[RTI] No Changes in Age-Attempt-Structure of Civil Service Exam, Both UPSC & Personnel Ministry confirm they’ve ignored protests by aspirants outside parliament in Dec 2013

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UPDATE: 10 Feb 2014: Central Government approved TWO Extra attempts. Click me for more
Old information below:

  1. Prologue
  2. Personnel Ministry on Anti-UPSC protests
    1. Government did receive petitions
    2. Minister’s reply in Rajya Sabha= We’ll change nothing
    3. No new Committee about this
  3. UPSC on Parliament protests for age-attempt relaxation
    1. UPSC has not responded to these groups
    2. UPSC has formed no Committee to look in their demands
    3. UPSC is involved in court cases about this matter
  4. Nigvekar confidentiality continues
  5. 63rd Annual report


  • 1979: UPSC changed the exam system and senior players were additional relaxation in age/attempts.
  • 2011: UPSC introduced aptitude (+English comprehension) paper in Preliminary exam. Leading to new controversies about Engineer vs Non-Engineer, Urban vs Rural, english vs. Non-english medium.
  • 2013: UPSC changed Mains exam. Four instead of Two papers on general studies, removed certain optional subjects such as Pali literature.
  • March 2013: UPSC took back some of the some radical reforms about literature, answer-medium etc. after uproar in parliament.
  • 9th December 2013: Group of UPSC aspirants protested outside Parliament during winter session. Overall, They demanded:
    1. Give additional relaxation in age/attempt to senior players.
    2. Reduce the weightage given to Aptitude/English in Preliminary (CSAT) exam.
    3. Restore Arabic, Persian, Spanish, German literature etc. optional subjects in the mains examination.

UPSC aspirants protest outside parliament december 2013

  • 16 December 2013: I filed RTI to both UPSC and Personnel ministry to see if they took cognizance of this matter and what are they planning to do about it?
  • 20 January 2014: received replies from both.

Replies are given below, so you know what the most likely outcome of this protest/campaign/demands, and make your preparation /career decision accordingly. (Purpose of this article is not to sprinkle salt on any senior player’s wounds.)

Personnel Ministry on Anti-UPSC protests

Government did receive petitions

Q. Has Government of India/Personnel Ministry/any departments thereunder, received official petition from any such group(s) demanding any such changes? What decision has been made in this regard?

  • The Government has further received certain representations seeking relaxation in upper age limit and number of attempts. In this regard the Central Government gave an answer to the Parliament on the similar subject.
  • Furthermore the Government has also received the certain representation regarding exclusion of pali and foreign languages for the list of optional subjects. No change in this regard-has been decided so far.
  • A copy of the Rajya Sabha Starred Question No. 113 replied on 12.12.2013 and answer given is enclosed.

Minister’s reply in Rajya Sabha= We’ll change nothing

  1. There is no proposal in the Government at present to effect further changes.
  2. The Government does not have any information about strike by aspirants of UPSC examination.
  3. However, there are media reports of demonstrations by aspirants of UPSC and some representation/references have been received from various quarters seeking relaxation in the upper age limit and the number of attempts.
  4. The view of the Government is that additional attempts and consequently relaxation in the upper age limit are not warranted, since, in the revised scheme, the overall number of papers to be taken by a candidate remains the same.
  5. The optional subjects have been reduced from two to only one, thus reducing the optional papers from four to two; and the number of papers for general studies has been increased from two to four. Therefore, there is no overall additional burden or stress on the candidates.

No new Committee about this pattern change

Q. Has Government of India/Personnel Ministry/any departments thereunder, appointed any panel / committee / task force / expert-panel or similar entity or officer to look into the demands made by such individuals/groups/petitions/news or TV reports? IF yes what was its findings / recommendations?

CPIO replies: As on date there is no such panel/committee/task force that is reconsidering the notification issued by the Government on 25.3.2013. (About the pattern change.)

UPSC on Parliament protests for age-attempt relaxation

I had asked UPSC almost the same RTI questions in a separate application.

UPSC has not responded to these groups

Q. Has UPSC received formal petition/application from any such group(s) demanding any such changes? yes / no? What decision has UPSC made on their petition(s)?

Yes. The Commission has received a few representations from individuals as well as from some organizations. The Commission did not give any response to those representations.

UPSC has formed no Committee to look in their demands

Q. Has UPSC appointed any panel / committee / task force / expert-panel or similar entity or officer to look into the demands made by such groups/individuals? If yes what was its findings / recommendations?

“NO” (we not have not formed any such panel/committee to look into this protest/demand)

UPSC is involved in court cases about this matter

Q. Is UPSC involved in any court litigation(s)/PILs related to this issue? If yes, how much money has UPSC spent on lawyer fees?

Yes. To the extent of a proforma party in a few cases since the Commission is mandated to conduct the Civil Services Exam as per the rules of the examination notified by the Govt. As regards payment of fees to Lawyers, information has not been compiled.

–moving to next RTI question–

Nigvekar confidentiality continues

Q. In another RTI, CPIO had informed that “Prof. Nigavekar Committee Report has been received by the Commission on 30.8.2012 and the recommendations of the Committee, after due consideration of the Commission have been forwarded to Govt. of India on 31.10.2012 and their response is awaited.” In that regard, Kindly provide me the copy of the said response (letter/file/official communication) from Government of India to UPSC.

