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Removal Of Optionals From CSE Mains Examination

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Dear Sir,

Subject: Request for Removal of Optional Subjects from Civil Services Mains Examination

We, the civil services aspirants, would like to plead before you to remove the optional subjects from civil services examination from 2014 onwards. Reasons for the same are enlisted below:

1. It has been the endeavour of UPSC to relentlessly improve upon the pattern of CSE in line with the emerging global trends and challenges from time to time. The needs of present day administration require that Civil servant should be well aware of his job profile and what is expected out of him. Catchword is the “RELEVANCY” vis-a-vis the prospective job. Many subjects are not even remotely connected with the job requirements. The importance of recruitment stage cannot be overemphasized.

2. No other exam in India conducted at all India level has so many subjects. Principle of equality demands that there should be common yardsticks to evaluate candidate’s competency.

3. In the recent past individuals have went on to score disproportionately in particular subjects while others subjects have not done well despite their relevance. E.g. Perusal of previous records highlight that candidates have scored 247/300 in 1 paper (2012) while many students were struggling to score even 200/600 in some of the optionals.

4. It has been admitted in the past that process of scaling is not foolproof and there are bound to be inter-examiner, inter subject variability which cannot be accounted for in any mathematical formulas. Consequently it impinges on the selection of a meritorious candidate & adversely compromises the quality of future officers. It also results in needless litigation from candidates.

5. Numerous high powered committees constituted in past have exhorted to have uniform set of papers. It ensures that much needed level playing field is maintained.

6. It will lessen the burden on UPSC in terms of infrastructure required for conducting the exam, setting of papers, evaluation et al especially when there are certain subjects that have less than 20 candidates opting for them.

7. Various State service commissions have been reorienting their exam scheme wherein common papers are envisaged for all candidates.

8. It will curb the mushrooming coaching industry

9.UPSC has incorporated relevant syllabus in GS from all major optionals. This is the most appropriate syllabus for selecting a generalist and does not warrant testing in separate optional subject. Moreover candidates are already tested in these subjects during their graduation.Students at large are in favour of removal of optionals. UPSC has witnessed great reforms under your stewardship. We request you to execute this one last meaningful andprogressive reform which the exam has been beckoning.

Thanking you in anticipation,


Civil Services aspirants

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