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The changing face of the civils

After the preliminary part, the Civil Services (Main) Exam is likely to be revised. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has set up a committee...

education Updated: Dec 28, 2011 12:00 IST
Rahat Bano

After the first stage of the Civil Services Examination, aspiring bureaucrats may expect changes in the main part of the competition. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has set up a committee to recommend changes in the main exam.

UPSC chairman DP Agrawal has said that preliminary exam “changes have been well received as they provide the candidates a level playing field leading to improved quality of selection. To maintain consistency in the selection process and choose the right candidate from the huge pool consisting of multiple languages, creeds, cultures and communities, the commission has now constituted a high-power committee to suggest possible changes in the pattern of Civil Services (Main) Examination.”

Before going ahead, first look at the CS examination:

Preliminary exam — two compulsory, objective-type papers of 200 marks each

Main exam — written test and interview. The written part has nine papers. Paper I — An Indian language selected from the languages in the eighth schedule to the constitution, 300 marks; Paper II — English, 300; Paper III — essay, 200; Papers IV and V — general studies (GS), 300 for each paper; Papers VI, VII, VIII and IX — any two subjects selected from the list of optional subjects. Every subject has two papers, each carrying 300 marks

The list of optional papers has about 25 subjects from science to arts.

Shuchita Kishore, AIR 39, 2010, is satisfied with the main exam. She points to the notion some have that there is a pattern skewed towards students of certain ‘scoring’ subjects. “So, there’s a view that there should be four or five general papers and the optional papers should be done away with. However, I believe two general studies papers are enough to judge a person’s general capability. During training, you realise that all fields have their importance. Specialised knowledge too is required in a bureaucrat’s job.” Another budding diplomat, though against changing the exam, adds that there “could probably” be common papers for all to counter the view that some papers fetch more marks. “Maybe” have “five-six common papers so that the same yardstick is applied to everybody,” says Kumar Gaurav, an IFS probationer.