(I had asked above question to both UPSC and Personnel ministry in separate RTIs)

UPSC replies:

Copy of the response of Govt. of India cannot be supplied as the concerned public authorities have treated it as ‘Confidential’ under Section 8(i)(d) of RTI Act, 2005.

Personnel Ministry replies

The deliberations on the recommendation of the Nigavekar Committee and the UPSC have not reached to finality on all the issues .This subject matter has been considered to be confidential by the public authority and as such the details of the same cannot be disclosed. In this regard, section 8(1) (d) of the RTI Act, 2005 is invoked, the public authority being the affected third party

Mrunal comments:

  • Even SSC uploads the proposed changes in exams and Committee recommendations on their website. What is so sacrosanct about Nigavekar? All the RTIs pertaining to Nigavekar are stonewalled as if this is Henderson Brooks report on 62’s defeat by China.
  • Leads to new conspiracy theory: That Nigavekar Committee has gave some “politically incorrect” recommendations (about reservation, age-attempt, may be statewise separate cutoffs etc.) and therefore you’re shying away from disclosing it because of the upcoming General election.

63rd Annual report

Q. Under the Article 323(1) of the Constitution, UPSC sends an annual report to President. On the official website of UPSC, latest report is 62nd Annual report of 2011-12 (i.e upto March 31, 2012). I checked the page on 16th Decembr 2013. So, with respect to that, I seek following information: Has UPSC prepared the 63rd Annual Report (2012-13) for the President of India. If yes, I seek an electronic copy (CD/DVD/PDF) of that report.

UPSC replies:

Yes. The 63rd Annual Report is available on the website of UPSC (www.upsc.gov.in)

Mrunal comment:

Observe the file size:

62nd reportjust 1.2 MB, anyone can download
63rd report207 MB file! People with low-speed internet / limited bandwidth plan cannot download such large sized pdfs!

Thus the “transparency” objective is defeated even after uploading the report on the website= one more reason why UPSC = Lord Curzon.

anyways, I’ll be uploading the gist of that report in upcoming days.

Ref: scanned copies of

1. Personnel Ministry’s RTI reply: https://files.secureserver.net/0sRXKgcE62aKnO
2. UPSC’s RTI reply: https://files.secureserver.net/0s5LBYNDXo6UlX

For more RTI misadventures, visit Mrunal.org/RTI.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

48 Comments on “[RTI] No Changes in Age-Attempt-Structure of Civil Service Exam, Both UPSC & Personnel Ministry confirm they’ve ignored protests by aspirants outside parliament in Dec 2013”

  1. No offence
    But mrunal sir
    U will be a great enemy for upsc if there will be real time war

  2. Keh ke le rahe ho UPSC ki :P

  3. upsc=lord curzon….i liked that…

  4. Kapil Sibal is responsible for all this he increased IIM fees 3 times,changed the IIT JEE pattern and the day will come he will reduce the Civils attempt to one.

    1. there should be only 1 attempt..If a person is failed once it means he is incapable of being a civil servant…Because of numerous attempts it creates a pool of unemployed in our country.!!!!!!!

      1. And yea second point is bhai ye tone to 1st attempt topper ki bhi nahi hoti.

        Hmmm all i want to say further is, i wish all the best to you if you are an aspirant.


      2. Haroon rashid ji mujhe lg rha hai ki aapka pichla 7pust 1st attempt me IAS nikal liya hai tabhi aap aisi baat bol rhe hain??
        aur shyad bhagwan ne aapko kuch extra ode nary student hain dekhte hain aapki kitni aukat hai,
        aap 1st attempt me nikal pate hain ki nai.

    The Commission through its proactive approach has ensured
    that the backlog in the induction to the All India Services is
    cleared and now in most of the States, it is up to date. In order
    to improve this process of selection based upon merit, the
    Commission has suggested for an alternative approach for
    induction which is under the active consideration of the

  6. when d p aggarwal will leave his chair…anybody know about this….it is also against the constitution….

    1. he is retiring in Aug 2014

      1. He seems to be biased in favour of urban and technical education background candidates.And somewhat snobbish too! No wonder very few success stories of liberal arts and small-town/village background candidates in CS exam are heard these days.Lagtaa hai unhe barbaad karke hi retire honge yeh mahaapurush!

  7. Transparency is important Mrunal ji .. gr8 job

  8. Mrunal, your work for the community is commendable, thanks for everything

  9. i m 29on 15 oct 2013.will i be eligible for next attempt.may be first or last for me since i belong to open category

    1. best of luck brother

    2. u shud not be 30 before 1st august..
      even if u turn 30 on 2nd august or later…u can give that attempt..

  10. This matter will hv to be settled by the Judiciary.
    It involves a Question of Reason and Justice.

    Legislature and Executive will provide no relief as there are no populist gains available for them to garner.

  11. Mrunal, my internet connection is 2 MB/ps. If you need anything to download, please leave a comment in future. Glad to help.

