1. Prologue
  2. Interviews: Give soft corner to Rural candidates
  3. Every candidate should be interviewed by all boards
  4. Declare result on time
  5. Remove group B service
  6. Consolation prize for Interview failed
  7. Interview reform for Physically handicapped
  8. SSB like Group Task, Outdoor activities
  9. What Nigvekar recommends
    1. #1: Statement of Purpose (SoP)
    2. #2: “Score Table” for interview
  10. Misc. recommendations of Nigvekar
    1. R&D center in UPSC
    2. Allow service preference change during training
    3. Provide info on job profiles & exam scheme
  11. Download Full Report of Nigvekar


Highlights of [Nigvekar] Committee on civil service exam reforms: this article series has four part

  1. PART1: What inputs Nigvekar got from eminent people including Dr.Kalam, CAG , CIC, various UPSC members, + age attempt related issues.
  2. PART2: prelim reforms.
  3. PART3: mains reforms.
  4. PART4: Interview reforms.

Nigvekar Committee Reforms in civil service Interviews

Interviews: Give soft corner to Rural candidates

(Input from UPSC’s own research wing- from Page48)

  1. Personality test is a nightmare for most of the students coming from rural areas. Since they are not exposed much to such a formal set up, it is very tough for them to cope up with this problem. So Personality test should be more interactive and informal. Like SSB in armed forces, it should include group-discussion, decision making exercises etc. Time of personality test should be extended. It should be at least of two days for the candidate.
  2. In civil service exam and selection, there should be more attention towards Hindi medium and rural background students. If a student belongs to rural background then it’s necessary that in interview, there should be soft corner towards him.

Every candidate should be interviewed by all boards

(Input from UPSC’s own research wing- from Page48)

  1. The 300 marks are very high for interview. Though the mains marks has less variation, because to these 300 marks there is obtaining a huge variation in the total marks. How can a personality be judged in 20-25 minutes with huge variation in marks and variations in board to board.
  2. One candidate should be interviewed by all the boards to assess the personality of the candidate and average score of all the boards. True personality of candidate will be known with multi-board interview system.

Declare result on time

(Input from UPSC’s own research wing, Ch3.Page51)

  • The results should be declared on the pre-announced date. (so people don’t waste time speculating result date on online forums).

Remove group B service

(input from UPSC’s own research wing, Ch3.Page50)

  1. Split the UPSC civil service exam into two; One for IAS, IPS & IRS and the other for group ‘ A’ central service.
  2. Remove group `B’ service from Civil Service. This will enable candidate from reputed institutes like IITs, IIMs to just sit for the one for IAS, IFS, etc. (and) They will not waste seat and reduce chance of others to qualify in other government jobs.
  3. Efficiency will increase and the ones opting for group ‘A’ central services will work hard in their fields. Now .a lot of youth with professional degrees join group A services and waste their years in preparing for most attempts, just to leave the service.

Consolation prize for Interview failed

(input from UPSC’s own research wing, Ch3.Page51)

  • There should be an alternative career system for students clearing mains exam but not getting selected into the final merit list.
  • Any candidate who clears Mains examination should be opportunity to serve Govt. of India in least Group-B Non-gazetted post so that civil service exam could attract maximum talent in the country.

Interview reform for Physically handicapped

(input from UPSC’s own research wing, Ch3.Page51)

  • Arrange interviews and medical test for physically handicapped persons so that they have not to stay for more than 2 days in Delhi. Interview dates should be changed on request of candidate in some special cases.

SSB like Group Task, Outdoor activities

(Input from UPSC’s own research wing- from Page48)

  • Personality test is not enough to evaluate one’s personality in 15-30 minutes, so new tools and techniques should be included.
  • Some Psychological test to peep inside the mind to test his commitment and honesty
  • A behavioral based questionnaire could be introduced during the interview session.
  • Group discussion to check the communication skills.
  • Outdoor tasks to check leadership quality and team-spirit

What Nigvekar recommends

input given by eminent people to Nigvekar (given in ch3 and annex of his report) What Nigvekar recommended (given in Ch6)
soft corner to rural candidates nope
interview by all boards nope
Statement of purpose (SoP) essay before interview yes
SSB like outdoor activities, group discussion nope
consolation prize for players failed @interview stage. nope
quickly windup interview-med checkup of PH candidates nope
remove group B services nope

He recommends only two reforms in Interview stage:

#1: Statement of Purpose (SoP)

  1. Nigvekar recommends that every candidate that clears mains exam, should be asked to submit a “personal narrative” report. [Similar to the “Statement of Purpose”/SoP essays required in elite MBA institutions.]
  2. Personal narratives would be autobiographical in nature where candidates will briefly discuss their personal history and reasons for aspiring to join civil services.
  3. He may also elaborate his academic, non-academic and practical experience/achievements which may help him in being a successful civil servant.
  4. He  may also discuss his success or failure in managing specific/unusual situations, if any.
  5. Personal Narratives could be written within 400 words and should be considered by the interview Board.

#2: “Score Table” for interview

To make the interviews less subjective and more transparent, Nigvekar recommends “Score-Table”

Attributes Maximum marks Marks awarded
  1. Ability Of Social Cohesion & Leadership And Suitability For Civil Service
  1. Mental Alertness, Analytical, Reasoning, Assimilation Skill And Balance Of Judgment
  1. Variety And Depth Of Interest
  1. Communication Skill
  1. Intellectual And Moral Integrity
Total 300

Misc. recommendations of Nigvekar

R&D center in UPSC

to do following things:

  1. at every five year, Government should send a copy of annual performance appraisals of officers selected through UPSC. UPSC’s R&D center should, analyze these inputs, subsequently fine tune the exam process
  2. Develop technology to create a repository of question banks, and formulation and conduct of online examinations (for preliminary examination), etc.

Allow service preference change during training

  • A candidate may be allowed to review his service options within one month of joining the Foundation Course.
  • Allotment of service and cadre should be made by the government before the Foundation Course ends.
  • Counseling for the various services should be given in the first two weeks of the Foundation Course.

Provide info on job profiles & exam scheme

  • UPSC should utilize its website and share colorful presentations about profiles of various services so that candidates can make a better and informed choice of service.
  • UPSC should publish and disseminate attractive information booklets, designed by professionals, which contain summary of the scheme of examination. This would help market the Civil Services better and attract candidates, from across the country that might not be well informed about the Civil Service.

Download Full Report of Nigvekar

For the public record, I’ve uploaded entire report here:


But I don’t recommend you download his report (and waste your internet bandwidth). The reasons are following:

  1. ch1 talks about evolution of civil service exam- from British Raj till now. The summary already available in 2nd ARC reports. This chapter contains deep Ph.D, that useless for studies (Even for Public Administration).
  2. ch2 talks about the recommendations of Committees before Nigvekar (Kothari, Khanna, Alagh etc. but their summary also available in 2nd ARC report- in more eye candy fonts. This pdf has bad quality. (Because UPSC itself gave low quality Xerox to me.)
  3. Ch3, 4, 5, 6 and annex 1 is/will be covered in my [Nigvekar] series four articles.
  4. Annex 2 deals with recruitment system in USA, France etc. = useless because that syllabus topic was helpful in MCQs of Public Administration prelims. But now prelims doesn’t have Public Administration or any other optional subjects.

Visit “>Mrunal.org/RTI for more RTI misadventures.