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Parliamentary Committee: Reduce the civil services examination’s selection cycle

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Governance


Source: TH


Context: Asserting that the nearly 15 months long recruitment process wastes candidates’ prime years besides taking a heavy toll on their physical and mental health, a Parliamentary Committee has asked the UPSC to reduce the civil services examination’s selection cycle


Major Recommendations of the Parliamentary Panel:

Recommendations Benefits
Reduce the civil services examination’s selection cycle Reduced recruitment duration, the less physical and mental strain on candidates.
Examine reasons for the low turnout of candidates Improved understanding of barriers to participation and ways to increase participation rates.
Furnish details of examination fees collected Improved transparency in fee collection and expenditure.
Form an expert committee to assess the equal opportunity Improved equity in the recruitment process.
Appoint an expert group to assess the impact of changes More informed decision-making on changes to recruitment scheme and syllabus.
Publish the answer key after the preliminary stage of the exam Improved transparency and fairness in the examination process.
Collect feedback and effect improvements Improved candidate experience and fairness in the examination process.


Suggestions by other Committee for recruitment

Suggested Reforms
Hota Committee Reduction in the age limit for general category candidates

from 32 to 26 years; Introduction of a common preliminary examination for all

central services

2nd ARC Report Introduction of lateral entry of specialists into civil

Services; Recruitment of specialists through domain-specific

Examinations; Strengthening the training and capacity-building of civil



Other issues with Civil Services in India

Issue Description
Conversion of ICS into IAS No attempts were made to link IAS with India’s philosophy of public administration, thereby prolonging the colonial attitude of civil servants.
Excessive Element of Security Article 311 of the Constitution of India acts as a safeguard for civil servants so that they are not dismissed arbitrarily from service. However, security cover provides them with a sense of permanency in power, and their behaviour often shows a total disregard for transparency and accountability.
Lack of Specialisation It makes it impractical for them to handle assignments that require specific expertise.
Absence of Systematic Mechanism There is no inbuilt mechanism for the re-inculcation of sense of purpose and motivation in the civil services. The absence of such a mechanism can lead to insensitivity and lack of concern.


Reform initiatives taken in recent years:

Initiatives Description
Mission Karmayogi National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB)
Lateral Entry Reform Personnel from the private sector are selected for administrative posts in the government
e-Samiksha Real-time online system for monitoring and follow-up action on government decisions
Citizen Charters Mandated for all Ministries/Departments and regularly updated and reviewed
National Conference on e-Governance The platform for engagement with experts and intellectuals to exchange experiences relating to e-Governance initiatives
CPGRAMS Online system for lodging and tracking grievances
National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment Assessment of the efficiency of e-Governance service delivery by States, UTs, and Central Ministries.



Civil services reform esp. in recruitment and training, is necessary to enhance administrative capability in response to new challenges faced by the state institution managing public affairs.


Insta Links

Civil Services Reforms: 2nd ARC


Mains Links

“Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance”. In this context suggest reforms in the Civil Service for strengthening democracy. (UPSC 2020)