Scheme of the examination

13, February 2013

Go to Proposed Changes at CIVILS MAINS EXAMINATION 2013

It is to be noted that UPSC has to postpone the issue of Notification for 2013 CSAT for obvious reasons. This is strange considering the importance of examination and its unusual extension of Mains dates by over a month which already triggered likelihood of proposed changes at the Main examination. The number of days of Main Examination is 21,  and the date of CSAT is 19 May*. These are assumed to remain the same until the commission issues notifiers. But yes, we believe UPSC doesn’t make it too hard for aspirants.

CSAT (with negative marking)- General Studies and non-rigorous General Aptitude of equal weightage of marks, of which General Studies Paper usually contains

  1. Indian History
  2. Indian Struggle for Independence
  3. Indian Polity and Constitution
  4. Indian Economy and Social Development
  5. Science and Technology
  6. Current News and Affairs
  7. Indian and World Geography
  8. Environment and Ecology

General Aptitude Paper which is generally held in the A.N. session of Preliminary Examination contains everything defined in a Bank Probationary Officer Exam paper reference guides and material. This is the paper in which you can score as many as you want.

The paper standard is not be confused with CAT’s or IBPS PO’s standard. General English is another section that seeks to play balancing game. In any case, one section, either English or Aptitude, is considered decider. NO TOUGH or HARD RULE. Just practice!

After all such undeclared and speculated cut-offs at Preliminary stage, one enters into Mains fray, if he/she is okay with respect to reservation and undeclared cut-off. Mains Examination till the last year was held between October first fortnight and November first week. 2013 schedule which was placed around October 2012 on the Commission’s site surprised everyone when the reforms at UPSC were believed to have on the go. This year’s Mains is scheduled to be held from Novermber 8. 

Personality Test is expected to analyse a candidate’s suitability to his choice of service. From what we saw from the national competitive magazines’ successful stories that got published immediately after the declaration of Final Merit List, one had little choice in admitting the feeling( or the fact?) that it’s indeed a personality test barring some exceptions from select few bright individuals!

Okay we will move on to the aspects of the Civil Services.  Meanwhile, just check whether UPSC has announced its Mains 2012 results and/ Civil Services Examination Notification 2013. And here are the results of CS Main -2012. *The CSAT was rescheduled for May 26, 2013. 

Before we take you through to preparation part and remind you to do well in all the three, CSAT, Mains, and Personality Test, we would like to present critical aspects of the examination environment and service issues and background of creation of ICS, but before that we recommend you to visit the website of the COMMISSION in detail which specifies and conducts the examination to recommend suitability of applicants to DoPT, MEA, and MHA. Constitution of India, 1950, clearly laid out path for structuring All India Services (AIS). Civil Servants in high number are the need of the hour, so there are at least four chances (at the time of compiling this page) for every graduate to compete at the nation-wide examination and get into those lucrative positions.  The saying goes, “Hard work never goes wasted”, and this is what is required to crack the examination provided proper planning is judiciously followed

“Generalist at top, Specialist at tap”

          Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s celebrated ever first Prime Minister chose the words top for Generalist and tap for Specialist. The statement made by Nehru at the inaugural session of Indian Science Congress at Calcutta was perhaps his idea of administration, when he foresaw himself synchronising sweet fruits of science and engineering with it, under it.  He made no mistake, in envisaging Indian Institute of Technology as standalone expression of independent India, and in formulating Indian Institute of Management at the recommendation of Planning Commission which was headed by him. Nehru’s vision of an independent India finds the best expression from his own words, “ young and vibrant nation free from the vices of caste and communal divide”, while he stamped his authority at another end in re-forming Indian Civil Services as Civil Services, and later into All India Services. And make no mistake, for anyone who had seen India as it was, it became near-impossible to mention any name other than Nehru at the start as his influence and subject-matter-vision was near-perfect.


