New Delhi: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the civil service exams, has reportedly proposed to do away with the aptitude test, the introduction of which had triggered widespread resentment in 2011.
News portal the Print said the proposal has found mention in UPSC’s vision document submitted to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in June this year.
The civil services exams are conducted in three stages — preliminary, mains and the interview. In 2011, UPSC had introduced the aptitude test in the preliminary level as paper II. It carries 200 marks to evaluate a candidate in areas of comprehension, decision-making, reasoning, basic math, etc. The objective of UPSC was to test analytical abilities and comprehension skills rather than the ability to simply memorise. The preliminary exams since then have come to be known as the civil service aptitude test.
The move, though, triggered protests across the country as aspirants claimed it gave undue advantage to students coming from English medium, Science and Maths backgrounds. In the face of protests, UPSC in 2015 decided to consider marks obtained in Paper I only for candidate selection to the second round. But a candidate, in any case, has to score 33 per cent in Paper II as well to sit for the mains.
The news portal quoting an official said that following the 2015 decision, the aptitude test is serving little purpose as students who are scoring well in paper I are good enough to get qualifying percentage in Paper II as well.
Significantly, UPSC has also proposed to penalise candidates who do not appear for the exam. Last year, of the 10 lakh candidates, only half of them attempted the exam.