Compulsory Indian Language Paper: No. of Candidates for Each Language

The Indian/regional language paper, officially called Paper ‘A’ is the first paper in the UPSC civil services mains exam. Although only qualifying in nature, candidates are advised not to ignore its preparation as failure to score the minimum required marks will lead to their failure to clear the mains implying the loss of a precious attempt. The UPSC allows candidates to choose from a list of 22 modern Indian languages given in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution. Read on to know the statistics regarding the number of candidates for each language in the UPSC mains exam.

The most popular language taken by candidates is Hindi, one of the official languages of India. On an average about 65% of the candidates choose Hindi for Paper ‘A’, and the rest 35% take up any one of the remaining languages. The list of languages candidates can choose from for the compulsory regional language paper is given below:

Assamese Bengali Gujarati Hindi Kannada Kashmiri
Konkani Malayalam Manipuri Marathi Nepali Odia
Punjabi Sanskrit Maithili Tamil Telugu Urdu
Bodo Dogri Sindhi (Devanagari/Arabic script) Santhali (Devanagari/Olchiki script)

The following figures have been compiled from the annual reports published by the UPSC every year. It gives the number of candidates opting the various Indian languages from the year 2010 to 2015.

Language 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Hindi 8418 7233 7888 8820 10650 9358
Marathi 769 828 1074 1524 1442 1418
Telugu 700 722 795 1096 1276 1213
Tamil 561 624 649 806 742 747
Kannada 337 342 400 347 507 484
Malayalam 223 329 387 375 395 340
Gujarati 96 101 98 127 161 192
Punjabi 228 257 245 335 434 319
Bengali 57 110 89 103 96 82
Assamese 18 37 40 31 39 34
Odia 89 104 84 113 136 130
Kashmiri 0 1 0 0 0 0
Konkani 0 0 1 0 1 0
Sindhi (D) 0 0 1 0 1 1
Sindhi (A) 1 0 0 0 3 2
Sanskrit 1 8 3 7 4 1
Manipuri 0 3 0 0 2 0
Nepali 3 4 5 8 10 7
Bodo 1 2 2 1 2 2
Maithili 1 3 1 2 2 1
Santhali 0 0 0 1 0 1
Urdu 38 38 48 46 60 70

As you can see from the above table, the maximum number of candidates opted for Hindi through the years 2010 to 2015. Marathi is the language that is second to Hindi. It is closely followed by Telugu and Tamil. Malayalam, Punjabi and Kannada also have many takers.

Also, See | Tips to Tackle the Compulsory Indian Language Paper in UPSC Civil Services Mains

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