Muslims make up 3.46 per cent of the country’s 8,417 IAS and IPS officers. Of 292 Muslim officers, 160 are among 5,862 who had cracked the UPSC exams, while the remaining 132 are among 2,555 who were promoted to the IAS or IPS from the state civil services on the basis of seniority and performance.
Muslims represented 13.43 per cent of the population in the 2011 census. By that yardstick, the country has one IAS or IPS officer among every 5.73 lakh Muslims, compared to one among every 1.08 lakh non-Muslims.
Two states, interestingly, account for more than half the Muslim officers who cleared UPSC. Uttar Pradesh has over 34 per cent of them and Bihar nearly 22 per cent, a total of 90 Muslim officers. Uttar Pradesh leads the Muslim officers’ count with 55, followed by Bihar with 35, Kerala with 16 and Jammu and Kashmir with 15. Another trend is that the first two states account for the bulk of the senior Muslim IAS officers come from the northern states of the country while J&K and Kerala have been sending more and more Muslim officers since 2000.
“The northern belt was the cultural and educational belt of the Muslim community before Independence. The community in these parts has historically been more conscious about making an entry into the services, which explains the high number of Muslims from those states joining the civil services,” says Dr Abdus Shaban, deputy director at Tata Institute of Social Sciences.