In a first, UPSC to allow candidates to withdraw from exams


NEW DELHI, October 5, 2018: Claiming that only half of the over 10 lakh aspirants who apply for civil services exam actually write the test, the UPSC on Monday said it has decided to allow the candidates to withdraw from the examination, according to an official statement.

The arrangement will be implemented beginning with Engineering Services Examination, 2019, it said.

Addressing an event Monday, Union Public Service Commission chairman Arvind Saxena said the UPSC's experience with the civil services examination is that roughly 50 per cent of the 10 lakh plus candidates who fill in the application forms for the preliminary exams actually write the papers, the statement said.

The civil services examination is conducted annually by the UPSC in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.

"The Commission has to book venues, print papers, hire invigilators and ship the documents for all the 10 lakh applicants – which turns out to be a 50 per cent waste of energy and resources," he said on the occasion of the 92nd foundation day celebrations Monday.

Saxena said, "The UPSC's view is that if we are able to work with genuine and serious candidates, we can give them better facilities and make our system more efficient."

A start is being made with the Engineering Services Examination, 2019 and more examinations will be brought under this arrangement, the statement issued by Personnel Ministry said. In order to avail this facility, the candidate has to provide details of application, it said.

Separate One-Time Passwords (OTPs) will be sent on candidate's registered mobile number and e-mail id. "On successful completion of withdrawal of application, confirmation message will be sent on e-mail and also an SMS. Once application has been withdrawn, it cannot be revived," the statement said.

With a view to reduce the stress for the candidates, the UPSC has brought an increasing number of exam related interactions and transactions online. In this regard, Saxena said the UPSC is also moving ahead with shifting from a 'pen and paper' mode of examination to a computer-based mode.

"Apart from making the examination process more candidate-friendly, the new systems also serves to cut down the time cycle for each examination," he said.

Bearing in mind the aspirations of the youth for better job opportunities, the chairman said that the Commission is now disclosing the scores and ranking of the non-recommended candidates in some examinations on its website and further linking it with the "National Career Services" portal of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

He said, central ministries and organisations can, conceivably take advantage of this arrangement wherein candidates who have cleared a rigorous screening process in the civil services, engineering services or combined medical services examinations, but could not find a place in the merit list due to constraints of vacancies, can now look forward to being picked up for other government, public sector or private sector jobs, from the same data base.

The measure should obviate the need for conducting of multiple and separate examinations by different organisations for posts with similar entry level qualifications, he added. "This will reduce the stress on young job aspirants and also the time taken for recruitment by various bodies," Saxena said.

He also referred to the recent judgment of Supreme Court regarding appointment of DGPs of states as well as the government's proposal of lateral entry into the services. He said these developments have heightened the responsibilities of UPSC.