Author: Chandan Vishwakarma
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Main Examination is the second stage of the selection process for various civil services, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS), among others. The UPSC conducts a three-stage selection process: the Preliminary Examination (Prelims), the Main Examination (Mains), and the Interview. The UPSC Mains is a written examination that tests a candidate's knowledge and understanding of various subjects.
Evolution of Mains
The evolution of the UPSC Mains can be traced back to the British Raj era in India. The first civil service exam in India was held in 1855 by the British East India Company to recruit candidates for the Indian Civil Service. The exam consisted of a written test and an interview. The written test was divided into two papers: English and Indian languages. Candidates who passed the written test were called for an interview.
The exam underwent several changes over the years, but the basic structure remained the same. In 1922, the Indian Civil Service was rechristened as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), and the exam became known as the Indian Civil Service Examination (ICSE).
Changes After Indian Independence
In 1947, India gained independence from British rule, and the exam was renamed as the Civil Services Examination (CSE). The exam was conducted in three stages: the Preliminary Examination, the Main Examination, and the Interview. The Mains consisted of six papers, including an optional subject paper.
In 1979, the optional subject paper was replaced with a paper on essay writing. In 1985, the Mains was restructured, and the number of papers was reduced to five, including two papers on optional subjects. In 2013, the number of papers in the Mains was reduced to four, including two papers on optional subjects. The optional subjects were later replaced with one paper on ethics, integrity, and aptitude in 2015.
Important Paper in Mains
The UPSC Mains is a crucial stage in the selection process for the civil services. The exam tests a candidate's knowledge and understanding of various subjects. The four papers in the Mains include General Studies Paper 1, General Studies Paper 2, General Studies Paper 3, and the Essay Paper. The General Studies papers cover topics such as Indian polity, geography, history, economics, science and technology, and environment. The Essay Paper tests a candidate's writing skills and ability to express their ideas clearly and concisely.
The UPSC Mains has undergone several changes over the years to make it more relevant and inclusive. The introduction of the paper on ethics, integrity, and aptitude was a step in the right direction. The paper tests a candidate's ability to make ethical decisions and handle various situations with integrity. The UPSC has also introduced regional languages as a medium of instruction for the exam to make it more accessible to candidates from non-English medium backgrounds.
In conclusion, the UPSC Mains is a crucial stage in the selection process for the civil services. The exam has undergone several changes over the years to make it more relevant and inclusive. The UPSC has taken steps to address the concerns of candidates and make the exam more accessible to candidates from non-English medium backgrounds. The UPSC Mains is an opportunity for candidates to showcase their knowledge and understanding of various subjects and express their ideas clearly and concisely. Those who clear the Mains can look forward to a fulfilling career in the civil services.