Aloysius Xavier Lopez

Last time, the exam was conducted in 2001

CHENNAI: With only three weeks left for the Group I main examination of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) with a newly modified syllabus, many of the around 1700 provisionally selected candidates are excited, yet puzzled, about cracking the examination.

Last time, the exam was conducted in 2001. Recruitment came to a standstill on account of the previous government’s austerity drive. The new government however conducted the preliminary examination in December 2007.

“This is an excellent opportunity to become a Deputy Collector, after a seven-year-long wait,” said M.Ramachandran, a candidate who has cleared the prelims.

The TNPSC is conducting the Group I examinations to select candidates for posts such as Deputy Collector, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Commercial Tax Officer, District Registrar, Deputy Registrar of Co-operative societies, Assistant Director of Rural Development, District Employment Officer and Divisional Officer in the Fire and Rescue services.

The aspirants to these government services are a trifle anxious about what the examination will have in store after the syllabus change.

“The new model has done away with the system of two optional subjects and includes two papers of General Studies,” said K.Jothi Prakash, an aspirant.

The papers would have questions on modern History of India, Indian culture, Indian polity, Indian economy, Indian geography, current events of national and international importance, social problems and current sensitive issues, Science and Technology, statistics, Tamil Nadu administration, Tamil Nadu culture, language, society and heritage. According to TNPSC sources, the candidates are expected to read the wide range of books available on these topics.

Without a model question paper, many aspirants feel nervous. The competition is stiff as many IAS aspirants also take the exam because once selected, they are conferred IAS after some years of service.

The preliminary examination this year also attracted All India Service officials from Tamil Nadu who were posted in other states despite the ‘Group I services’ being lower in rank than the ‘All India Services.’

“It is easier to work in one’s own state as adjustment to a relatively new culture and language is not necessary in this case,” says M.Venkatesh, a candidate for the main examination.