The Centre approved “two additional attempts to all categories of candidates with effect from Civil Services Examination, 2014, with consequential relaxation of maximum age for all categories of candidates, if required,” an official statement said. A general category candidate can now appear for the Civil Services Examination six times, while an OBC candidate can have nine attempts.
The Civil Services Examination (Preliminary), 2014, is tentatively scheduled for August 24. The examination is conducted by the UPSC to select candidates for the elite Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Foreign Service among others. The examinations are conducted in three stages: Preliminary, mains and interview.
The statement did not mention details about the age relaxation, though it kept the window open for such a measure, if required. However, it is expected that there will be an increase by two years.
“This is a good decision. It will help many students like us because we do not have the means for spending a lot on coaching. With more attempts, we have a chance of learning through trial and error,” said Lalit Mishra, a civil service aspirant.
Another aspirant, Talha Hussain, had a different opinion. He said this would have a “negative impact” on the quality of people entering the services. “The entry for freshers will suffer because veteran aspirants will corner most seats. As there are more attempts, some will keep trying until they exhaust all their attempts, but they may not emerge a winner. It may have an adverse impact on them,” Hussain told Deccan Herald.
According to the existing norms, a candidate who has attained the age of 21, but below 30, can apply. The upper age limit can be relaxed up to a maximum of five years for SC/ST candidates and a maximum of three years for candidates belonging to the OBC category.
For defence services personnel disabled during hostilities with a foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence, the relaxation is up to three years.