(BLOG) Reforms Needed in the UPSC-IAS Examination System

Reforms Needed in the UPSC-IAS Examination System

        Reforms are a necessity. They are needed not only as a remedy against malfunctioning of any process but, also to keep up with the pace of modern times. The IAS Exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission needs more than reforms it needs an Overhaul.

        Gone were the days when aspirants would have accepted their dictated Fate. The UPSC was pressed to disclose the cut off marks of IAS preliminary exam of 2006. Thanks to the coming into force of Right to Information act 2005. With coming years the UPSC will be further pressed to disclose the Prelims marks and it’s Scaling System.

        It will be difficult for the UPSC on either count because if it declares the cut off marks of prelims than it will also has to disclose The Correct keys. The UPSC will never do this as it will have to face Litigations. For students will approach with Books/guides/coaching material and claim that their version of answer was correct. This will force the UPSC to disclose “Authentic” books that are considered as standard and the Game will be over. The system of Negative Marking has been introduced to tackle this only.

        Further the UPSC cannot tell about its Scaling Method which is full of flaws. Scaling was introduced to give advantage to students of Arts Vs Science. It tries to make Arts into Science and Vive Versa. But, that is impossible for even a naïve can tell it’s not possible. Public administration can never be Physics; History can never be Math’s.

        Except the Kothari committee and satish Chandra committee various committees have been constituted to reform the IAS examination system but they all gave an Objective Analysis. The UPSC – IAS exam system needs a Subjective analysis. The exam system needs reform so that Students competing in it would believe that they were given a fair chance. It needs reform for students only and no one else.

Following things can be done to reform UPSC-IAS exam system.-

A. Prelims: - are conducted to weed out not so deserving candidates and lessen the burden on examination agency to conduct the MAIN (real) exam.
BUT it should be taken on General Studies only (200 questions of 3 hours duration) negative marking can also be there. The GS Paper should include

1 History of India

2 World and Indian geography

3 Indian Polity and Economy.

4 General Science.

5 Mental ability

6 Current events of National. And International Importance.



  1. It will bring PARITY in the examination system and students competing in it. As optional brings Disparity (How can physics and Public adm. have parity? sometimes one is easy compared to other). It will do away with litigations against UPSC through courts and take away reason to file RTI. The UPSC can publish correct keys without hesitation and every one will be contended.

  2. It will save Time, Money. Resources of UPSC in printing two papers i.e. GS and Optional further it will also help in their safe custody.

  3. It will do the purpose for which it is administered with Parity.

The Preliminary exam can be conducted in August.

Reason- there is NO rational reason why it is conducted in May. In India the university exams of almost all Universities are conducted in March-April. If IAS Pre is conducted in August then students will have a chance to add to their Degrees or to do it with purpose. More than 10-12 lacks students prepare for IAS/State services exam simultaneously (all over India of which round about 2 lacks appear at prelims. If they are given this much time they will at least have something in their hand even if they do not make it to the IAS. As I have lived and prepared for it In Delhi I know that so many have only IAS option, its like IAS or Nothing and believe me f 99% people end up being nothing.

It’s stupid to say that it tests your endurance in May. Believe me the Main exam tests all sorts of endurances one has.


The no of attempts should be limited to 3/4/5 for GENERAL/OBC/SC/ST Candidates.


The students who compete and take main exam are like natural resources only foolish country will want to waste them. And if they are not through they will change stream instead of becoming 30 yrs with only tag of having taken Mains Twice/thrice.


The age limits should be 21-28 for general and OBC candidates and 21-30 for SC/ST candidates.


Stated as above.


The optional list should be done away with and main exam should be conducted on following subjects:

1 History of India and Indian Culture 300 marks.

2 Indian Public Administration 300 marks

3 Indian Geography and Indian Social Problems 300 marks

4 Indian Economy and Elementary statistics 300 marks

5 India and the World including India’s relations with outside world and it Foreign policy. 300 marks.

6 Current events of national and international importance 300 marks.

7 Essay 200 marks.


1. This will maintain Parity in question papers and in awarding marks. AS there will be no optional, NO specific group (History/Pub Adm/ psychology/Sociology) will have unnecessary advantage in a particular year.

2 It will make marking easy and objective (against subjective)

3 It will ensure Fair Competition. (Both to a PhD in psychology and BA (hons) graduate

And aspirants who reside in disadvantageous cities and cant afford either costly education or coaching.)

Further as IAS is a generalist Post there should be a generalist exam for its selection.


It is Ok as it is.

The government should sense the growing discontentment amongst aspirants against IAS examination system. It should bring Parity in the examination system so that every aspirant gets a Fair Deal.

Courtesy:  Hindupatriot.Rediffiland.Com