1. UPSC Reduction in civil services upper-age limit? panel gives report

UPSC Reduction in civil services upper-age limit? panel gives report

A panel formed to look into various matters related to civil services examination is understood to have recommended reduction in upper-age limit of 32 years to appear in the prestigious test to select IAS and IPS officers among others.

By: | New Delhi | Published: August 12, 2016 5:57 PM
The expert committee was constituted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) under the chairmanship of former Human Resource Development Secretary and retired IAS officer B S Baswan in August last year. (Source: IE) The expert committee was constituted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) under the chairmanship of former Human Resource Development Secretary and retired IAS officer B S Baswan in August last year. (Source: IE)

A panel formed to look into various matters related to civil services examination is understood to have recommended reduction in upper-age limit of 32 years to appear in the prestigious test to select IAS and IPS officers among others.

The expert committee was constituted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) under the chairmanship of former Human Resource Development Secretary and retired IAS officer B S Baswan in August last year.

The panel has submitted its report to the UPSC recently, official sources said today, without divulging content of the report.

The Committee has recommended reduction in the upper-age limit for candidates to appear in the examination, they said.

The UPSC plans to hold discussions with the Ministry of Personnel on the panel’s recommendations, the sources said.

The panel has examined the plan of examination, number of papers, their structure and duration, marking scheme, weightage of marks and system of evaluation among others, they said.

The Committee was earlier asked to submit its report within six months time. But, it was given extension for a further period of six months, till this month-end.

The civil services examination is conducted by UPSC annually in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.

A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August, 2016, as per the latest notification for the exam.

  1. R
    Ramesh Singh
    Aug 13, 2016 at 8:26 am
    Halo Indian Express.There is a w lot of things other than the 'age reduction' which media has reported by now. Civil Services aspirants are in a state of utter confusion regarding other recommendations of the Expert Panel. To the extent the matter of age is concerned even if it is reduced it will not apply on the aspirants who are in the transition phase otherwise it will become a legal issue. It means, it will apply on those who take the exam after certain years (so that who are in transition could avail their total attempts). But media reports have created a kind of 'panic' among the aspirants- they are apprehensive whether they will be able to avail all of their attempts..!More than "age" the things which will impact the aspirants are things like-1. What about the CSAT Paper (i.e., GS Paper 2). In this case, students are writing the paper but it is of qualifying nature. It means the Committee must have advised something regarding it so that its marks can be added into the final merit list of the Prelim. Exam.2. Second in cue is the decision regarding the "Optional" subjects in the Main Exam. The previous government has started a process of removing Optional subjects from the scheme of examination (quoting a Supreme Court Advisory of 2000 in which the court had advised the GoI to do away with the "scaling" in the written exam.). Optional subjects were withdrawn from the Preliminary Exam., after three years one Optional was dropped, and had there been no government change in Centre, by the next three years the other Optional paper would have been dropped, too (by 2014 itself). It seemed as if the UPSC was following a smooth process of transition from Optional to no optional scheme of exam.To the extent the advisory note of the Supreme Court is concerned, the Prelim and Main exams should have 'common syllabi' so that there is no need of 'scaling' and aspirants could get a 'level-playing field'. It means only GS and Essay are supposed to be in the Main exam.This is the only exam open for general graduates where there lacks the environment of 'level-playing field'. Even majority of State Public Service Commissions have dropped the Optional subjects from the Main exam.3. Suppose, the Optional subjects are to be dropped, in that case, whether it will be only the FOUR existing Papers of General Studies (GS) and the Essay paper, in the Main Exam.? Or, they will get restructured, is the another confusion. Even there could be effects on the marks too which are carried by the GS and essay Papers.What is the opinion of the new expert panel on these issues aspirants are waiting to know as they need enough time to decide and prepare the optional subject.4. As the Committee was considering to even go for there separate exams for IAS, IPS and IFS, there is no clarity on this front either. This becomes even more important given the recent Parliamentary Committee report (headed by Shashi Tharoor) on the Foreign Service of India which has advised to have two special papers in the exam for those who opt to go for the IFS, other than several other advices.5. Possibilities are there for a change in the Personality Test, too.6. Will the Essay paper remain same or there will be a clear syllabus for it, as we saw in the case of the Limited Level IPS vacancies created by the UPSC in 2012. In this exam there were two clear-cut syllabi for Essay paper and aspirants were to answer one essay from each. The total marks carried by the Essay paper can also go for a change.7. If we look at the State Public Service Commissions, majority of them have shifted to only GS scheme of exam. If they give any clue, the expert panel might have suggested for the similar syllabus.8. The issue of regional languages already hang over the exam. Hindi medium aspirants did show as much resistance that the CSAT paper was made of qualifying nature.It means, areas of confusion other than 'age reduction' are more important. Media is not able to report on other areas as the report if still not available in the public domain and as much came from the Minister they have reported. But they are supposed to meet other concerned officials to give a better idea. Thanks.
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