Monday, August 30, 2010

CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test)

The  Announcement in the Parliament of India by H'ble Minister of  Personnel, Mr Prithviraj Chauhan on 25th August 2010 confirms that the prestigious Civil Services Examination(CSE) will be now changed into Civil Services Aptitude Test(CSAT) and the new pattren of the examination will come into effect from the Civil services Prelims-2011.The suggestion of aptitude test in the  country's top ranks was discussed thoroughly by a committee appointed by the Ministry of Personnel. It finally came out with a report of changing the pattern of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination, i.e,  150 marks optional subject is replaced by aptitude & logical ability questions. Though the Main Examination pattern is not changed for the time-being, but it is also under the considerations of the committee.

The civil preliminary exam had 300 marks for General studies and 150 marks for any one Optional Subjects among the subjects prescribed by UPSC(Union Public Service Commission). From 2011,there will be 150 marks on logical & aptitude skills , instead of the optional subject. But, the Main examination will be kept unchanged in which candidates opt for 2 Optional Subjects, consisting of 600 marks each. This change in the Prelims is done to test the logical skills and independent decision-making skills which is a prime requirement for all the civil services. The syllabus of the aptitude section is still not released by UPSC and is expected to be out soon. Public Administration based questions can be expected in this section as it is a vital area of command for an administrator.Moreover questions on logic could asked to screen the streamlined mind of the candidate.For example, if an inferior officer is caught for bribe, your immediate action will be: You will
a) beat him up
b) take action so that he loses his job
c) inquire about the matter in detail
d) let him continue in the job with a last warning 

Such reasoning and logical questions are now included in the public services also. Already other competitive exams like CAT, MSAT, GSAT etc. have this type of questions but for the civil services , aptitude questions will have a different spice corresponding to the position of an administrator. It will be interesting to observe the Civil Prelims Exam Paper 2011.

The Mains exam paper pattern is also under the review scanner. There is a proposal to removal optional papers and introduce compulsory papers , the knowledge in which are a pre-requisite of the esteemed position. Economics is one of the few subjects which have been proposed but still a unanimous decision is to be made after reviewing the Mains Paper and the criticality in changing its pattern. Revised Mains pattern will only come into effect after 3-4 years. The civil aspirants should also concentrate on having command on the field of public administration, economics and logical abilities. In the recent few years, stress has been on areas of Technology, economy and foreign relations which form key question areas. The revised pattern is yet to be tested and lets hope it gives good results.

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