HYDERABAD: Civil service aspirants are in state of confusion over the possible change in the exam pattern and the likely postponement of the preliminary examination, originally scheduled to be held on August 24.
As the three-member committee, constituted by the Union government, is yet to submit its report on whether or not to tinker with the examination process, aspirants in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are left in the lurch over the possible outcome.
The controversy began with the inclusion of an aptitude paper, which includes English comprehension and logical reasoning, in 2011. Ever since, a section of the candidates have been protesting against the UPSC demanding its scrapping as it would affect the chances of students from rural areas due to the inclusion of English.
Candidates are of the opinion that deferring the preliminary examination will not give them enough time to prepare for the main examination slated to be held from December 14. “As per the new schedule, after the announcement of results for the prelims in September end, there would not be enough time to prepare for nine papers in the mains exam. It is better to stick to the current timetable,” an aspirant from Hyderabad Abhinay Rao said. The two Telugu states jointly account for over 50,000 applicants.
Until last year, the UPSC conducted the prelims exam on the last Sunday of May. However, with its decision to chance the academic calendar, the commission has decided to conduct the prelims in the last week of August from this year onwards.
Meanwhile, civil services trainers suggest students not to get bogged down by the controversy and advice them to continue with their preparation. “The students should continue to prepare thinking that the exam would be held as per schedule without any delay. Even if there are any changes, they will only be minor ones,” Gandhi IAS Study Circle chairman MV Krishna Reddy said.
Similarly, V Gopala Krishna of Brain Tree expects the UPSC not to go ahead with the proposed changes as it would involve logistical aspects.
“With the decision to increase the number of attempts and age relaxation, the exam is likely to be more competitive and students should stay focused,” he added.