UPSC CSE Age Limit and Optional Paper – Time for Change?

UPSC CSE Age Limit and Optional PaperEver since Baswan Committee was constituted in 2015 to suggest reforms in UPSC Civil Service Exam pattern, there were many rumours about the reduction of the age-limit (32 years of General category candidates, at present) and the removal of the optional paper. But will there be any major change soon?

Baswan Committee – The background

The Central Government has constituted an Expert Committee under the chairmanship of Shri B. S. Baswan, vide Notice dated 12.8.2015 to examine the various issues connected with the Civil Services Examination. Expert committee accordingly submitted its report to UPSC on 9th August 2016.

UPSC gave its own recommendations along with Baswan Committee report to the Central Government.

There were not many updates on the report so far, but lakhs of aspirants are eager to know the government decision on the Baswan Committee recommendations.

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Why is Baswan Committee Report in news again?

In response to an RTI query filed by a PTI correspondent recently, the Department of Personnel and Training has said that the Baswan Committee’s report along with UPSC’s recommendations on it has been received on 20 March 2017 and the same is under examination.

Are the Baswan Committee Recommendations available in public?

The Centre had earlier refused to disclose the recommendation forwarded by the said committee. As per The Hindu, the recommendations of the Baswan Committee is yet to be made public.

But at the same time, there is a PDF file on the DoPT website titled Baswan Report. This report does not deal with the reduction of age-limit or optional language but takes a comprehensive look at the requirement of IAS Officers over a longer time frame. You can read it from the DoPT website.

The Baswan Report available in DoPT website has suggestions to deal with the shortfall of IAS officers. But it seems the Committee is reluctant to increase the number of vacancies of IAS officers from the present strength of 180.

So, why then the talk again about the reduction of UPSC CSE Age Limit and the removal of Optional Paper?

There are no major updates from the government so far, except an RTI reply that the government is examining the Baswan report (of course they have to, as it has been 8 months since the report is submitted before the government).

Will the government reduce the age-limit from present 32-years? Nobody knows. Nonetheless, one thing is clear. Reduction of age-limit will not be an easy decision for any government.

What about the removal of the optional subject? It seems this is recommended by a majority of aspirants while filling the Baswan Committee survey. But again, there are many who argue for keeping the optional subject as well.

Though the government is yet to take a decision on Baswan Committee Report, many believe that key changes are likely in Civil Service Exam soon.

Committees Constituted by UPSC regarding revision of CSE Exam structure

The Union Public Service Commission has so far constituted following committees for review of different aspects of Civil Services Examination including the language issues.

  1. Kothari Committee
  2. Satish Chandra Committee
  3. Y.K. Alagh Committee
  4. Anandakrishnan Committee
  5. Bhattacharya Committee S.K. Khanna Committee
  6. Nigavekar Committee
  7. Purushottam Agarwal Committee
  8. Khanna Committee (recommended introduction of CSAT)
  9. Baswan Committee.

What should aspirants like you do now?

Clear IAS Exam against all odds

UPSC CSE Prelims 2018 is just 6 months away. The first stage of UPSC CSE is scheduled to be conducted on June 03, 2018.

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam notification will come on February 07, 2018.

It has been the policy of UPSC, to give sufficient time for the aspirants to prepare before coming up with any major changes in exam pattern or structure.

Nobody knows if the Government or UPSC will come with any major overhaul in next 3 months, to be implemented in 2018, but it is unlikely.

Your focus should be to clear the Preliminary Exam of UPSC CSE 2018, at a comfortable margin against all odds. This will give you added confidence to prepare for Mains 2018 (scheduled to start on October 01, 2018).

Whether there is pattern change or not, the whole ClearIAS Team is ever ready to adapt and help you. So until any major updates from the government, keep preparing with a new vigour. If not enrolled for ClearIAS Preliminary Test Series 2018, join now! ClearIAS!

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