Friday, 7 October, 2022
HomeIndiaGovernanceApplication for IAS exam must be treated as an attempt in itself,...

Application for IAS exam must be treated as an attempt in itself, UPSC tells govt

Text Size:

UPSC says 10 lakh candidates apply on average but only half appear for the exam & this stretches commission’s resources.

New Delhi: If a civil services aspirant applies to take the exam to become a civil servant but does not eventually appear for the test, it should be treated as one of the handful of attempts candidates are allowed, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has proposed to the Modi government.

Such a rule, the commission believes, will ease the strain on it as an average 10 lakh candidates apply every year but only about half of them actually appear for the exam, a top source in the government told ThePrint.

“The UPSC prepares for all the applications that are received in terms of the number of papers printed and centres roped in, among others. But a large number of people don’t show up,” the source who is familiar with the proposal said.

At present, general category candidates are allowed six attempts while those from the OBC category are allowed nine.

The attempts, however, are counted only when a candidate appears for the preliminary examination.

While the government is yet to respond to the UPSC proposal, it will only impact non-serious candidates if implemented, the source said.

DoPT secretary C. Chandramouli neither denied nor confirmed the proposal when ThePrint reached him for comment.

Also read: Second push for lateral entry into IAS sees applications fall by half

Problem flagged earlier

Citing the same problem, the UPSC had for the first time in October allowed candidates to withdraw from the examination within a week of applying.

While making the announcement, UPSC chairman Arvind Saxena had said that in the commission’s experience, roughly 50 per cent of the 10 lakh-plus candidates who enrol for the exam never appear for it.

“The commission has to book venues, print paper, hire invigilators and ship the documents for all the 10 lakh applicants – which turns out to be a 50 per cent waste of energy and resources,” he had said.

However, the thinking in the commission subsequently is that the move is not likely to yield results until there is a disincentive for candidates to not skip the exam, the source added.

Also read: NITI Aayog recommendation is spot on, average age of IAS entrants is 27

Additional measures to weed out ‘fake candidates’

In another move to weed out ‘fake’ applicants, the commission wants applicants to produce their identity cards at the time of enrolment as well. This is to ensure there is no impersonation.

The source said that under current practice, applicants are only asked to produce identity proof during the main examination, the second stage of the three-tier process.

The preliminary exam and the interview make up the complete exam through which the UPSC selects officers for the IAS, IPS, IFS and other services.

While the UPSC’s concerns stem out of genuine logistical issues, any decision in this regard is bound to have political ramifications for the government.

Even now, the government is facing stiff protests from civil service aspirants who are demanding compensatory attempts after they were affected due to the introduction of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in the UPSC prelims examination in 2011.

Also read: In IAS exam age limit debate, focus should be on delaying retirement for Dalits, OBCs

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. Totally baseless proposal, seems as if done without proper home it their money or are they not being paid for the duty? I think nobody is foolish enough to fill form on payment of fees and skip appearing for exam without valid reasons better to ask for reasons/ suggestions why candidates skip exams ,by collecting online feedback through commissions website by introducing a feedback section in the website itself and publishing the same before making such proposal.

  2. This move by UPSC comes out of genuine concerns for the loss of resources mainly printing question papers. Losses are not always monetary. Also UPSC is just saying that those candidates who have not prepared for the exams should not fill the form instead of filling the form and then decide not giving it. SCs and STs should not have any problem with this decision as they have unlimited attempts. The main problem is for General category and OBC candidates. But they are also given 6 & 9 attempts respectively which is more than sufficient for any candidate who has studied meticulously and has prepared all the topics rigorously. UPSC is saying if your preparation is up to the mark then fill the form otherwise don’t. There is absolutely no need to make a fuss out of it.

  3. Exam fee paid karke mai exam me aau ya na usse unka kya problem hai ??? Fee pahle leke financial loss makeup Karo murkho …

  4. UPSC is focusing on less important issues rather than solving the Problems of the aspirants who are protesting….

  5. If the upsc is concerned about its logistics expenses alone then they can reduce the no.of attempts if fails to appear or the question paper can be released via pdf after exam . This may help the exam centre to avoid such cases

  6. I don’t understand what is the problem of the commission.Above described applications are not false application but applicant are not fully prepared.the commission trying to create Manley new rules,they introduced to the government for reducing the age limit,but why?a economically backwarded student who had not any good economically background first thought about a sequer land for his family and after think about his ias dream,because sir and madum selactor you know how much cost a civil service training centre demand ,how much cost to pay for a laptop, how much cost to pay for books or newspaper, because of there parent are not doctor or good businessman so there ias dream started at some high age… sir come to sunlight from the a.c. comfortable room and understand the real problem…..

  7. Not a very good proposal because

    1. There is no proper coaching/ guidance classes for categories candidates
    2. Quality of Education varies state to state & University to university
    3.majoriy of candidates are from rural background
    4.Has it been implimented in any state in country
    5.the rate of growth of unemployment youth is exponentially increasing
    5. Emergency like sickness , weather conditions,non availability of conviance mode not mentioned .

