AGARTALA: Just out of a full-blown controversy over his critique of model-actor Diana Hayden's looks, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has spoken out again. This time, the Chief Minister says mechanical engineers should not join the civil services, only those from civil engineering stream should. Because, in his words, "those in administration need to build a society and civil engineers have that knowledge".
- Biplab Deb says mechanical engineers should not join civil services
- Only those from civil engineering stream should, he says
- He presented his views at an event to mark civil services day
The Chief Minister's presented his views at an event to mark civil services day in state capital Agartala last evening, just some time before he regretted his disparaging comments about Diana Hayden.
In a widely-circulated video clip of his speech at the function, the BJP leader said most people who opted for the premier civil services such as the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) and IPS (Indian Police Service) earlier were from the humanities stream. "But later, things have changed for the good," he said, a reference to candidates from other streams also joining the IAS.
The shift in the educational profile of candidates appearing for the civil services examination had started decades earlier but it is only in recent years that the number of engineers has witnessed a spike. In last year's recruitment examination by UPSC, every second successful candidate was from the science stream, usually an engineer or doctor. Engineers made up for 19 of the 20 toppers. UPSC does not classify the successful candidates according to their stream.
"Some of them are also civil engineers but mechanical engineers should not opt for the civil services... Civil engineers should," he said, suggesting that it would then be difficult for the government's engineers to take them for a ride.
The BJP leader was derided on social media for his assessment of the problem, diagnosis and prescription. This is the third time in 10 days when he has astounded his audience with his claims.
Last week, he had claimed that internet and satellite communications existed in India thousands of years ago and when he was jeered on social media, he brushed aside the criticism insisting that "narrow minded people who find it tough to believe this".
PM Narendra Modi's stinging rebuke to the party's motor mouths came just days later, telling lawmakers to stop talking "as if we are great social scientists and experts to analyse issues".
That message, clearly hadn't reached Tripura's new boss.
This week, Biplab Kumar Deb remarked that international beauty contests were a farce and that he failed to understand the "process of judging the 1997 pageant", in which Diana Hayden was crowned.
In remarks seen as a comment on the colour of her skin, he compared her to Aishwarya Rai, who the Chief Minister felt, deserved to win the beauty pageant. Ms Hayden hit back, telling the Chief Minister that he should really think before he speaks.