UPSC Civil Services Exam 2011: UPSC aspirants stage protest at Jantar Mantar demanding compensatory attempts in UPSC Civil Services Exam for those who suffered due to the CSAT exam pattern. Students who took up the UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2011 allegedly found some sections of the paper to be difficult. However, some reports claimed that the paper pattern was similar to that of the previous years.

Experts from a particular field and UPSC aspirants alleged that the introduction of CSAT was done in favour of English medium students and aspirants from the engineering background. The Nigvekar committee, which examines the changes in exam pattern, also agreed of the notable favouritism to English aspirants and candidates from science background in the CSAT exam pattern.

The Commission changed the syllabus for the main exam in 2013, and the CSAT was made as the qualifying exam in 2015. According to a report submitted by the Nigvekar committee, the selection of students from regional languages and from humanities background notably declined soon after the implementation of CSAT in UPSC prelims. The report quoted Nigvekar committee as saying, “In 2009, 42.2% of the total qualifying candidates were from Hindi medium background which was reduced to 15 per cent in 2011.”

Following are some of the changes in UPSC civil service exam pattern as per the Nigvekar Committee report:

1) In 2011, CSAT paper (civil service aptitude test as GS paper-II) at the preliminary stage was introduced. The CSAT paper replaced the optional paper and there was no provision of the compensatory attempt.

2) In 2012, the changes introduced in the main exam syllabus resulted in the completing changing of the question pattern.

3)  In 2013, an optional paper was replaced with two general studies paper. Aspirants had to deal with the complete overhaul of the main exam with no prior notification of the change. Moreover, no compensatory attempt was provided to the candidates.

4) In 2014 CSAT paper, questions from English comprehension were excluded for gradation of merit. The announcement was allegedly made in the exam hall itself.

Similarly, in 2015, the CSAT (GS paper-II) was made qualifying without considering it for merit in preliminary exam. The notification for the same was announced 90 days before the exam.