A Union Public Service Commission-appointed committee wants the government to cut the upper age-limit to appear in the Civil Service Examination and to get into posts like IAS, IPS, IFS and etc.
As part of this plan by the Narendra Modi Government to overhaul the Civil Service Examination, a board headed by former education secretary BS Baswan was setup by UPSC last August.
The government had assured to evaluate the civil service examination after a series of dispute in 2015 against the introduction of civil service aptitude test in the UPSC Preliminary Exam by the previous Manmohan Singh-led government.
Baswan said that the entry age is on the higher side, yet realize that candidates should not be put into any unpredictable deprivation. Hence, a strategy would be prepared which would give all candidates adequate time to get used to the new system.
For decades, the upper age-limit for candidates of general categories has risen from 24 years in the 1960s to 32 years for now.
For scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates, the upper age limit is relaxed by five years and Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates the age relaxation is three years, while disabled candidates get a relaxation of 10 years.
The percentage of successful candidates of age 30 years or above was in the range of 6-11% in 2012 and 2013.
The relaxation for upper age-limit is based on the argument where a 43-year-old, disabled who belongs to scheduled category had appealed for age relaxation on both criteria, as mentioned in the report. The panel is taking measures to find the candidate to justify its recommendation.
However, the call would be taken once the committee submits its report in the month of August.
The panel regards that relaxation of the entry age for candidates should be at the disposition of any exam restructuring.
Mentioning the last-minute change in exam format during the UPA Government, one of the officials said there wouldn’t be any surprise changes by the prevailing government for candidates.
The Baswan committee was suggested also to include the realistic time-frame for implementation of its recommendation along with the changes.
The relaxation for age-limit is also recommend by the government officials and training academies who prepare successful candidates for a career in civil services exam. The general argument made is that civil servants past their thirties find it hard to take on the core values of civil services and adapt to it.
However for government it wouldn’t be easy to decide.
In the past there were several efforts made to review the option of relaxing the upper age-limit. During Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee who supported the recommendations, a huge dispute was confronted from politicians saying that it is a disadvantage for rural candidates.
The second administrative reforms commission proposal was even accepted by the UPA Government for the relaxation of upper age-limit to 26 for general candidates but at the end raised the age limit by two years just months before the 2014 general elections.
About 4, 60,000 candidates appeared for the UPSC examination 2015, which is conducted in three stages with a hope to join the administrative services viewed as a “dream job”. But, only one among 400 made it.