The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) could be portrayed as a dynamic organization, which updates its policies and procedures then and there to get along with the changing world; one such establishment is the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). The CSAT is supposed to get amended from the year, 2011 onwards; it is said that the Prime Minister of India has already given the approval for its amendment.
When the honorable job opportunities, majorly the public services jobs are subjected to changes, many negative postulations swirl around the actual dynamism, thereby hindering the positive vibrations of the induced changes! But, do not forget that ‘Change’ is the only permanent thing in the world, hence being non-static with driving energy has become a necessary requirement!
According to the new scheme, the civil services aspirants would be appearing for the preliminary examination, comprising aptitude test, instead of the usual pattern consisting of ‘General Studies’ and ‘Optional Subject’. The various speculations regarding the CSAT are described, as follows:
- The age limit is supposed to get lowered than the current criteria on age; the current age criteria would be around 21 to 30 years, as on 1st August of the year of examination.
- The number of attempts is likely to get reduced; the number of attempts is limited to 4 for the general category students (however, exceptions would be there, according to the UPSC’s approval; if any).
- The question pattern is expected to get designed with an objective of testing the candidates’ knowledge on the ethical and moral dimensions of the honorable civil services of the country. Hence, it is no more the old pattern of basic memorable type of questions.
- The question paper would likely to comprise two common papers to all the candidates, but altogether no optional papers in common.
- Some students may find the new scheme difficult, as some of them would be strong in optional than the ‘General Studies’ and vice versa. But now, it has become a constraint for everyone to prepare for the single aptitude test with no choices for the ‘General Studies’ and ‘Optional Subjects’.
- Significance would be more on moral and ethical values, hence candidates with low moral and ethical aptitude are said to bear a risk factor; more likely to get discarded.
- The two objective type questions are said to bear equal weightage on the marks, unless the present scenario, consisting of ‘General Studies’ paper accounting to 150 marks and the ‘Optional Subject’ paper accounting to 300 marks.
All these are the expected changes for the preliminary examination format; however the format for the main examination and the interview is yet to be confirmed. The changes (if any) for the main examination and the interview are expected to get implemented after receiving the responses for the changes made in the preliminary examinations. Thus the government is amending the entire process of civil services examination via ‘Quality Functional Deployment’ method, rather amending in its own way; according to this method, the end users and their feedbacks would be given importance and the changes, or enhancement would be made depending on their input.
The fact that the suggested reforms in the civil services examination are centered on the ‘Ethical and Moral dimensions’ of decision making, is inevitable; this would definitely induce the awareness and respect for virtuous behavior and characteristics!