The government is considering a report by the Baswan committee to tweak some key changes in the Civil Services examination pattern and reducing the upper age limit of 32 years. The proposal is presently being monitored by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The application by the committee was received in August last year. It was then received along with the recommendations by the UPSC in March, this year.

UPSC earlier constituted a committee in August 2015, under the chairmanship of the former human resource development secretary and retired IAS officer B S Baswan for review.

To start with, UPSC may slash the optional paper.

The optional papers are often considered as the major scoring papers since candidates have the option to choose from the subjects they like and know thoroughly. Further, optional papers have a certain formula to surge marks in order to compensate for the non-scoring subjects. However, they make India’s premier government exam unfair. All optional subjects have their own unique scoring standards and scoring in some subjects might be tougher than other subjects.

The proposal to remove the optional paper from the (mains) is being considered as a major game changer and is being received readily by the aspirants as the committee sought their responses online a few months ago.

Next, it is also considering reducing the upper age limit for Civil Services.

One can apply for IAS / Civil Services exam only if they are within age limit. The age factor at the UPSC has been a subject of deliberation for a long time. For many years primarily, the upper age limit was 30 years for the general category candidates while for OBC’s and SC/ST it was 33 and 35 respectively. This was later increased to 32, 35 and 37 respectively in 2014. A reduction in upper age limit is on the cards.

The question that arises now is that when can this change be expected in IAS / CSAT?

The Baswan Committee’s report along with UPSC’s recommendations was received on 20th March this year. The government is expected to implement the alteration only after extending a sufficient window to the prevailing aspirants. However, changes in the pattern can be affected by the UPSC any time without any advance notice and may be given along with the notification

UPSC conducts the Civil Service Exams annually to hand-pick officers into various government services including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS) among others. The examination is held primarily in three stages- preliminary, main and interview and is one of the prime competitive exam in the country.

What do you aspirants feel about these recommendations regarding the removal of optional paper from Mains exam? Do you think the recommendation if implemented will be admissible?  The decision to take such a massive step will impact many applicants in future. Do let us know your views on the same in the comment section below.

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  1. Firstly, clearly the civil service exams itself is very difficult……and removal of optional papers in mains exams is very difficult……

    this is really not a fair decision……

  2. earlier 2011 -13 and 2014-15 UPSC had make changes, but not given sufficient the time frame every time. so that lacks of aspirants are turned in to victims, we are strongly demand first announce what ever the changes done by upsc before one year.

    Presently no one believe upsc reforms and standards, to full fill that
    1. Give the time frame to 2011 -13 and 2014-15
    then only the upcoming generations will serve the country with the help of UPSC.


  4. Removal of optional is welcome as it is the most unfair component of the whole examination. It would create a level playing field without any discrimination to your background.

  5. This message to the author please don’t spread any news untill or unless UPSC officially announces about the reforms.

  6. Good decision taken. The upper age limit should be lowered to 26years irrespective of any one. No leverage should be given to any cast for such a high profile competition.

    • Think about rural aspirants who are willing to take exams,they(rural aspirants) finish or complete their post graduation by 24 or 25 (age) LOWERING THE AGE WILL BE SEVERE BLOW.

  7. the optional subject should be removed but the factor of age create a lot of problems so it is requested to the concerned authorities to kindly retain the age factor. As thousands of aspirants does not want in reduction of age limit.

  8. most of the people really inspire and realize that service to the nation is only the great thing and this strikes into mind when they grow to the proper age of taking right desicion and this mostly occurs at the age of 25 years.

    so reducing the age limit is not a good desicion due to this our country will loose so many sincear officers

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