken the prelims exam and his life could have been saved. 

This archaic regulation needs to be thrown out immediately. Closing the entry gates of the centre even before the exam has begun. The supervising staff could have taken a sympathetic view, could have imagined the plight of a youth who came running to make it in time. No candidate wants to be late for the all important exam but even if a candidate is allowed a late entry and is not granted any other relaxation or extra time, it is the candidate’s fate – he or she would have to complete the examination in the allotted time. The time wasted by late entry debits his or her own time to take on the paper.

Varun was attempting the UPSC prelims for the sixth time. He was aware of all regulations and stipulations but it was a stroke of bad luck that he could not enter the centre four minutes ago. There are many candidates who have to cover long distances but it was not so in case of Varun, the young life which was lost to a rule that could have shown only a bit of leniency in allowing him to take the exam. It would have been wholly his own fate – what if he could have cleared it and gone on to the mains section. He had failed to clear it in the past five attempts, the pressure on him was immense and he could not cope with it.

So far there has not been any official statement on Varun’s suicide for being four minutes late. Probably, all the wise men and women of vast experience and wisdom who are members of the UPSC can instruct the supervisory staff at examination centre to use their judgment on the spot in deciding upon such individual cases which would be negligible but would save a young life, offer yet another opportunity to an aspirant. By no means, it would have given Varun an extra edge or advantage over other candidates appearing in the civil services exam.

Last year, Lok Sabha Secretariat had conducted a prelims exam for assistants. One of the centres in South Delhi was located next to an under construction government school and candidates had a tough time in locating it. No rule was broken but supervisory staff and the security personnel allowed candidates entry moments before the examination began. Nothing was lost. Failure or success depends on an aspirant’s preparation and hard work, let him or her realize that. Surely, we are not turning into a police or military State and are not becoming stumbling blocks in building a value-based, purposeful, constructive and humane society. 

“Rules are rules, but bending them for a good purpose should be legitimate.” These were the last words of Varun Chandran who hailed from Karnataka and had come to Delhi to give wings to his dreams which now lay shattered. Nobody’s life will be affected by his suicide except his family’s who will never be come to terms with the loss of their young one. The news of his suicide managed to enter the pages of all newspapers and news portals but will it spur any rethink on rules? It is time that measures are in place so that another Varun does not take his own life. 

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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