Avoid trial attempts in civils

Avoid trial attempts in civils
Highlights

Avoid Trial Attempts In Civils. The much awaited notification for the Civil Services 2014 Examination has been released by the Union Public Service Commission.

Age limit relaxed and number of attempts increased

The much awaited notification for the Civil Services 2014 Examination has been released by the Union Public Service Commission. The notification has been issued for 1,291 positions for vacancies in 23 services. All graduates above the age of 21years would be eligible to appear for the examination.

The notification assumes significance on various counts. The number of vacancies this year is the highest number of vacancies notified in the recent past.” It could be on account of greater number of retirements this year. Most of the vacancies could be expected in the Group A services like the IRS.

Also, as announced the maximum age limit and the limitations on the number of attempts has been relaxed. Now the maximum age limit is 32 years for candidates belonging to the General Category, 35 years for Other Backward Classes and 37 for candidates belonging to the SC and ST categories. The number of attempts earlier limited to four for General Category is now six. For OBCs it was seven and has now been increased to nine, There is no limitation on the number of attempts for the SCs and STs.

Initially it was thought that this was a temporary relaxation but with no such mention in the notification we can infer it is a permanent one. It was only during 1987 – 1989 that the maximum age limit was reduced from 28 to 26 years, since then it has been relaxed upwards. As reduction in age limit would be an unpopular decision, we can expect future governments to continue with these age limits.

It is expected that the relaxation in age and attempts would lead to a surge in the number of candidates applying for the examination. Experts feel at least 7 lakh applications would be received. Usually about 30,000 applications are received from Andhra Pradesh. I would expect at least 40,000 applications from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Of course, not more than 50 per cent of the applicants would be actually appearing for the examination.

While there is no significant change in the format and the syllabi, yet the emphasis on the marks to be scored in the qualifying paper ‘English’ in the main examination has been reduced to 25 per cent.“Till date the UPSC never explicitly mentioned the qualifying mark in the compulsory English Paper in the Mains and it was assumed to be 33 per cent. For the first time it has been clarified that the Indian language paper would have a qualifying mark of 30 per cent and the English Paper 25 per cent. This would be a welcome change for candidates appearing for the examination in the vernacular medium. However, a lower qualifying mark in English, relatively, would be of greater benefit to the aspirants from the Northern belt than the South. This reduction seems to be a knee-jerk response of UPSC to the demands of rural students to revamp Paper–II in the Preliminary Examination. Paper-II in the preliminary which is popularly known as CSAT comprises a high quantitative and qualitative component of English. This became a major hindrance for the otherwise qualified rural aspirant. Students were demanding that the weightage of this paper should be reduced, however the UPSC has responded by reducing the qualifying marks for English in the Main paper. This would only benefit the Hindi medium belt as they can appear at the CSAT in Hindi medium whereas students hailing from non-Hindi medium states would be forced to appear at the CSAT in English. It is visibly unfair to South India.

As the number of attempts have been increased would it be advisable for a fresher to begin his preparation now and appear for the Examination? The answer is a clear no. A trial attempt is not advisable. Many students appear on the belief that though the chances of success are slim with a three-month preparation they would get some experience. The grief cost of not qualifying is far higher than the experience gained and it is bound to affect an aspirant psychologically in the subsequent attempts. It is better to go well prepared and appear in 2015.

- The writer is Director of Brain Tree Academy, Hyderabad

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