If the authorities accept the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) suggestion, candidates applying for civil services examination like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may have to appear for fewer papers to qualify it.
The commission has asked the government to test civil services aspirants in just one or two general studies papers at the civil services preliminary examination and scrap two-dozen optional papers.
If accepted, this would also cut down on the time taken to evaluate the performance of the nearly two lakh candidates who apply for the preliminary examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The entire selection process takes over an year.
Many recommendations made by the ARC, headed by M Veerappa Moily, had already put through the decision-making process once. In February this year, the UPSC had handed over its proposals for changes in the civil services examination. A key proposal of the UPSC was to replace the Civil Services (Preliminary) examination with an objective-type Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).
The UPSC had argued that CSAT would not only enable them to choose civil servants with thr right aptitude but also end the use of scaling system. The Department of Personnel and Training had passed on the proposal to the ARC for its views.
The ARC has backed the demand for scrapping the 23 optional papers. Instead, it has recommended to test the of candidates’ knowledge in only one or two general studies papers.