Reducing the UPSC Civil Services Recruitment Cycle: Is it Feasible?

UPSC Civil Services Recruitment Cycle

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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is responsible for the comprehensive Civil Services recruitment cycle, which takes approximately 14-15 months to complete. The cycle consists of three stages: prelims, main, and personality tests. Candidates who fail to clear any stage must reappear for the preliminary exam the following year.

Recently, a Parliamentary Committee expressed criticism regarding the lengthy duration of the recruitment process and recommended the UPSC reduce it. The committee believes that recruitment examinations should ideally be completed within six months. Prolonged cycles not only waste valuable years of candidates’ lives but also adversely affect their physical and mental well-being. In its report, the committee recommended that the UPSC takes significant steps to shorten the recruitment cycle without compromising the quality of the selection process.

However, the question remains: Can the recruitment cycle be reduced to six months without compromising quality? It is crucial to ensure that every individual is given a fair chance, and justice is upheld. Rushing or shortening the interview process would not be appropriate, given the number of candidates involved and the need to maintain the integrity of the selection process.

According to a research report by service provider Geniehelpme, other exams conducted by the UPSC, such as the Combined Defense Services (CDS), National Defense Academy (NDA), and Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT), are held twice a year and boast a similar or even better success rate than the Civil Services exam.

In 2022, the AFCAT exam witnessed around two lakh students participating, out of which only 10,000 candidates were called for AFSB procedures. This highlights the intense competition associated with the exam. The AFCAT is conducted twice a year and last year, it recorded a success rate of 0.05 percent.

Likewise, the National Defense Academy examination takes place twice a year, with over 300,000 candidates participating in the 2022 edition. Out of these, 8,509 candidates cleared the NDA (II) 2022 written exam and proceeded to face the SSB interviews for their respective services, resulting in a success rate of 0.02 percent.

In comparison, during the Civil Services exam in 2022, a total of 11.25 lakh candidates appeared for the prelims. Out of them, only 13,090 candidates qualified for the mains exam, and finally, 2,529 candidates were selected for the interview stage. Ultimately, 1,022 candidates were recommended, indicating a passing percentage of 0.08 percent.

While the AFCAT, CDS, and NDA exams boast shorter recruitment cycles than the UPSC Civil Services exam, it does not imply that their selection processes are hasty. On the contrary, these exams efficiently identify and select the best-talented youth who serve the country by safeguarding its frontiers.

A shortened recruitment cycle may benefit aspiring officers. If the examinations are meant to evaluate all of the necessary prerequisites for administering the country in 7 to 8 months, The parliamentary committee’s recommendations are consistent with the recent exam pattern in recent years.” Students should focus on learning the principles of each topic rather than memorizing material. Aspirants, for example, frequently overlooked the sports area. Sports-related inquiries have caught candidates off guard in the last two years. Previously, questions about technologies like DRS and Goal Line Technology were asked, purely from a technological perspective. Who knows, movies might be added as a segment in the future. It’s essential to define the syllabus and adhere to it,” he pointed out.

In conclusion, while the idea of reducing the UPSC Civil Services recruitment cycle to six months may seem appealing, it is vital to balance it with the need for a fair and rigorous selection process. The success rates of other exams conducted by the UPSC demonstrate that shorter cycles are indeed possible without compromising quality. However, it is essential to ensure that the selection process remains thorough, unbiased, and aligned with the purpose of selecting the most capable individuals to serve the nation.

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