Thursday, April 04, 2013

Final modifications of civil services exams; what are your views?

AFTER a lot of drama both inside and outside Parliament, the new civil services examination pattern is settled, at least for now. The government has approved the following modifications for civil services examination 2013, which were notified on March 5:

a) A candidate is allowed to use any one regional language from the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India or English as the medium of writing the examination.
b) Conditionality of a minimum of 25 candidates in that medium and the requirement to have that language as the medium of examination at graduation level has been dropped.
c) Furthermore, a candidate is allowed to take up literature as his/her optional subject (to be chosen from a list of 23 literature subjects – 22 of the 8th Schedule languages and English) without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language’s literature.
d) The English component (of 100 marks) from the Essay Paper has been dropped and 2 qualifying papers of 300 marks each in any Modern Indian Language (MIL) and in English have been restored. The Essay Paper is now of 250 marks to be written in the medium/language of candidate’s choice.

Now, the Civil Services Main Examination 2013 will be as under:
a) The candidates may write the examination in any one medium/language chosen from the languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India or English;
b) Paper I and II will be of qualifying nature only– one in any MIL and another in English – of 300 marks each;
c) Paper III will be the compulsory Essay Paper, with no English Comprehension test, to be written in the medium of candidate’s choice. The English component shall be dropped. Now this paper shall be of 250 marks.
d) There will be 4 compulsory papers of General Studies of 250 marks each, namely, Paper-IV (Indian Heritage & Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society), Paper-V (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations), Paper-VI (Technology, Economic Development, Bio Diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) and Paper-VII (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude).
e) Paper VIII and IX: Candidates will have to take one optional subject with 2 papers of 250 marks each. This optional subject can be selected from a list of 25 core subjects and 23 literature (literature of 22 languages in 8th Schedule of The Constitution of India and English).
f) The personality test/interview will be of 275 marks.
(Source: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension)
If you are preparing for the UPSC examinations and wish to tell the decision-makers your side of the story, (what part of the syllabus is working and what’s not), do write on the comment-box below.


  1. I wish the VIIth paper of Ethics and Integrity and Aptitude had a better syllabus- how can a paper and pen exam test an individuals integrity-instead the UPSC could have introduced a paper on Govt CCA-CCS rules and administrative law. Moreover people who are taking their last attempt this year should be given one more chance- the time given to the candidate to prepare the new syllabus is very short, moreover it seems that the syllabus was also hastily prepared, it lacks coherence at many places but nevertheless it is much better than the previous pattern, the optional subject which has been retained could also be done away with, instead a paper on administrative law and govt rules and regulations could be introduced

  2. suggestions to remove both optionals paper should be taken as a piece of removing the optionals the exam will be without a backbone!

  3. Professor DPagarwal was duty bound to change the pattern before he leaves. The change is for good.