Critical Perspective

Steel frame of India, pundit term for higher Civil Service, was expected to build India, at grass root level, district level, regional level, and consolidate central (union) authority on its prized subjects, defence, foreign policy, internal security, atomic energy, rail transport, human resources, for any developmental work to commission. In all, Civil services of India were required to aid socio-economic transformation under the guidance of political leadership at union by crossing federal political challenges. So we see that the services are real game changers, but when we review their overall performance, including the recent handling of Delhi street protests against the heinous crime committed on a hapless girl, the indicators present us something else; it’s not at all pleasant reading when the City Police Chief who is generally a senior IPS of the rank of Director General is booed for some uncalled remarks by someone in the department. It is against this backdrop, that every time a lapse in administration occurs along with political indecisiveness, services face stiff opposition from all sections of society asking them to improve and perform. India, as we all know, is still in the growing phase of services sector only. Simple fact. The growth figures that we get nowadays merely are services growth number. Even if these figures should either escalate or remain stable, we need an efficient, responsive, and in-corrupt men and women who can look straight in face of adversary.

Sarkaria Commission, which made an elaborate treatment on the nomenclature of Civil Services, categorically said that preservation of All India Services was necessary to maintain unity, efficiency, and co-ordination amongst administrators of the nation in a broad way.  

“The All India Services are as much necessary today as they were when the Constitution was framed and continue to be one of the premier institutions for maintaining the unity of the country. Undoubtedly, the members of the All India Services have shown themselves capable of discharging the roles that the framers of the Constitution envisaged for them.”

From History lines of 1857 revolt and attempts to curtail Indians at every stage

Let’s start from the very objective of the Civil Services introduced by the British. Almost all the reference books by modern Indian History writers converged at one point. British administrators wanted their revenue collected from the colony in an efficient and time-bound manner so that they had timely payouts to their defence and revenue personnel from Centre without any remonstration whatsoever. Besides, the rulers needed to manage trade-offs with princely heads who would rally with British anytime, and sometimes close relations needed for the British to successfully organize leaders of local influence who got used to commissions from the rulers for oppressing any form of agitation. This was how things shaped up. British were not in a position to check whether there would be any uprising. Mangal Pandey, a nationalist and  hero of the time, braved time and sophistication of weapons before succumbing to might of the regiment. In a sense, he was successful in bringing problems faced by thousands of Indian armed men to a common rallying ground. Open diatribe of the missionaries on Hindus and Muslims furthered the cause, which was seen as the prime reason for rallying against foreigners.

Another interesting point that ignited many nationalists was, however capable and whatever higher rank an Indian might hold, he would never ever receive respect and service conditions of an ordinary sepoy from England. Before this happened, Ram Mohun Roy, an intellect who derived sheer reason out of Vedic scripts with his command over languages, prompted British to abolish ritual self-killing of woman on her husband’s dead body, and proved many of existing social evils destructive. This point attracted Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar, an atheist, who wanted to educate youngsters to garner the support of masses. With the foundation stones of Roy and others, Vidya Sagar did a voluminous research on plight of Indian section and found faults with existing social customs and superstitions which were continuing since rock age. They drew Indian bloods for achieving a nobler cause, of freeing ignorant women, innocent men from the jaws of fundamental upper caste heads and priests who had the backing of Vedic texts, provided necessary zeal that would guide masses in achieving their struggle, and channeled unseen patriotism to a political, civil warfare later against imperialists in the manner one could only dream of till that date.

After using successive Government of India Acts and employing modernization tactics, inter-alia,  introducing English medium in schools, setting up railway and postal zones, to curtail Indian spirited sections that consisted of infuriated men, largely from Northern, Central, and Western India, which later received support from awakened classes from Southern end, the royal think tank thought it should end simultaneous mass uprisings, civil wars that made them feel uncertain of British India’s future and lured higher class educated into the services with enticing pay structure and service conditions.  The task was simple. They gave these services the armed men who possessed skills to contain any threat from inside the Indian soil. Soon the tasks were integrated into a colossal wing- Law and Order with extraordinary tax collection powers. This was the original shape of Indian Civil Services. Narendranath Dutta, known to many as Vivekananda, termed the desire for entry into pristine services as “faulty” and “greedy” that had no humanity, service mindset in the bigger picture. Some merits and demerits followed. It is to be noted that the present Police system is still on the Indian Police Act, 1861.

Go to Personality Test here 

Go to Mains preparation here

Go to CSAT preparation here

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