UPSC Introduces Welcome Changes
In the new Civil Services Exam pattern, the weightage given to
general studies should lead to a more egalitarian system of testing
The new Civil Services Examination pattern as notified by the
Union Public Service Commission may offer a more level playing field for
aspirants with a humanities background than those who come from the science
stream. It may also place a much greater emphasis on the English language.
The weightage given to general studies should lead to a more
egalitarian system of testing, with those aiming for general knowledge likely to
shine as aspirants prepare to face the new criteria.
To condemn the emphasis on English in the form of an
additional paper while the choices in other languages are somewhat restricted
will be too simplistic an argument. The British may have started the Indian
Civil Service examination in 1872 with an eye to finding bright talent to run
the administration of India under the Raj; but they were perennially accused of
using their language and culture to tie the ruled to the ruler’s yoke. That is a
burden the administrative service has carried in its colonial history.
The situation has, however, changed dramatically with the
increasing globalisation of the world. English is still the key language driving
computer-driven knowledge and operations; and there is no gainsaying what
proficiency in an alien tongue can do towards meeting the criteria that might
help in finding ideal standards in carrying out administrative functions.
Writing skills in English, so much on the decline over the years as more
candidates with less elitist backgrounds got into the service, are essential to
the proper functioning of the administration as it serves as the link language
in a country with so many languages. In this aspect, aspirants with a science
background may also feel challenged as writing skills in technical studies were
never a big issue. Candidates better grounded in all-round knowledge and the
meritorious may, therefore, make the cut.
Courtesy: The Asian Age