Are you planning to apply for the annual Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)/civil services exam this year, but unsure whether you want to actually write it? Think again.
In a proposal to the Centre, the UPSC has said that if an aspirant applies for the examination, but fails to turn up for it, it will be treated as an official attempt, reports The Print.
Students from the General Category are allowed six official attempts till the age of 32, while those from the OBC communities are allowed nine till the age of 35. Thus far, if you filled up the UPSC application form but didn’t go to take the Preliminary Exam, your attempt wasn’t counted.
According to The Print, the UPSC’s rationale behind this proposal is that it will save the commission the logistical strain and cost involved in conducting the exam. Currently, an average of 10 lakh candidates apply for the exam annually, but only half of them actually appear for it.
Back in October 2018, the UPSC announced that candidates could withdraw from the examination within a week of applying. At the time of the announcement, UPSC chairman Arvind Saxena had complained about the number of candidates who apply, and those who eventually turn up to write it.
“The commission has to book venues, print paper, hire invigilators and ship the documents for all the 10 lakh applicants—which turns out to be a 50 per cent waste of energy and resources,” he said.
However, UPSC officials believe that such piecemeal steps are unlikely to yield any real change in the behaviour of applicants. Instead, a real deterrent to candidates not appearing for the exam would be if the very act of application is treated as an attempt. If the Centre accepts the UPSC’s proposal, candidates will be compelled to appear for the exam instead of wasting the commission’s resources.
Besides this proposal, the UPSC has also proposed other steps to “weed out fake applicants”. They want applicants to present their identity cards at the time of enrolment to prevent impersonation.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)