It was in the fall of 2003 when I first heard of the Royal Institute of Management or RIM. One of my elder brothers had topped the then RCSE examination and what he told us soon after was that he would be undergoing a yearlong training at the RIM. The training was Post Graduate Certificate in Development Management (The equivalent of Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration now). I could still vividly recollect how I would relish the thought of sitting the ‘dreaded’ RCSC one day and even try topping it.
As years peeled off the canvas of time, the subject of RCSC would be on many aspiring civil servants’ lips. However, the scenario in the past was different. The picture was optimistic, not so bleak like now. The RCSC hurdle was just a formality and anyone appearing it would land themselves in a comfortable 9-5 job in the coveted Royal Civil Service. They would then be respectfully and fondly called as ‘Dashos’, by many and with envy by few!
When you sit for your board exams, it always comes with a sense of high trepidation. After you have completed writing, you anticipate and worry till the very last day. The worrying thought of not achieving the cut off percentage, and worst still the risk of having to repeat for a second year befriend you all through your holidays. Nightmarish recurring dreams would wake you up in the dead of the night and would make you realize and repent the importance of revision, keeping formulae on your fingertips and knowing the dates by heart. The more you take yourself back to those frantic preparation days, the longer it keeps you awake with all those crazy thoughts swimming abound. Sometimes it makes you hate yourself with such strong conviction.
So when I wrote the final exam of my University degree, it marked the end of those long sleepless nights. It was the end with a long-awaited relief of a hectic, monotonous routine, on the one hand; on the other hand, it was just the beginning of another phase of preparation for what could undeniably be regarded as the most important exam of my entire life. RCSC then and now called as Civil Service Common Examination (CSCE) has always been on my mind.
“Hey sun-gay, what are you going to do after you finish your degree?,” my college friends would ask me. “Well…I have this common exam to write and if I get through I will be joining the civil service,” I would reply expectantly. My Indian counterparts would marvel at my prospect of joining the civil service because for most of them it remains a dream and just a dream. Thousands compete for few slots and only the best get through. Here in Bhutan at least we don’t have thousands competing but the battle is getting tougher with each passing year as colleges and universities both within and without churn out an ascending number of graduates annually.
RIM celebrated its Silver Jubilee on 10 August 2011. As I listened to the Guest of Honour, His Exellency Lyonpo Yeshy Zimba, I learnt that the institute has groomed hundreds of nation builders and that hundreds will be groomed in the coming years. Come December, I will be completing my yearlong grooming session and the year next, I will embark on a nation-serving journey. As months pass by and as the time to serve the nation comes closer, I am elated for having achieved this long time dream—in fact a dream concieved the very moment I heard the name RIM.