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UPSC changed many exam rules in 10 yrs. Now, MPs want to know how they impacted civil service

Rajya Sabha panel says though civil service exam has changed drastically since 2010, no one has studied the effect on aspirants, nature of recruitment and administration in general.

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New Delhi: While the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has drastically changed the pattern of the civil services examination since 2010, no study has been commissioned to assess how such changes impacted the aspirants, nature of recruitment and administration in general, a Rajya Sabha panel on personnel, public grievances, law and justice has noted in its report.

According to the report released last month, Rajya Sabha committees had recommended earlier too that an expert committee be constituted “to assess the impact of the drastic changes brought about by the commission (UPSC) in the scheme of examination since 2010 on administration and candidates”.

The UPSC has time and again stated in its response that the Baswan Committee had been constituted for this purpose. However, the Rajya Sabha committee said it was well aware that Baswan Committee was “constituted to make recommendations on the eligibility, syllabus, scheme and pattern of examination”, but what the parliamentary panel has been “emphatic about in its recommendations is ‘Administrative Impact Assessment’, i.e. an assessment of the impact of administrative decisions”.

“UPSC changed the pattern of civil services examination from time to time on the basis of recommendations made by various expert committees. However, no study has been commissioned to assess how such changes impacted the aspirants, nature of recruitment and administration at large,” the report said. “In light of the above, the committee emphatically reiterates its recommendation and hopes that the (DoPT) will accomplish the task at the earliest.”

ThePrint approached the spokesperson for the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for a comment on whether any such study has been conducted internally, but there was no response till the time of publishing this report.


Also read: UPSC can avoid merit list row. Separate exams for Services, training-based selection


Changes to the exam and their effects

Since 2010, a slew of changes have been introduced in the civil service examination — from the number of optional papers to the controversial introduction of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) paper; an increase in the number of general studies papers; or the elimination of foreign languages from the language paper.

These changes, several experts have said, have fundamentally altered the composition of the country’s top bureaucracy. Yet, there remains no official analysis of how these changes have impacted either the social composition of the bureaucracy or the administration at large.

According to data from the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, accessed through an RTI application by the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, an RSS-affiliated body working in the field of education, between 2013 and 2018, there was a jump of almost 61 per cent in the recruitment of engineers in the CSE. There was no corresponding increase in recruits from other backgrounds in this period.

“Over time, we have noticed that there has been an increase in engineers coming into the civil services… Now, the ones who are engineers typically come from English-speaking urban areas, as opposed to those from the humanities and arts — candidates who take the exam in local languages,” said Devendra Singh, national convener (competitive exams), SSUN.

“First, it was the introduction of the CSAT, which the government was forced to make a ‘qualifying’ paper after nationwide protests… But, there are several other changes. The descriptive nature of the exam is getting oriented more and more towards short answers,” Singh continued. “This clearly favours those with science and engineering backgrounds as opposed to those with arts backgrounds, whose strength is writing.”

He added: “What is worse is that often, there is no clear communication by the UPSC on what kind of changes are being introduced and the underlying logic behind them, thereby causing more uncertainty.”

However, former DoPT secretary Satynanand Mishra said the changes introduced by the UPSC have ensured that the bureaucracy is more representative than ever before.

“If you say that there are a lot of graduates from IITs coming in, we should see the social composition of the IITs. Several people who crack the exam are those from rural backgrounds,” Mishra said. “Especially after the Mandal Commission report was implemented, the bureaucracy has only turned more representative.”

However, he did add: “What a committee can study is whether the changes brought in by the UPSC over the years have led to greater or lesser efficiency among the bureaucracy… That, in my opinion, would be a more important study.”

(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)


Also read: 50% IAS, IFS recruits are children of govt servants. But this is a story of their merit


 

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Yes. Exactly happening these things , there no scope for those studying in rural areas to become a dream of IAS, but rural people really knows more social and political issues by experiencing by practically , how the UPS blindly thinking about about the change of pattern of syllabus and other eligibility rules. Please open door for RURAL background people also for IAS

  2. Exactly cse cast qualified paper is arts candidates so very difficult just minimum marks but science candidates are clear and mains exam short article to write and missing the mains exam in arts candidates

  3. the engineer’s might be good in CSAT yet he has to study General Studies which he is new to it, on the other hand Arts students’ is well learned in General Studies yet he has to score 33% only for qualifying in CSAT. So it’s easy for Arts background holders to crack UPSC exam in comparison to engineer’s, yet the engineer work hard to crack it.
    And the comparison that engineering students are fluent in english, brought up in urban areas in comparison to Arts background is baseless, just because a person is brought up in urban areas, fluent in english doesn’t meant he can crack UPSC exam, it’s not… Be it engineering, Arts with dedication & hardwork you can crack upsc. Exam is same for everyone, you don’t get extra mark by been an engineer.
    Afterall the course are been implemented after research by experts so just don’t make illogical comparison, constructive criticism is appreciated yet unwanted comparison should be avoided.

