The Civil Services (Main) Examination is next on the UPSC’s reforms agenda. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has constituted a high-powered committee to suggest changes in the pattern of this examination. The move comes after the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2011 in Click Here! its new format sought to test the aptitude of the candidates as well and not just their knowledge. The changes in the preliminary exam weren’t as drastic as the UPSC had originally hoped. This is one reason why the government was reluctant to rename the preliminary test as the civil services aptitude test.
At the third UPSC foundation day function this week, UPSC chairman Prof. DP Agrawal said the changes had been well received as they provided the candidates a level playing field leading to improved quality of selection. Agrawal — who has been pushing reforms at the commission — went on to announce that the UPSC was looking at changes that needed to be made in the Civil Services (Main) examination as well as other exams.
“Consistent with the need for selecting the right kind of person from a huge pool consisting of multiple languages, creeds, culture and communities, the commission has now constituted a high-power committee to suggest possible changes in the pattern of Civil Services (Main) Examination,” he said.
Agrawal also said that the commission’s endeavour was to ensure that “candidates are judged on the basis of in-depth knowledge and understanding rather than information gathered at the last moment.” In six decades, UPSC has selected nearly quarter of a million candidates after examining over 46 million applicants. This is equivalent to the population of South Africa or England.
Minister of State for Personnel and PMO V. Narayanasmay agreed that the recruitment policies of the commission needed to be reviewed and revised to make recruitment faster and also to ensure induction of the civil servants with the right aptitude.
Agrawal agreed, pointing that the commission was looking at other examinations to bring them in tune with the present scenario of country’s development and aspirations. Similarly, he said, the commission had recommended an alternative system to the government to improve the process of induction of civil service officers from different streams into the All India Service.