Committee submits report on pattern of civil services exams

A committee formed to look into the possibilities of bringing changes in pattern of civil services examination among others on Thursday submitted its report to the government.

The three-member committee under the chairmanship of former Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Arvind Varma was formed in March this year to look into demands of students for changes in the pattern of civil services examination.

The report will be examined by the government before taking a final view, official sources said today, adding a decision whether to postpone the August 24 civil services preliminary examination will be taken after perusing it.

The students have been demanding that the pattern of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) be changed to give level-playing field to those coming from rural areas.

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the preliminary examination. These papers are also known as CSAT I and CSAT II.

The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem- solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class X level).

Students have been objecting to the level of aptitude and English language questions being asked in the examination claiming they are much above the standard prescribed for the examination.

The civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in three stages–preliminary, main, and interview–to choose candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.

“A decision on whether to change the pattern of the civil services examination will be taken on the basis of the committee’s report,” sources said.

The other members of the committee, which was formed on March 14, are IAS officers R K Gupta and P K Das. R K Gupta is working as Principal Secretary to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and P K Das is working as Joint Secretary in DoPT.

The Committee’s chairman Arvind Varma is a retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He has served as DoPT Secretary between September 30, 1996 and November 30, 1998.