Odisha govt changes rules for civil services examination

BHUBANESWAR: Civil services aspirants from Odisha will have a sigh of relief as the state cabinet on Friday amended rules to conduct the Odisha Civil Services Examination (OCSE) in line with the civil services examination conducted by the UPSC.
The amendments are made to help the candidates to prepare simultaneously for both the state and central civil services examinations. Number of attempts for candidates belonging to unreserved and economically backward sections have also been increased because of the amendment of 1991 rules.
Chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said the amendments are aimed to reduce the burden on the candidates preparing separately for the OCSE and Union civil services examination due to separate pattern of examination and syllabus.
“Changes in the examination pattern will require time for candidates to adapt to the revised pattern of the examination. Hence, it has been proposed to revise the number of attempts to appear the examination,” said Mahapatra.
Candidates belonging to unreserved category will now get six attempts against the existing four attempts. Similarly, those from the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes section will now have nine attempts compared to the existing seven attempts. There will be no changes for SC/ST candidates since there is no limit in number of attempts for them.
The amendment has also reduced total marks of the OCSE to 2,000 against 2,250 in the existing pattern. Total marks of the qualifying papers of Odia language and English has been reduced to 250 each from 300 marks.
For papers to be counted for merit, the candidates had to mandatorily appear a paper of English essay of 200 marks. Because of the changes in the rules, the candidates can now write the essay either in English or in Odia medium while the total mark for it will be 250.
Against two papers of general studies of 300 marks each, the candidates will now have to appear four papers of general studies of 250 marks each.
In the existing pattern, the candidates in the OCSE had to write two optional subjects of two papers each (300 marks for each of the four papers) while there will be one optional subject with two papers of 250 marks each in accordance with the new rule. The personality test will carry 250 marks as usual.
The cabinet also framed the Odisha Civil Services (Method of Examination in Odia Medium) Rules, 2022 for recruitment to different posts/services in the state and district cadre. Now, the candidates can answer the questions in Odia language except the language subject. Those who desire to appear in English language will also have the option.
Bijay Lenka, a civil services aspirant said the amendments are a welcome move as it will ensure a level playing field and fair competition among candidates from different backgrounds.