Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) - its implementation and its syllabus

             The new syllabus is only meant for the preliminary examination, which shortlists candidates for the Civil Services (Mains) Examination, being conducted every year by the UPSC. The syllabus for the CS (Mains) Examination will also be changed in the due course. But as of now, the existing syllabus will be employed for the Mains examination in 2011 as well.

             The new syllabus will have two common papers - Paper I and Paper-II - with equal weightage. Both papers will be of two hours duration and worth 200 marks each unlike the current system which gives more weightage to optional subject paper (300 marks) than the common general studies paper (150 marks). It will replace the present system, which has been in force since 1979. The new syllabus will provide a level-playing field, since all candidates will have to attempt common papers unlike the current format which provides for only one common paper.
The first paper under the new syllabus will be more or less like the current general awareness paper, with additional issues such as climate change and biodiversity. Candidates will be tested on their knowledge of current events of national and international importance, Indian history, the Indian national movement, Indian and world geography, Indian polity, Panchayati raj, public policies and rights. Economic and social development, sustainable development, environmental sciences and general science is the part of first paper.
The second paper - being introduced by replacing the optional paper - will have aptitude, data interpretation and English language comprehension skills, which is more or less on the lines of MBA entrance tests or bank examinations. Paper II will consist of English language comprehension skills, interpersonal skills, logical and analytical reasoning, decision making and problem solving as well as general mental ability. It will also include numerical abilities and data interpretation.

The decision to introduce new pattern is based on the Alagh Committee Report. The relevant portion of the Report is reproduced below:
"The present testing of optional subjects is based on College/University curriculum. Re-examining the candidates in their own subjects appears to have doubtful utility. The universities have already done the work and retesting, possibly even at a lower level that what candidates have completed earlier, appears to be unnecessary. What is important is the relevance of a subject to the job requirements of a Civil Servant, especially in the changing scenario."
The Alagh Committee had also deliberated on the nature of the Preliminary Examination. With regard to General Studies paper, it was of the view that it should be recast into a "Civil Services Aptitude Test."
The Second Administrative Reforms Commission while agreeing with the idea of CSAT has recommended "the Preliminary Examination should consist of an objective type test having one or two papers on General Studies including the Constitution of India, Indian Legal System, Indian Economy, Polity, History and Culture. There should be no optional subjects". Dust of recommendation and anticipation is finally settled now.
The detailed syllabus as issued by the Ministry is given below:
 Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions18-October, 2010
Civil Services (Prelim) Exam.-2011
From Civil Service Examination 2011, Preliminary Examination would consist of two papers- Paper I and Paper II. Syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination would be as under:
(Paper 1) (200 marks) - Duration: Two hrs.
Current events  of national and international importance
History of India  and Indian national movement
Indian and World Geography- physical, social, Economic Geography of India and the World
Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
Economic and Social development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives etc.
General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-Diversity and Climate Change-that  do not require subject specialization
General Science. 
(Paper II) (200 marks) – Duration : Two hrs
Interpersonal skills including Communication skills
Logical reasoning and Analytical ability
Decision making and Problem solving
General mental ability
Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc. (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. –Class X level)
English language comprehension skills (Class X level)
** Some of the examples of the types of questions probable to be asked as per the syllabus are:
1.   In our society, corruption and abuse of office has been aggravated by
(a) Colonial legacy of unchallenged authority
      (b) Putting the citizen at the mercy of the State 
      (c) Over centralization
      (d) Collusive corruption
2.   Root cause of Political Corruption is
(a) Criminalization of politics
(b) Large, illegal and illegitimate expenditure in elections
(c) Defection  
(d) Lack of ethical conduct among politicians
3. In a family function, three girls were given three different tasks i.e. washing plates, arranging tables and serving food. All three did their work sincerely, but guests had to eat in unwashed plates. What was lacking?
(a) Commitment             
(b) Cooperation   
(c) Coordination                           
(d) All
4. One third of India's population lives in the shadow of violent conflicts. The most important reason of this is
(a)  Poor maintenance of law and order
(b) Lack of transparency
(c) Lack of good governance utilities
(d) Poor economic development
(e) Corruption
Source :http://ias100.in


1 comment:

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