The Baswan committee report on the age limit and the pattern of Civil Services Examination has been put under the consideration by the Union Public Service Commission. The report was awaited by the civil service aspirants as it was expected to make recommendations for cutting the Upper age limit and it has exactly made the same recommendations. The committee said that the upper age limit of the exams is higher and it should be brought down.
The commission will have a comprehensive look into all the points of suggestions made by the Baswan Committee. It will evaluate all the aspects of the suggestions made by the committee so that it should make appropriate changes into the pattern of the Civil Services Examination. UPSC aims that only such changes should be put under effect which will affect the students career positively and it will be accepted by them without creating any resentment among them.
The committee was set up in the August 2015, by Mr. Modi government with a view to have a look into the grey areas of the examination which recently the students have opposed and revamp the Civil Services Examination process. It was set up under the leadership of Mr. B.S Baswan, the secretary of the Human resource development and the former retired IAS officer.
The preceding government of congress led by Mr. Man Mohan Singh has introduced the changes in the pattern of the Civil Services Examination by introducing the aptitude test which was new for the students preparing for the exam. In order to accommodate the concern of the students that they should have been given some time to adjust to the new pattern, the government had relaxed the upper age limit of the candidate from 30 years to the 32 years for General category students with similar effect to other category of candidates.
The upper age limit has been politicized over years and it has risen from 24 in 1960’s to 32 in recent years. Although the ARC (Administrative Reform Commission) and the successive committee of the government has recommended that the age limit should be kept low but due to one or other factors the age limit has been made to rise over years. This
The ARC has said that the candidates who join the civil services league over the age of 30 years are found to be less adaptable to the system as compared to candidates who joins the academy in the age group of 20-25 years. The candidates who enter the academy in their mature age have already a set mindset and behavior which becomes difficult to change later on.
But lowering of age limit is found to be controversial in the sense that it penalizes the rural area candidates. It is usually seen that those living in far flung areas of villages becomes aware of the Civil Services Exams lately and they also find it difficult to access the right kind of resources for the preparation of this arduous exam. Under such circumstances relaxation in the upper age limit gives them some good amount of time to prepare adequately for the exam.
But the recent studies have shown that due to the changes in the pattern of the exam, especially after the introduction of the CSAT or the Aptitude test, the success rate of candidates over 30 years of age dropped down to as low as 6-11% only. Such studies justify the lowering of the age limit of the candidates.
However, simply on the basis of these studies it would be difficult for the Modi government to implement the recommendation of the Baswan committee and justify their step of cutting down the upper age limit. The government must take care of the candidates from all segments of the society.