Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Odisha government on Friday effected major amendments to the Odisha Civil Services Examinations conducted by Odisha Public Services Commission.

One of the important revisions approved by the State Cabinet is the single optional paper choice for candidates. Earlier aspirants used to select optional papers but with the amendment to Odisha Civil Services (Combined Competitive Recruitment Examination) Rules, 1991, now candidates will have to appear examination of a single optional paper.

This apart, the total marks in the OCS examination has also been rationalised. Henceforth, candidates will have to appear for total 2000 marks instead of 2250 marks earlier.

The decision has been taken in order to empower Odia candidates to better prepare for OCS as well as the national level UPSC IAS and IPS examinations, Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra said. 

Another change which has been promulgated is the English Essay section. Now candidates will have the option to write the essay either in English or Odia medium.

In another major amendment, the Cabinet has hiked the number of attempts for appearance of candidates in the exam. While earlier, unreserved category aspirants were allowed to appear the exam a maximum of 4 times, the same has now been raised to six attempts.

Similarly, SC/ST candidates can appear any number of times, SEBC can make a total of nine attempts in the state civil services exam as per the revised structure. 

The Odisha Cabinet has also approved the Framing of Odisha Civil Services Method of Examination in Odia Medium Rules 2022.

Explaining the decision, Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra said normally question papers during examinations to state and district cadre posts are prepared in English and Odia but candidates often appear the test and interview in English language. But now with the amendment, candidates can appear such examinations in Odia and opt for English language if they desire. 

The move will inspire aspirants from vernacular medium like Odia to excel in the civil services exam, said the Chief Secretary.