The civil service examination is up for an overhaul.
Civil service aspirants may soon be tested on ethical and moral dimensions of decision-making rather than their knowledge about zoology, statistics or two-dozen odd subjects.
The Union Public Service Commission that selects a few hundred civil servants out of the more than three lakh civil service aspirants has told the government to test candidates for their aptitude rather than their knowledge of subjects such as zoology and history.
The commission — that holds tests for nearly a million aspirants for about 5,000 posts annually — also favoured reducing the number of shots that a candidate could take at the civil services examination.
This, UPSC chairman Prof. D.P. Agrawal announced on Thursday, would “remove the premium on cramming and memorisation that a large number of attempts provides”.
The plan is to have two objective type papers that are common to all candidates.
The emphasis is on testing the aptitude of the candidate for the demanding life in the civil service as well as on ethical
and moral dimensions of decision-making, he said.
“One of the recommendations made by the commission to the government is that a civil service aptitude test replace the existing civil services (preliminary) examination,” Agrawal said.
Agrawal indicated that the long-standing proposal to lower the entry age might also be dumped but backed another to reduce the number of attempts allowed at the examination.
He said lowering the age was desirable but the interests of rural candidates who may take longer to complete their graduation also needed to be considered.