    6 .It may lead to many court cases / litigation.
    7.Public may ask… in Assembly /
    parliament election candidates should fight from only one
    seat constituencyy

    These are personal view …

  8. Simple solution for this problem can be increasing the registration fees in an nuanced way. For instance increase it from ₹100 to ₹500, with ₹400 refundable on appearing for exam. This will deter many non-serious candidates.
    The surplus money can be used to pay for so called “wastage of resources” which drive economic activities and generate employments. It would still leave lot of money in the hands of UPSC, which can be used to provide online coaching on Swayam platform.

  9. Recommendations are contrary to very nature of COMPETITIVE EXAM, this creates inequalities in facilities & opportunity.

  10. Recommendations are contrary to very nature of COMPETITIVE EXAM, this creates inequalities in facility & opportunity.

  11. Resources will definitely be saved if this proposal accepted. A real UPSC aspirant should not be affected or worried on implementation of this proposal. Less the load better the arrangement.

  12. This huge number of candidates applying for civil services shows the high degree of unemployment and lack of proper employment of country’s human resource . People are either unemployed or are not finding their jobs good enough or unsatisfactory. This exposes our whole state system which has miserably failed to generate enough jobs for our youth and that too jobs which are productive and satisfactory in nature. Now who is to be blamed for all this mess ? The marketist ,state? Or capitalist state? Or an highly irresponsible and corrupt and insensible and insensitive and philosophically and morally bankrupt state which is fast loosing any moral right to rule.

  13. Definitely a bullshit and a very reactionary recommendation . It smacks off the petty level of upsc and it’s whole set up especially it’s members and it’s chair. This is bound to happen when such institutions like upsc has been made a parking space for political appointees .

  14. Very very reactionary and unfair attitude of upsc then let me question this esteemed institution that will it not charge a single penny from even the general category candidates even if the candidate doesn’t sit? If it does then it has no moral as well as legal grounds for proposing such a thing. In fact it shows what petty kind of people are appointed in such commissions who propose such nonsensical views, actually such things are bound to happen if such institutions are made a parking space for political agents and elite bureaucrats and technocrats. Its an irony that such commission is holding responsibility for recruiting top level officials.

  15. Not a good recommendation by upsc .upsc earns by the fee and also student emergency circumstances can not be neglected.

    Upsc will be more fair only if upsc give answers key for pt within one week and further marks to be shown for every appeared candidate within one week from the declaration of pt result.if state public service commission can do this why upsc can’t.

  16. Candidate are paying fees for this . So there is factually no problems for upsc .mere counting applying as attempt will be unjustified for genuine problem like sickness or other bonafide issue. This proposal is not based on factual issue.

  17. Same way ,,,,upsc should also give answers key for pt within one week and further marks to be shown for every appeared candidate within one from the declaration of pt result.if state public service commission can do this why upsc can’t.

  18. Bullshit recommendation, if a person applied for the exam and at the time of exam he becomes sick or anyother problem which he can’t avoid ,if that so it is counted as an attempt, what a great mind the top peoples have? Mindless recommendation. Is there anyone with logical Thinking in UPSC?

  19. UPSC earns more than 2 crores from extra applications as well. Why it wants to throw that in dust bin.?

  20. If a candidate thinks of appearing,irrespective of whether he applies or not, then it should be taken as an attempt. If a candidate thinks as such for 6 times a day, it should be counted as 6 attempts.

  21. It can be a good move..but what if candidate is ill or in emergency situation..even though it’s in minority if situation..but it must be reviewed

    • Its a national level most tough n exam for a respectful cadre. Govt should not hesitate for candidates not appearing for any reason. As lots of students try appearing for same n fill the form but when exam comes they know that its almost impossible for them. For this specifc reason u cant do this unjustice as some genuine person might can become victim.

  22. Indeed the problem raised by the commission is important and should not be neglected. there is 2 tracks it seems. Contest candidates should pay registration fees without discrimination. The price of registration should increase after the 3rd attempt. The other track may be to review the admission system: 1) provide for a selection of candidates at the national level; 2) Only the candidates who have been selected to this selection, could pass the competition.Both tracks can be combined

  23. Unless an examination is attempted, mere application submission should not be counted. In online application process fake application seems to be hypothesis.The proposal is tilted towards UPSC, unfair with aspirants.

  24. I think the govt. Should take steps for this problem as there should be the provision for withdrawal of registration a week before exam so that not only the papers wasted in printing can be avoided but also the…hardwork done by upsc teams for setting up centers for the students will be reduced largely and hence a lot financial savings can be done.

    • All this preparation (printing, resource allotment, centers allocation) requires only 1 week …not possible!!!!

      I think lots of candidates fill this form due to its low fees, if we increased exam fees and return this increases fees only to the candidates who attempts preliminary exam then only genuine candidate will fill the exam form.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular