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Changes In Second ARC Civils Prelims and Mains Exams Changes UPSC civil services examination of the image into the recently proposed changes to the ARC prior to the second cam has a long history of transformation. UPSC main examination of the changes recommended by the ARC to set up a committee to be recommended. It was suggested that a committee is set up now. It has a high powered panel has been arranged for the second administrative reforms commission of the recommendations of the Alagh Committee and its recommendations are based on the model itself. In this context, aspirants had many questions and doubts.

1) Will the pattern of the Preliminary be changed?
A : No the preliminary is going to be the same . the number of questions in the exam can change and the proportionate weightage may change. However, the number of marks and the number of papers remains the same and will not be changed

2. Will the marks of the Preliminary be added to the mains marks?
A: The Alagh committee has recommended that the marks of the preliminary should be added to the main marks. However, this recommendation has not been accepted. Hence there no chance that the preliminary marks will be added to the mains.

3. Will the age limit be reduced?
A: All the Committees on recruitment have been in favour of an age limit of either 21-26 years or 21-24 years for general candidates with age concession for candidates from OBC and SC/ST categories. They have felt that late entry into the civil services has three undesirable outcomes – it works against the interest of the weaker sections in the long run, does not enable recruitment of best candidates at a malleable age and puts a premium on rote learning and coaching institutes. The Alagh committee has recommended 25 years as the maximum age limit for the General candidates, 28 for OBC’S abd 29 for SC/ ST. However no reduction in age limit is expected as it is not politically feasible.

4. Will there be a change in the number of attempts?
A: The Alagh Committee has recommended 3 attempts for the general candidates, 5attempts for OBC’S AND 6 attempts for SC/ ST’s. However even this change is not expected as it is politically not feasible.

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT AGE LIMIT, ATTEMPTS ETC ARE OUTSIDE THE TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE PRESENT COMMITTEE. It is also better to have a grasp on the present format and proposed changes in the Civils Exams.

5. What are the likely subjects in the Main Examination ?

A: The committee is expected to work within the framework of the Alagh committee and the Second Administrative Reforms commission. Based on the reports we can extrapolate as follows ;

1) The compulsory language papers ie English and the Modern Indian Language will continue. The standard of these papers will be increased. Presently they are qualifying papers, they may be given weightage ie the marks scored may be added for the sake of determining the rank .

2) The Alagh committee had recommended that the Essay paper should be removed be a part of the compulsory papers. However the ARC has rejected the idea. Hence. The essay will continue as it is.

3) The Alagh committee has recommended that the General Studies papers as they exist today should be replaced.. The A.R.C has also endorsed it. There will be no papers in GENERAL STUDIES as they exist today. Some areas which have been tested in the Prelims like Statistics which forms a part of Data Interpretation in Prelims may not find a place in the mains. The other areas as they exist today may be subsumed in the Compulsory papers.

6. What are the likely compulsory papers ?

A: The focus of the optional in the Main Examination at present is on university subjects which the candidates have studied. On the other hand, the focus needs to be on what a candidate needs to know or learn in order to be a successful civil servant. Therefore, given the inadequacies and ineffectiveness of the present subject based optional papers in testing the candidates on the required and relevant parameters, there is a proposal to replace the optional subjects with a set of compulsory papers designed to test a broad spectrum of knowledge, skills, attitudes and aptitude in a manner which would be more relevant to the requirements of any entrants to the higher civil services. Each of these papers will be multi-disciplinary in nature which will have direct relevance to the higher Civil Services.

The papers are expected to be:

1. Sustainable development and Social Justice: This paper will cover the unique nature of Indian Society, Constitutional and Human Rights related to equity, justice and affirmative action in relation to meeting basic human needs, development options and sustainability, Eco systems, issues related to marketisation; economic and institutional reform their impact on society, culture and the economy, current social tensions and social conflicts, peoples empowerment and promotion of social change etc.,

2. Science and Technology in Society: The general aim of this paper is to gauge the candidate’s awareness of the impact of science and technology on society and his/her capacity for objective and unbiased scientific thinking and state of current knowledge on latest developments in the realm of science and technology. The depth of understanding would be tested on the uses and potential of science and technology (including information technology, biotechnology and medical science) in different spheres of human activity and economic development, and their skill in analyzing various technology options and identifying viable and appropriate solutions. It would also seek to test the candidate’s appreciation of the uses and limitations of technology in the developmental context and his / her awareness of positive and negative impact on human life, society, ecology and environment.

3. Public Systems, Democratic Governance and Human Rights: The testing in this paper would be focused on the role and functions of Government, management of public systems and the issue of human rights. The candidates will be expected to demonstrate a broad awareness of the institutions, legal framework and processes of governance and of the management of public systems.

4. The Constitution of India and Indian Legal System: The candidates understanding of the constitutional foundations of governance in the country and constitutional values like democracy, pluralism and social justice and rule of law will be gauged. The topics that may be covered are Fundamental of Governance, Fundamental Rights, Legal Framework, Political and Administrative Structure of Governance, Civil Services and Probity in Public Life, State and Civil Society, Decentralised Planning etc.,

5. Indian Economy: This paper will cover India’s development experience

6. Administrative Theory and Governance in India: This paper will cover Public Administration, it’s theory and practice.

The questions in all the subjects will be designed to test not only this knowledge but also the skills and attitudes/values which the candidates will be required to have for effectively fulfilling their future roles as facilitators of change leading to empowerment of people and as effective administrators. Questions are expected to be in multiple choice, short answer and Essay type.

7. Will the patern be similar to the Group – I Pattern?
A: It is unlikely that the Group –I pattern will be followed. All the subjects may be from Humanities only.

8. When will the changes be brought in ?
The Committee has just been formed. It is supposed to give its recommendations in 2012. These recommendations have to be first accepted by U.P.S.C. Later they have to receive the approval of the Department of Personnel and the cabinet. It is then that they will be notified.

9. Will the changes be incorporated immediately ?

No . The Administrative reforms commission has recommended that sufficient lead time should be given to all the aspirants. It is expected that they will be notified in 2012 and will come into effect in 2014 or later.

10 There are rumours that the 2012pattern is going to change and hence the notification is delayed…………

A: There will be no change in 2012. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances has given a reply to a starred question on 1st December in the Rajya sabha that there is no proposal to introduce any change at present. ( Question no 155 asked by Shri Avinash Pande and answered by Shri V. Narayana Swamy on 1st December 2012.

The news of the proposed change has been a source of anxiety for all the aspirants. It should be remembered that any change will be initiated only after examining it ‘thread–bare’ and the opinions of all the stake holders are taken into consideration. Till then, all aspirants should continue their preparation according to the existing model.


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