Former UGC chairman Arun S Nigavekar says changes were in tandem with future goals.
The government on Friday putting on hold changes in the UPSC civil services examination pattern was termed an unfortunate decision by former UGC chairman Arun S Nigavekar, who had shepherded the changes.
“It is unfortunate. Our committee’s main aim was to get vibrant candidates into the IAS. The government move is anti-reformist,” said Nigavekar, who had who headed the panel set up to recommend the changes.
The government decision was prompted by Opposition leaders and several regional parties resisting some of the changes pertaining to regional languages. Nigavekar said, “The Government should have kept the language option open but implemented all other reform measures.”
Emphasising that the committee had not professed any particular language, Nigavekar said, “We had not recommended English or Hindi as compulsory language.
What we want is the candidate to be able to intelligently converse in at least one language and it doesn’t matter whether it is English or a local language. This is very important as recently, in our study we had found that many IAS officers are not able to converse or even write a simple letter meaningfully and comprehensively.”
According to Nigavekar, most IAS aspirants mug up the syllabus and clear the exam without any knowledge of ground realities.
“IAS officers are the most important conduit between society and government. But most of the current crop neither has the understanding of realities nor knows how to react to various crises. A 21st century IAS officer is the most important factor in making a policy decision have the right impact on people. He or she should be vibrant, tech-savvy, open, flexible and proactive,” said Nigavekar.
“Our committee has recommended reforms in structure and curriculum. And we had made the report after researching across the country. But if these reforms are not implemented, we will continue to get many IAS officers who have mugged up the syllabus and cleared the exam,” added Nigavekar.
What were the changes made?
Among changes that were to come into effect this year was a 100 marks paper in English Comprehension and Precis of (class X standard) to replace English and Indian language papers in Section 2 of the main examination.
Earlier, candidates just needed to qualify this paper and marks were not added to the total score while deciding the merit list. The marks of the new 100 marks paper in English,