Civil Services aspirants cheer move to relax age limit, number of exam attempts

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on June 09, 2014

Most aspirants are from small towns with little access to study material, training

Gaurav Jain came to Delhi four years ago to fulfil his dream of becoming a civil servant. With the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) recently announcing an increase in the number of attempts from four to six as well as a relaxation in age, Jain, who belongs to Alwar district of Rajasthan, is a relieved man.

For, Jain, 30, is making his fourth attempt to clear the civil services exam. In the last three attempts, he made it to the interview stage but couldn’t to the final list. Now, Jain is hopeful of getting through, if not this time, then in another two attempts.

Huge relief

The UPSC’s announcement has come as a huge relief for candidates, most of whom are from smaller towns that have little or no access to study material or coaching facilities. Some of these aspirants have been undergoing coaching in Delhi for some years now.

As per the new rule, civil service applicants from the general category are eligible to appear for the exam till the age of 32, against 30 years earlier. Other Backward Caste and Scheduled Caste/Tribe candidates will get an extension of three and five years, respectively, which makes them eligible to write the exam till the age of 35 and 37 years.

DP Singh, Counsellor at Rau Institute, a coaching centre for civil aspirants, said, “We welcome the decision taken by the UPSC. As many disparities are prevalent in our country, aspirants who come from rural areas start preparing late for the exam. This move will give them a chance to appear for the exam.”

Rajesh Jha, another aspirant, told Business Line, “The decision is a boon for students, especially those from backward states, as generally students from tier II and tier III cities start preparing late, mainly due to lack of exposure and dearth of good coaching institutes in their home towns.” Jha belongs to a small district in Jharkhand and has been in Delhi since 2007.

While the aspirants are a happy lot, some coaching institutes are not enthused by the decision. “Coaching institutes are not going to get much out of it, as after one or two attempts, candidates prefer preparing for the exam on their own,” said an institute head on condition of anonymity.

When asked what made the UPSC committee take such a decision, the official concerned refused to respond.

(The writer is an intern with the publication.)

Published on June 09, 2014

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