The Civil services examination (CSE) is one of the most coveted exams that the UPSC conducts. The prestige of cracking it, along with the enormous power and responsibility that accompanies a civil servant, is known to the UPSC. Hence, it is made sure that the exam is conducted with utmost importance and sincerity to keep it from getting tainted in the selection process. With that being said, the bureaucracy is the backbone of the Indian administration. Hence, there are no dark shadows for the UPSC exams in the future. I will answer each of the questions asked one by one to ensure that no motivated aspirant gets dejected while preparing for the exam.
To start with, the CSE exam will be conducted every year. This can be said with confidence because of two reasons, 1) the recruitment process of any standard examination is done yearly, 2) the retirement of civil servants happens every year as per the stipulated retirement age. Hence, to replenish the retirements that happen every year, the exam also has to be conducted every year to balance the entire bureaucratic strength.
There are also some concerns regarding the continued decrease in vacancies every year. I request the aspirants not to worry about the decreasing trend as UPSC calculates the number of vacancies based on retirements that happen over time. Along with this, usually, the notification is issued for 23 to 24 different services. However, the latest list contains only 19 services. The reduction in the number of services and the number of vacancies is due to delinking the Railway services — the Railway Traffic Service, the Railway Accounts Service and the Railway Personnel Service from the combined Civil Services Examination. This is the primary reason for the reduced number of vacancies. The number of vacancies notified for CSE-2021 is 712 vacancies, compared to the 796 vacancies notified in 2020 and the 896 vacancies notified in 2019. Moreover, UPSC usually selects fewer aspirants than the sanctioned strength, which is another reason for the reduced vacancies.
The final question that I would like to answer is whether the UPSC will conduct the exam every two years instead of conducting it every year. Again, the probability of this happening is exceptionally slim as the replenishment for the outgoing civil servants has to happen every year. More importantly, if the exam is conducted biennially, it would affect those students taking the exams as it could reduce the number of attempts an aspirant can take.
There is growing fear amongst the aspirants due to the reduction in vacancies. To conclude, I would like to convey to the students that you should not be alarmed about the number of vacancies. You have decided to take upon a noble cause to serve our country, and that’s what has prompted you to attempt this exam. It doesn’t matter whether the vacancies are increasing or decreasing; what matters is your fighting spirit in cracking this exam and serving the needy. My best wishes!