“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.” – Roger Bacon
IAS aspirants can give the UPSC interview in English or any regional language mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution irrespective of the medium of the written exam, as per the announcement by the UPSC in 2011. They can opt for English, Hindi or any other regional language when facing the UPSC pannel. Only those candidates who are exempt from taking the compulsory Indian language paper should attend the interview in either English or Hindi. Contrary to what a lot of people think, there is no advantage in choosing any language as the medium of the interview. What matters is whether you are comfortable in the language you choose. In fact, there have been toppers who took the UPSC interview in regional languages.
In any case, as IAS officers, you would be trained in the language of your cadre while you are in training at LBSNAA, Mussoorie. As most IAS officers experience, while working in your state/cadre, your medium of communication would mostly be the local language. Only when you are given central deputation would you use English. So, English speakers have no specific benefit.
What is important is to develop fluency in the language you choose for the interview. You may have written the UPSC exam in English, but if you feel you are better off speaking Hindi or Tamil or any other regional language that is your native language, you can opt for it. In fact, there are many talented people in India who are well-versed in written English but falter when it comes to conversing in it. It is in the interests of those candidates that the UPSC decided to usher in this change.
Some people believe that since interpreters would be needed if you choose any regional language, it can hamper your ability to communicate effectively. But again this is subjective. What the UPSC assesses in the personality test is the personality traits of a person and not his language skills. So, if you are able to put across your points in any one language effectively, it would be enough. In fact, it is better to speak in your mother tongue well rather than stammer and stumble in another language.
There are many candidates who have topped the UPSC exam with Indian language as the medium. For more such articles and strategy on clearing the IAS exam, visit the BYJU’S free IAS prep website.
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