The aptitude test will continue to be part of civil services preliminary examination and there is no change in the pattern as of now, it was officially stated in Delhi on Wednesday. At the same time, Government said an expert committee will be constituted to take a holistic view of the aptitude test.
“An expert committee would be constituted to comprehensively examine various issues raised from time to time namely, eligibility, syllabus, scheme and pattern of civil services examination,” a statement issued today by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
Till such time the government takes decision on the recommendation of the committee, the general studies Paper-II (Civil Services Aptitude Test or CSAT) in the civil services (preliminary) examination will remain a qualifying paper with a minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33 per cent, it said. “The English language comprehension skill portion from general studies Paper-II of civil services (preliminary) examination will continue to remain excluded,” the DoPT said.
A controversy had erupted in July last year over the pattern of civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Services Commission(UPSC) as students demanding change in CSAT or Paper II had took to the streets in protest. The students had claimed that mandatory English language and other questions asked in the paper put aspirants from rural areas or with Hindi background at a disadvantage.
Following the protests, the government had decided that marks of the English section questions, asked in Paper II, will not be included for gradation or merit in the exam. The change had come in force from civil services examination, 2014, onwards. However, various students have been demanding change in the pattern of Paper II of civil services (preliminary) examination, saying it favours candidates of technical and management background.
After today’s decision, the civil services examination, 2015 will be held as per the 2014 pattern, i.e. with questions on aptitude to be part of second paper and marks of English section not to be included for gradation.
The civil services examination is conducted in three stages– preliminary, main and interview– to select candidates for prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. There are two compulsory papers–Paper I and Paper II– of 200 marks each in civil services (preliminary) examination. These papers are also known as CSAT I and CSAT II. The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision making and problem solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class X level). The English language part has been excluded from gradation from 2014 exam onwards and will continue for the 2015 test.
The results of civil services examination 2014 are yet to be announced.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the three-phased examination, is likely to issue notification for civil services examination 2015, tomorrow, as per Commission’s tentative schedule. The pattern of civil services (preliminary) examination was changed from 2011 onwards. Before that, Paper I used to be a general studies one and candidates were to choose an optional subject for Paper II. Lakhs of students take the test held annually by the UPSC.