  12. The Q was answered by Minister on 12/12/2013. It is possible that there may been some developments/deliberations since then over this issue within the cabinet.
    So seniors need not get totally disheartened on political front as well.

  13. The issue should be discussed with Mr Kejriwal he ll definatly Find a solution or start agitating in north block.LOLZZZ…

  14. Great Job Mrunal! I beleive the overall direction in which the UPSC is going is to remove or atleast reduce the effect of Coaching classes and to ensure that you do not have to quit your job and study for UPSC for 4 years. Because this year other than one or 2 questions all the questions were so general, including the optional questions that you would not require any coaching to attempt that. In fact I felt that if you are working and have regular delibrations with people around you then you have a better opportunity at cracking the paper! Lets wait for the result anyway!!! I do welcome the pattern change!!! Lesser burden on the candidate!

  15. is there any sectional cut off in u
    psc pre exam..?

  16. Hi Mrunal Sir,

    Can UPSC reduces the age limit or the number of attempts in Civil Service Exam? is there any chance? plz answer sir.

    Thank You

  17. “The deliberations on the recommendation of the Nigavekar Committee and the UPSC have not reached to finality on all the issues .”
    dear sir, do u think that upsc might remove the remaining optional from 2014? I am really scared as I have invested too much time and energy on my optional.

  18. Is an attempt for IFoS (Indian Forest Services) also counted as an attempt for Civil Services, since both have common prelims? And how many chances are we given for IFoS ?

  19. Aspirats should do a DHARANA at UPSC HQ

  20. can anyone please help me to solve my query
    i am a student of b.tech and i have given my 7th semester exam and my only 8th semester internship is left so am i eligible to give upsc exam in 2014 ???? i will get my degree in may 2014
    kindly reply as soon as possible

    1. yes! you can. All you need is to have degree when you are feeling daf for mains exam. No degree is required to appear for preliminary exam.

  21. mrunal sir,
    please do an RTI on indian forest service exam
    what changes they are planning since only 35% students attended the mains exam

  22. Mrunal Bhai

    How much time they do they take generally to reply for the RTI ?.I have filed one around 2 weeks back,
    But haven’t received reply till now,the system did acknowledged though that the RTI has been filed successfully.
    I filed an online RTI.

    1. As per law strictly within 30 days

  23. While I was appearing for my first optional paper in this UPSC mains exam, the middle pages of the answer booklet were not so firmly pinned up, so they came out of the answer booklet. When the invigilator came to collect the paper, I informed him. he told me that they will attach it and asked me not to worry and leave the room. But I am really worried. what should I do??

    1. dont worry, they will take care…hppnd wid a frend of mine…his was stapled immediately after collecting the copies…and stapler was arranged by the invigilator herself…




  27. I’m Balram Lala. I’m very much tensed these days. I’m under depression. I’m 27. I’ve no job. I’m a Civil Service Aspirant. I’m B.tech in Mechanical Engineering (58% overall) from a pvt institute. Now, the problem is how should I go for preparations as I have been an avg student throughout my career. I also suffer from mood swings. Kindly give me real examples of avg students who excelled in CSE and other exams and what should I do from now onwards?

  28. 2014 will be my second attempt in CSE but due to no other good job with me right now and almost no other achievement in life till now, . I’ve lost confidence and started feeling as a big looser.



  30. Mrunal Sir,

    Thanks for such kind of valuable information.

  31. Hi…today’s (30/8/2014) Navbharat Times reads that Civil Services cut off age will be reduced to 26 years and attempts to 3….
    Sir please figure out if its true


  32. Hello Sir,

    I have given this CSAT-2014 exam with 1st attempt. Getting less marks some how . I have completed my P.G (M.C.A)already and 26 years old.Started preparing for CSAT- 2015. But this news is quite shocking in terms of what has come in news. Quite worried, ki ab apni job search karu ya iski preparation continue rakhu until next notification comes on 16.05.2015 for the CSAT- 2015. ( I came across your website quite late , however was following economy very seriously, as I have been able to understand now ) . I have done the analysis of the CSAT paper of this year and come across the fact that THESE PEOPLE (UPSC ) IS drammaticaly going to change the paper in what ever terms they like , so I had planned every thing as how to proceed further. But really again these people have cheated !!!! It would be quite hard to wait till the next notification in 2013 for me. Please suggest seriously.
    If government really implements this, it will be a great blow to me and a lot of serious candidates. cos i need to take the decision soon. Please reply, I will be waiting for your reply earnestly.

  33. Civil Services Examination Centre of the maximum age from 32 to 26 years is being reduced. It will also reduce the chances for students. This change will apply from 2015 exam. Given the recent controversy, the government refused to change the exam format. According to sources, the UPSC will issue formal notification. At age reasoning behind the general indication that a student takes 21 years old graduation. In the next 5 years can use the 3 occasions. general category student to sit for the exam will be a maximum age of 26, while for SC-ST OBC 28 and 29 years. Minimum Age Limit for all 21 years. This general category maximum three opportunities to sit the exam, while the SC-ST OBC 5 and 6 students opportunities.

    Is this news Real?

    Urgently need your help in clearing this confusion.

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