Baswan Committee Report on Civil Services Exam Pattern

Based on the report of the Baswan Committee, further changes in the civil services exam pattern will be contemplated with the primary objective of providing a level playing field to aspirants from diverse streams of curriculum like mathematics, engineering, medicine or humanities and at the same time, also ensuring that the youngsters who took up IAS as a career possess a genuine aptitude for administrative job.

The terms of reference of the Baswan Expert Committee

  1. To evaluate the effectiveness of the existing scheme of the Civil Services Examination in selecting suitable candidates for the Services participating in the Examination, keeping in view various factors such as the need for inclusiveness in the selection process, fair mix of candidates from different disciplines, the skill-sets required for a modern, effective and efficient civil service and trainability of selected candidates, after reviewing the recommendations of previous expert committees in this regard.
  2. To examine the Plan of the Examination and suggest suitable changes to both the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and the Civil Services (Main) Examination (including the interview process), including, inter alia, whether there is a case for prescribing different papers for selection to different participating Services, the number of papers in each stage, mix of compulsory and optional subjects, their structure (whether objective or conventional type), their duration, broad areas to be covered in each paper, medium of examination, the marking scheme, weightage of marks, and system of evaluation, so as to arrive at an Examination pattern that is holistic and does not exhibit any bias for or against candidates from any particular stream, subject area, language, or region.
  3. To examine the time-frame in which the Examination is conducted and suggest suitable changes to reduce the time taken for selection of candidates by utilizing information and communication technologies, as well as by making changes to the various procedures mandated by the Examination Rules, including the methodology for operating reserve lists / waiting lists (if any).
  4. To suggest the timeframe for implementation of the revised pattern of Examination.
  5. To suggest suitable eligibility criteria for candidates appearing at the Examination, with particular reference to minimum and maximum age limits and number of attempts; to review the eligibility criteria for candidates, who have already been selected to different services, and who desire to reappear for selection to some other Service.
  6. To suggest a mechanism for designing and periodically updating the syllabus for each of the papers in the two stages, including unitization of syllabus, proper coverage of content, and balance across subject papers, such that the syllabi are comprehensive, up-to- date, and suitable for a competitive evaluation of the merit of the candidates appearing at the Examination.





The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is examining the report of Baswan Committee that has suggested changes in the civil services examination to select country’s top bureaucrats. The Commission had in August 2015 constituted the expert committee under the chairmanship of former human resource development secretary and retired IAS officer B.S. Baswan to review the scheme of civil services examination in August last year.

“The report of the Baswan Committee is currently under the consideration of the UPSC and the recommendations of the UPSC on the report are yet to be received,” minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh said on March 10 in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.




The exam is held in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.

In the recent five years, there have many major and minor changes in civil services main examination pattern. However, no change in the number of attempts, age limit or exam pattern has been done in the preliminary exam.

The syllabus for Mains was made much more specific and defined in 2013. UPSC added another paper in general studies (‘general mental ability’) shifting it from the paper 1 with introduction of entirely new subjects like ethics, integrity aptitude. Redefining the optional paper from two to one in the mains section was another major transformation done by the UPSC.


About Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a sole constitutional body responsible to conduct various examinations in the country to recruit several prestigious posts in Government of India.


About Civil Services Exam

The Civil Services Exam is conducted every year by the UPSC and the examination is held in three stages- prelims, mains and interview and prolongs almost for a year. Lakhs of aspirants apply for the examination while only a thousand make it the prestigious civil services post.



Leave a Reply