New UPSC exam will focus on general studies
Aimed at overhauling civil service examinations, a new pattern giving more emphasis on assessing general studies and aptitude skills of aspirants has been notified by the government.
The Civil Services (Mains) exams for the first time will also have a separate paper on "ethics, integrity and aptitude", according to a gazette notification issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on the changes about the test conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
"This paper (on ethics, integrity and aptitude) will include questions to test the candidate's attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society," it said with regard to the 2013 civil services exams.
DoPT has also changed the marks distribution of papers and increased number of compulsory subject papers of general studies for the main examination.
From Civil Services (Mains) exams, 2013, there will be four compulsory general services papers of 250 marks each, in addition to two optional papers of 250 marks each.
Earlier, there were two compulsory papers on general studies and two optional papers of 300 marks each.
Total marks for the main exams will be 1,800.
The paper on essay and English comprehension will continue to be of 300 marks.
The civil services preliminary examination will be held on May 26 this year and the last date for filing online application is April 4.
The nature and standard of questions in the compulsory general studies papers will be such that a well-informed person will be able to answer them without any specialised study.
"The questions will be such as to test a candidate's general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in civil services," the notification said.
The questions are likely to test the candidate's basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyse, and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands, it said.
The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level that is a level higher than the bachelors' degree and lower than the masters' degree.
In the case of those with engineering, medical science and law background, the level corresponds to the bachelors' degree, it said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had recently approved the changes in the civil services exams.
The decision had come in the wake of recommendations of a committee headed by Prof Arun S Nigavekar, former Chairman, UGC which had been constituted by UPSC.
The test is conducted to select candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Forest Service (IFoS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS), among others.
The notification for the 2013 annual civil services exams, earlier scheduled to be notified on February 2, 2013, was delayed due to the changes being considered by the government.
Image: Civil services preliminary exam will be held on May 26, 2013
Photographs: Rajesh Thakur/Careers360