Changes in UPSC cadre allocation rules: What if the proposed changes made?

Bhubaneswar: Since the Joint Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said that the PMO is examining if service allocation or cadre allocation to probationers selected on the basis of civil services examination be made after Foundation Course, the BJP-led Central government has found itself on the receiving end with Opposition and senior official criticising the move.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and accused the Modi government of tampering with the UPSC structure with an ill intention to appoint officers as per the choice of RSS in Central services.

“Rise up students, your future is at risk! RSS wants what’s rightfully yours. The letter below reveals the PM’s plan to appoint officers of RSS’s choice into the Central Services, by manipulating the merit list using subjective criteria, instead of exam rankings,” he tweeted.

Amid the controversy, Union Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said that the Centre has only put forward a suggestion in ‘good spirit’ but it has been ‘misinterpreted and misunderstood’. No final decision had been taken on the proposal, he said.

“Time to time certain decisions will be taken. We always try to improvise (sic) but in this case no decision has been taken yet,” Singh added.

While the proposal of the government has been termed as ‘unconstitutional’ and some even see it as an attempt to ‘manipulate” the merit list in civil service examinations, what might happen if the said proposal meets the reality?

The civil services exam is conducted in three stages— preliminary, main and interview. After the results, the trainee officers go through a 15-week-long Foundation Course. So, it is believed that if the government comes up with such orders then the performance at the Foundation Course will be the ruling factor for the final scoring.

Currently, allocation of services to the candidates is made on the basis of final results of civil services exam.

It is also feared that such order will only lead to ‘favouritism’ lowering the role of UPSC, which is currently the final authority in allocating the cadres to the trainee officers, based on their ranks.

Besides, if marks or performance at Foundation Course would be considered then a top rank candidate may slip to lower position in case he fails to perform well at the Foundation Course.