In its recommendations to the central government and its ministries, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has requested to recruit candidates, who at least reach the interview stage of Civil Services exam, for other government jobs.
Speaking at the 21st National Conference of Chairpersons of State Public Service Commissions in Bhubaneswar, UPSC Chairman Arvind Saxena said, “We have proposed to Central Government and the ministries to recruit people from the list of candidates who make it to the interview stage in civil services and other exams but fail to get picked up”.
According to reports, almost 11 lakh applicants apply for the civil services every year and half of them appear for the preliminaries but only 600-odd get selected in the final merit list. However, a large number of aspirants advance to the final stage of viva voce but fail to secure the ranks. The government can consider recruiting from the pool of candidates who went through the rigorous screening process and failed only at the last stage. This will help in reducing the burden of examination among the youth, added Saxena.
Arvind Saxena further added that the UPSC is working to make the application process more student-friendly and the commission is working on an option for the candidates to withdraw their application forms voluntarily. Clarifying about the process of withdrawal of applications, UPSC Chairman stated, “When a candidate applies for the exam online, a (registration) number will be generated for the application. At this stage, we will give candidates an option to step down and there will be no problem at all.”
Not only that, Saxena further urged that UPSC is working to bring more accountability and transparency in the examination process adding, “The number of candidates appearing for each exam is increasing and due to that we often fail to give proper attention to them; and so, the candidates sometime fail to get a good exam venue or else… So, our focus is on more use of Information Technology (IT) to make the entire process more candidate-friendly.”
Hinting at the possibility of Computer Based Test (CBT) in preliminaries, Arvind Saxena added, “The Commission is gradually doing away with paper and pencil-based exams and is increasingly shifting towards computer-based tests.”
Earlier, the media and opposition peddled fake news that the government is planning to reduce the upper age limit for UPSC exams. These vague reports suggested that the upper age limit, from 32 years, shall be dropped to 27 years. These malign reports not only caused panic among civil service aspirants but also a sense of alienation and discontent among the unreserved classes. However, later, Minister of State, Jitendra Singh clarified in Rajya Sabha that the government has no such plans. This is not the only instance where the media and the opposition have tried to portray the government as anti-student. Government’s move to provide autonomy to the educational institutions met with protests from the opposition and left-liberal academia.
Also Read: UPSC age limit fake news: Dirty work of Cambridge Analytica?
Coming back to the UPSC examination, there are speculations that UPSC mulls to come up with a plan where there will be a single exam for the graduate level entries; clubbing up the union and state PCS under the same umbrella like NEET (common entrance for medical examination). If these decisions of the UPSC Chairperson are taken into consideration, it will be a great relief for Civil Service aspirants.