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Updated: Jun 14, 2022

UPSC should bring in the following changes in its civil services exam.

1. Bring down the time period (low hanging fruit):

99.5% fail this exam. India’s youngsters waste 24 months give or take to prepare and attempt for prelims, mains, and interviews. If for some reason they fail the exam, it is practically impossible to transition into a great #MBA school or private sector (not easy to justify lack of practical skills or gap years)

2. #UPSC shouldn’t be a zero-sum binary game where the winner takes all: If a person has cleared Prelims or Mains - this component should be accounted for in the next year's attempt cycle.

3. There should be a specialized recruitment process for different services:

It is ludicrous to have a foreign service aspirant write the same exam conducted to recruit a Railways officer or a Tax Collector, or a Police Officer.

Except for India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh - this nonsense doesn’t happen anywhere else in the modern world.

4. Create exit opportunities for those in the top 10%ile:

This could be done via partnering with organizations such as BCG, Global Governance Initiative, World Economic Forum, etc - these organizations are expanding the scope of work in the impact sector.

5. Increase the number of questions asked in the Prelims exam:

Around 1 million candidates appear for a three-stage exam, competing for around 900 seats. The first stage eliminates around 99% of candidates. This mass-scale elimination is done based on a multiple choice question paper consisting of only 100 QUESTIONS!

The #IAS exam has ruined many lives and has broken the confidence of innumerable bright youngsters in India. It is saddening that millions of Indians are spending their most productive years on the lanes of Rajendra Nagar or browsing through Unacademy.

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.


Author- Naman Shrivastava, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- United Nations, Former Government of India Advisor

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