Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by UPSC is gateway to the elite government services in India. Three years back, UPSC introduced comprehensive changes in the scheme of CSE preliminary examination. Many students demanded that since changes were comprehensive, they be given relaxation in terms of age and attempts as was done on earlier occasions also. UPSC on the other hand reasoned that 4 attempts are more than it would like to allow and various committees had already argued in favor of reducing number of attempts and age limit. Unlike other entrance examinations, CSE follows a painfully protracted process and traps the aspirants into a vicious cycle of preparation which ends only after 4 grueling attempts are exhausted and 5 precious years of life are gone. Worse, as the age of the aspirant ripens, the unsuccessful aspirant finds himself or herself in a pitiable position where other career prospects also become bleak. On the other hand, given the growing loss of moral values in civil services, UPSC might be rightly thinking of promoting younger minds by reducing age limit and number of attempts as young minds are more amenable to be moulded in a desired moral frame. However, it must also be ensured that those coming from rural backgrounds are not put in a disadvantaged position as they are the ones who face an acute awareness deficit in terms of career prospects and tightening the eligibility norms may further handicap their chances.  

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