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Does the Does the civil service exam need to change?

The civil service examination, which is established for the years, which is intended to take out the merit by conducting a common examination for the appointment to the higher services such as all India services and central services. UPSC, which is the watchdog of the merit system, is being successful for the years for taking out the cream amongst the eligible.

The civil service exam comprises preliminary, mains and interview through which filtering is done through various stages. UPSC, from its inception is trying to update the exam pattern throughout the years by taking recommendations from various reports and arc reports. (Eg.sarkaria commission report and 2nd arc report).

The preliminary exam erstwhile consists of general studies paper and optional paper, which is of objective type, but recently the second paper is completely replaced with CSAT paper, which comprises basic English comprehensive skills, aptitude, reasoning, decision making and inter personal skills. The English passage questions were recently deleted as the agitations took place in and outside parliament regarding the examination pattern.

The papers will be printed both in English and hindi,(including the comprehension ),except the English passage, which will be of 10th std. The non-english medium students found it difficult to proceed with these questions. As this is a competitive examination, they are complaining about the absence of level playing field.

One set of students are urging for the complete removal of second paper as it is pro-urban paper and it is biased against the rural background students. The students, who are very well versed with general studies and lack some basic English and mathematical skills are unable to cross the first level of the examination.

But, the reports of the several commissions explicitly said that a civil servant is not only knowledge centric but also a decision maker at the peak times. Aptititude and the attitude of the civil servant should be given superiority, as these days civil servants are not anyway knowledge-lacking, but they are struggling with some problems such as decision making, aptitude and attitude problems, showing empathy for the disadvantaged.

So, it is advisable for the candidates to attain all the skills of a civil servant instead of agitating against the constitutional bodies and government authorities, as it is also not up to the dignity of a civil aspirant.

The inclusion of the psychological tests and group discussion is debatable throughout the years. The psychological tests, which are tested for the defence aspirants through the service selection board to check the candidate's mental strength, temper and emotional intelligence is to be brainstormed between the makers of the examination.

It is evident that the examination (prelims or mains) is unpredictable, which is a good sign from the part of the commission. As the committee suggests, that an officer needs to cope with the new challenges, it is a welcoming change. From this, the commission is trying to diminish the role of coaching institutes to make the examination obsolete.

The civil service exam, which is not only an examination for the recruitment of the talented, but also an examination for the people, with their brilliant services, using their heart and mind in a balanced manner in order to satisfy the needs of the people, particularly the vulnerable. So, the commission by keeping the changes in the society, the needs for the society in view, changes are indispensable. As a responsibility, it should not be pressurized due to government's actions and wishes of the aspirants.

Chani Pagadala