UPSC may tweak exam pattern, age limit in civil services exam

Nearly after 8 months, the Union Government is considering taking action on the report submitted by the Baswan committee on exam pattern and reduction in the age limit for civil service examination. The committee has submitted its report on August 09, 2016 to Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in response to an RTI query filed by a PTI correspondent said that the Baswan Committee report along with UPSC recommendations on suggestion to bring changes in the exam pattern and to reduce upper age limit of 32 years for civil services examination has been received on March 20, 2017, and is currently under Examination.

UPSC civil services examinationThousands of aspirants appear in the civil service exam conducted annually by the UPSC 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.

The UPSC had constituted the expert committee under the chairmanship of former human resource development secretary and retired IAS officer B S Baswan, to review the scheme of civil service examination in August 2015. The committee is understood to have recommended a reduction in upper age limit of 32 years to appear in the civil service exam.

The recommendations made by the committee including on pattern of civil service examination and age limit are presently under consideration of the UPSC.

Most likely the government should not reduce the upper age limit of 32 years to appear in the civil service exam. If it gives nod also, then they should make sure that they allow 1–2 attempts for those who are 26+ years of age.

Bringing a change in an exam like CSE is not easy and it is not an overnight decision. It takes years of discussions to arrive at a consensus. Last major change was introduced in 2013 when one optional was scrapped and new GS papers were introduced. However, this change was being expected for a long time and even in that case sufficient time of 9 months was given to adjust for these changes.

Baswan Committee has already submitted a report. However, introducing any change in an exam like UPSC which has lots of sentimental and emotional values attached to it, is difficult.

Read more: Aspirants divided over possible change in age limit.

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