  4. You guys only see that arts students have to study science and that too for a qualifying csat exam but you dont see science students actually studying arts which actually is the main subject for this upsc examination. Don’t be a bad loser and study class 10th science ncert 🙂

  5. I am a law student, I not prefer any kind of ceiling on the inclusion of number of candidates from engineer background, According to my prespective there are more opportunities to the candidates from arts background as the syllabus of upsc is related with topics of arts, current issues, somewhat with science, the only difference is that the candidates belongs to IITs are more dilligent and hardworking ,what upsc demands.

  6. Many arts students miss opportunities to to clear exam become csat when science or engineering students coming to upsc but what about arts students they have like iit or any science job arts have only competitive exam.most of arts students are poor background so if engineering coming to upsc and arts student get job in engineering office

  7. Top level government -examination for students of science background is JEE IIT and Top level government exam for Arts students is UPSC And the very first phase of UPSC favours IITians Or students of science background as mentioned in the article – short answer types questions favours science students and CSAT is Very common for them too. In first stage most of the selected candidates are from science bg and most of the Arts students miss the opportunity to write in MAINS in which writing skills matters along with deep understanding of particular question.
    And so many seats are wasted in IIT and other science courses institutions
    IITians Or science graduates can appear in UPSC But Arts students can’t appear in IIT Or NEET. Who actually wants to pursue engineering also faces disadvantage as many students who gets selected in top Enginering colleges don’t pursue engineering further and go for UPSC and state PSC.There is a strong need to reduce the number of engineers because many people are facing disadvantage due to their choices
    UPSC should set a limit , the number science and engineering students to be selected in prelims should be set to 10-20% only of total vacancies.

  8. Top level government -examination for students of science background is JEE IIT and Top level government exam for Arts students is UPSC And the very first phase of UPSC favours IITians Or students of science background as mentioned in the article – short answer types questions favours science students and CSAT is Very common for them too. In first stage most of the selected candidates are from science bg and most of the Arts students miss the opportunity to write in MAINS in which writing skills matters along with deep understanding of particular question.
    And so many seats are wasted in IIT and other science courses institutions
    IITians Or science graduates can appear in UPSC
    But Arts students can’t appear in IIT Or NEET

    Who actually wants to pursue engineering also faces disadvantage as many students who gets selected in top Enginering colleges don’t pursue engineering further and go for UPSC and state PSC.

    There is a strong need to reduce the number of engineers because many people are facing disadvantage due to their choices
    UPSC should set a limit , the number science and engineering students to be selected in prelims should be set to 10-20% only of total vacancies.

  9. Top level government -examination for students of science background (PCM) is JEE(IIT) & Top level government exam for Arts students is UPSC.. And the very first phase of UPSC favours IITians (Or students of science background) as mentioned in the article – short answer types questions favours science students + CSAT is Very common for them too… In first stage most of the selected candidates are from science bg… And most of the Arts students miss the opportunity to write in MAINS (which is in which writing skills matters along with deep understanding of particular question)
    ATop level government -examination for students of science background (PCM) is JEE(IIT) & Top level government exam for Arts students is UPSC.. And the very first phase of UPSC favours IITians (Or students of science background) as mentioned in the article – short answer types questions favours science students + CSAT is Very common for them too… In first stage most of the selected candidates are from science bg… And most of the Arts students miss the opportunity to write in MAINS (which is in which writing skills matters along with deep understanding of particular question)
    And so many seats are wasted in IIT & other science courses institutions
    IITians Or science graduates can appear in UPSC
    But Arts students can’t appear in IIT Or NEET

    Who actually wants to pursue engineering also faces disadvantage as many students who gets selected in top Enginering colleges don’t pursue engineering further and go for UPSC and state PSC.

    There is a strong need to reduce the number of engineers because many people are facing disadvantage due to their choices
    UPSC should set a limit – the number science and engineering students to be selected in prelims should be set to 10-20% only of total vacancies.

  10. Argument is a bit baseless, when about 60-70% of the students in the country are engineers, a high composition and population of engineers in the batch is a high possibility.
    And CSAT is very basic, if consider the other side then engineers/commerce people have to study so many art subjects which is not fair either, as UPSC is for everyone.

    • Exactly. Eng, science students not get their seats easily they have to struggle a lot to become eligible to reach that place. An administrative service does require an understanding and hardworking person it doesn’t matter is he science student Or arts student. Don’t be partial it’s same for everyone.

    • Exactly. Eng, science students not get their seats easily they have to struggle a lot to become eligible to reach that place. An administrative service does require an understanding and hardworking person it doesn’t matter is he science student Or arts student. Don’t be partial it’s same for everyone.

  11. There should be an exam for MPs also – just a minimum score for eligibility. All sorts of airheads are there in the parliament.

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