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Monday, 23 May 2016

UPSC committee recommends lowering age limit for Civil Services exam

The UPSC committee, set up to review the Civil Services examination, will soon be asking the government to lower the upper age limit for candidates planning to appear in the esteemed examination.

The committee appointed by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) last August will soon be
asking the government to lower the upper age limit for candidates appearing in the Civil Services examination.
Former education secretary BS Baswan is heading the committee, which was formed as part of an initiative by the central government to revamp the civil services examination.
Why is the upper age limit being changed?
According to the guidelines, the SC/ST candidates get a maximum of a 5-year age relaxation and those falling in the other backward classes can avail a 3-year grace. The candidates who are differently-abled get an additional 10-year relaxation. 
  • Amidst a string of protests in 2015 opposing a civil service aptitude test introduced in the preliminary exam by the previous government, the Narendra Modi government had promised to assess the esteemed examination
  • "We feel that the entry age is on the higher side. At the same time, we realise that candidates should not be put to any unforeseen hardship. Therefore, we would prepare a road map which will give all candidates sufficient time to adapt to the new system," Baswan told HT
  • The upper age limit for aspirants from general categories has increased from 24 years during the 1960s to 32 years for 2014
  • The proportion of successful candidates who were over 30 years in 2012 and 2013 was in the range of 6 to 11 percent
  • It is a common belief that the candidates over 30 years who successfully cleared the civil services examination, found it difficult to adapt and internalise the core values demanded of the civil services
  • The government officials and training schools entrusted with the charge of helping students successfully clear the civil services examination have been pushing for lowering of the entry age
  • Meanwhile in Andhra Pradesh, during a felicitation ceremony in the state for UPSC rankers, Municipal Commissioner G. Veerapandian said that aspirants should start preparing for Civil Services right from college level for better foundation
For making their point, the panel is trying to locate a disabled 43-year-old candidate belonging to schedule caste category, who had applied for relaxation on both grounds.
When will the report be submitted?

According to a senior government official a call on the recommendation would be taken only after the panel submitted its report.The panel has time till August to give its report.

"I can only say that the government is very clear in its mind that it will not spring a surprise on the candidates," the official said, referring to the previous UPA government's last-minute decisions to change exam's format.
In an attempt to ensure that the candidates preparing for the exams don't get a rude shock with sudden changes, the panel has been asked to, apart from making recommendations, tell a reasonable time frame required for implementation of the various recommendations.

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