In Conversation with Namgyal Angmo, (IAS), SDM Govt. of NCT, Delhi

By Deachen Spaldon Leh, Apr 19, 2023
Leh :

Q. Tell us about yourself? 

I belong to Nimoo village in Leh and completed my primary schooling at Moravian Mission School, then studied in Lamdon School until the 10th standard. From then on, I was fortunate to receive scholarships to study at the United World College in Pune and then move to the United States for my graduation. I moved back and was able to get into the Delhi School of Economics for a postgraduate degree in Economics, then worked for a couple of years in the corporate sector in Bengaluru. I decided to quit in 2018 to start preparing for the 2019 UPSC Civil Service exams which I cleared and was allotted the Indian Administrative Service in the AGMUT Cadre. Having completed my training and probation last year, I am currently posted as a Sub Divisional Magistrate in the Government of NCT of Delhi. 

Q. How was your UPSC preparation? What are the key points one should know while preparing for it?

I would say the preparation process was a mixed bag – lots of learning and eye-opening moments but a lot of stress as well. There were times when I really enjoyed the process and felt driven and productive but many more when I felt directionless and had almost no motivation to continue. Nonetheless, over that year, I did manage to put in consistent efforts and stick to what I was doing. I was also fortunate to have a strong support system in my family, relatives, and friends.

So, while preparing for the exam, one needs to be open-minded and accept that one may need to invest several years and be consistent throughout that process. I believe that it does not help to blindly follow someone else’s strategy and it is extremely important to experiment and find one that works for you and one that you can sustain for a long time - which means that it cannot be all work and no play either! Regarding material, it is best to stick to the basics, keep up with current affairs and get in multiple rounds of revision. The importance of mock tests/test series should not be underestimated and should be started as early as possible.

Q. We see that very few Ladakhis are able to crack the UPSC exams. What do you think are the reasons? Where are we lacking?

I think that observation is true not just for the UPSC Civil Services but also for other competitive exams and other fields as well. Reasons could be a lack of exposure, low confidence levels, and a tendency to give up easily. Although everyone knows about this exam and the level of input it demands, I feel that what is lacking is the institutional setup that can foster and support such young aspirants. Now, as we are aware, the administration has come up with a number of initiatives to guide and provide financial support to UPSC aspirants. However, that alone will not suffice since it is not merely the preparation phase determining success in this exam. I feel that the individual’s overall foundations, personality, and outlook play a major role and that is something that starts to get molded at a very early age. Therefore, with an improvement in the quality of schooling, and one that offers a well-rounded education, these aspects will organically improve and there would be no reason why our students can’t perform on par and better than those in any other parts of the country. However, I feel that this is already happening, and you see so many young people from Ladakh doing really well in all sorts of avenues, that too at the national level. 

Q. People talk about every individual being talented in specific fields and encourage them to pursue their dreams. Why do you think there is still so much importance given to only government jobs?

There is indeed a disproportionate preference for government jobs, not just in Ladakh but in most other communities in the country, especially smaller towns, and rural areas. In larger cities and the metros, this is less of a phenomenon, given the growth prospects, a greater choice of careers, and an evolving work culture. So, this is something that will most probably change as the society and economy of Ladakh evolve. 

The prevailing traditional emphasis on government jobs also has to do with the perception that it is more secure since the stability factor is given a lot of importance. However, this will also change with time, as the government sector gradually adopts practices such as performance monitoring and focuses more on efficiency and outcomes. 

The aspect of stability in government jobs was widely discussed during the Covid 19 lockdown that brought most other activities to a standstill. However, the key takeaway should not be a move towards government jobs but rather toward ways of enhancing resilience in all sectors and building capacities toward alternative livelihoods, given the fact that we are disproportionally dependent on tourism, directly or indirectly.

Message to the readers

Nothing in life that is worth anything comes easy. Cultivate the habit of holding yourself accountable for accomplishing everything that you set out to do and never measure your worth against others’ achievements. Set your own goals, stay true to yourself, and minimize external noise and distractions.