IAS 2013 Proposed changes

Final IAS Mains 2013 changes and official notification are now available here.

After introducing alterations in the Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2011, the Union Public Service Commission i.e.. UPSC is now looking at bringing about some changes in its Main Examination pattern as well. The scheme of Civil Services Preliminary Examination has been changed from the year 2011 as per the recommendations of the Alagh Committee, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and an Expert Committee administered by UPSC under the chairmanship of Prof. SK Khanna (Ex-Chairman, UGC). The alterations in the Preliminary Examination have been well received to give the candidates a level playing field leading to enhancement in quality of the selections.

compriseent with the need for selecting the right kind of persons from the huge pool comprising of multiple languages, creeds, culture and communities, UPSC has constituted a high power committee to suggest possible alterations in the pattern of the Civil Services Main Examination. UPSC Chairman Prof. DP Aggarwal, on the third UPSC foundation day, said that “UPSC is to insure that all the candidates are judged based on the thorough knowledge and well understanding instead of information collected on the very last moment”

The Experts Committee was appointed in December 2011 by the UPSC to check the current structure of Civil Services Main Examination and to suggest desirable and essential alterations. The committee will comprise of the members quoted below:

  1. Prof. Arun S. Nigavekar, Ex-Chairman, UGC; Chairman

  2. Shri Yogendar Narain, Retd. IAS, Former Defence Secretary, Government of India; Member

  3. Shri Prakash Chandra, Former Chairman, CBDT; Member

  4. Prof. Pankaj Chandra, Director, IIM, Bangalore; Member

  5. Prof. Priyankar Upadhyay, BHU; Member

  6. Shri RN Datta, Former Chairman, PWC South Asia and India; Member

  7. Additional Secretary, DoP&T, Govt. Of India; Member (Ex-Officio)

  8. Additional Secretary, UPSC Member Secretary

More Information

The conditions of reference of the Committee are stated below:

  • To figure out the required profile consisting the skill sets for the Civil Servants to make them to deliver good governance in the dynamic domestic and world wide socio-economic and technological scenario.
  • To know the different selection methods presently in vogue for selection of Civil Servants.
  • To set up exact mechanisms and methodologies for the selection of candidates with required profile and skill sets mentioned in (i) above suited to Indian context for the next decade.
  • To bring a system for judgement of the effectiveness of the selection methodology adopted by the Commission and the periodicity in which corrective action, if any may be made in the selection methodology; for ensuring that it keeps pace with the dynamic requirements of the services.
  • To recommend the role of the Commission in the assessment of performance of the candidates recommended by it during and at the end of the mandatory training time period and in particular, such assessments have the effect of altering the earlier merit order introduced by the Commission as also where it is proposed to enhance or terminate the probation of a direct recruit based on unsuitability for Civil Service.

Any issue, which the Committee may considers important or vital meanwhile the procedure of selection of Civil Servants for the country or which may be referred to the Committee by the Commission.

For its functioning, the Committee will devise its own procedures and it may formed such study group and take help of such experts as it may consider necessary in consultation with the Commission.

The Committee will finish its report within 6 months when it is being formed.

Committee will look into the earlier reports especially the Alagh Committee Report and Second ARC Report. The Alagh Committee, which was established by the UPSC in the year 2001, dealt elaborately with the changes in the pattern of the Main Examination. The Committee wanted to replace the optional subjects with a set of compulsory or mandatory papers designed to judge the wide horizon of knowledge, skills and attitudes which would be more relevant to the requirements of entrants to the higher civil services. Each of the perspectives will lay the foundation on which the designated training academies for the civil services will build the essential knowledge-base, skills-set and the desired attitudes required in the high demanding life of civil servants.

The candidates are judged as well as awarded a degree for the specific discipline by the universities. This serves as the entry point for them to apply for the civil services. The compulsory papers in the Mains examination will an aim towards helping candidates widen their perspective so that they show a degree of readiness for entering a career in the service of the nation. Prospective civil servants cannot have limited understanding of a particular discipline. They should be able to comprehend the factors which are required to the society to be served and show a level of understanding as may be expected of those desirous of entering the civil services. They should have sensitivity to current issues and debates and know of some of the attempts of the government and civil society to solve these issues or problems.

The papers should be in that manner that it should judge the interest and the readiness of the candidates to work for society with understanding of what they will face. The focus of these papers, therefore should be to include all the issues pertaining to our society, social structure, political, technological and administrative governance, emerging areas of alter social, economic, political, and modern developments in science and technology as they affect society. More importantly, they should reflect the ideals and values enriched by the Founders of the Constitution and total commitment to the most disadvantaged group of the society.

The students preparing with the present scheme of Main Examination are worried not about the changes in the Main Examination pattern, but about when the changes will be implemented. Changes could be established from the year 2013 or later. Generally UPSC has not officially indicated at any date of implementation of changes yet.

As per the Expert committee it will be a time taking process. If we look at the earlier changes introduced by the UPSC, they were very slow in implementation. So it is suggested to all Civil Services aspirants they should not worry about the changes and the time of changes, instead they should focus more on preparing for the exam on the basis of present pattern.

UPSC, who changed the “preliminary” exam pattern this year by infusing elements of “aptitude” judge, had brought a small alter in the “main” judge pattern last in the year 1993 when it introduced an additional paper of “essay” of 300 marks.

As, the new paper came into influence around 18 years ago has not fulfilled the main aim of bringing candidates opting for high scoring science subjects at par with those choosing for humanities and languages as optional papers.

Courtesy: Competition Success Review March edition.

Discussions & Questions

  • I'm a computer engineer, but I'm interested in History and want to do B.A. is it possible? ( - on ))

    1 Answer

    Yes definitely you can pursue for BA anytime after clearing 12th class. Also you can take history as an optional for IAS examination without doing a BA in history and preparing for history optional independently.

    - on