With a total number of 791 candidates recommended for appointment to the civil services this year, the feedback obtained from successful students reflects some emerging trends. The recent change in syllabus and question pattern has made an impact on the results as the young aspirants have performed better and many older aspirants have not been able to cope with the change.
“A higher number of successful candidates this year have cleared the exam in the first attempt,” says D. Shankar, Director of Shankar IAS Academy.
Generally, the number of candidates clearing this competitive exam in the first attempt is relatively less because of the tough and competitive nature of the exam.
One of the reasons for the success of a large number of candidates in the first attempt is the increase in the number of candidates from the private sector showing keen interest in joining the bureaucracy.
“The impact of the economic downturn and the key role played by the bureaucracy in solving the economic challenges has made many bright students opt for the civil services exam,” says S. Ganesa Subramanian, Director of Ganesh’s IAS Academy.
Sasikanth Senthil, one of the toppers among the successful candidates, says the revised syllabus of the examination has laid more emphasis on current affairs. The classical approach has changed. “For Public Administration, one of my optional subjects, I reoriented my approach by focussing more on the reports of the government and journals,” he said. “I read the releases of the PIB [Press Information Bureau] available on the Internet,” he said.
Effective use of Internet and IT tools to gain knowledge would help candidates perform better, says Mr. Senthil. However, a clear understanding of the basics of the two optional subjects is crucial, says P. Vijayakumar, a successful candidate. Candidates preparing for the exam should understand the demands of the job as a bureaucrat, he says.
The two general studies papers in the main examination this year also required more emphasis on current affairs, and this trend will continue, he says.
Candidates who tackled analytical questions better were able to clear the exam this year, says Michael Jerald, another successful candidate.
Rural candidates, candidates belonging to the weaker sections and those with non-formal education have cleared the examination because of better awareness and intervention of the government. The large number of successful candidates is from States with vibrant study circles with government support.
According to another successful candidate T. Anand, Tamil Nadu, with a specialised network of libraries, civil services study circles and financial support of the government to the weaker sections, has been one of the States with a large number of successful candidates. Around 10 per cent of the successful candidates are from Tamil Nadu.
Some of the popular options in south India are Geography, Public Administration and Sociology. History and Hindi Literature continue to be the popular options in north India.
The candidates recommended for appointment include 236 Other Backward Classes, 130 Scheduled Castes and 61 Scheduled Tribe candidates.
The number of vacancies reported by the government for the Indian Administrative Service is 120, for the Indian Foreign Service 26, the Indian Police Service 130, the Central Services Group ‘A’ 546 and for Central Services Group ‘B’ 59. This includes 20 vacancies for candidates with disability.
ALOYSIUS XAVIER LOPEZ