'The upper age limit for the civil services should be brought down to 27 years for the general category,' recommends the NITI Aayog. In its report, 'Strategy for New India At 75', the policy think tank of the government has emphasized major reforms in Civil Services recruitment. It has suggested a nine-point reform policy to eliminate elements of arbitrariness in the hiring process and service terms. It also focuses on promoting an officer-oriented culture among the cadre. 'Service conditions for employees of autonomous bodies need to be regulated and harmonized,' it said.
It suggested implementing the new age limit in a phased manner by 2022-2023.
The 'recommendations' on upper age limit have always been the bone of contention between the aspirants and the government. At present the upper age limit, for candidates belonging to general category, is 32 years.
In 2005, the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) under the Chairmanship of Shri Veerappa Moily was constituted and a total of 1519 recommendations were submitted to the government. The second ARC had recommended the upper age limit for general category candidates to be 25 years.
'...the demands on the civil service continue to grow with the ambitious programmes of the government,' it said demanding an institutional mechanism to monitor the recommendations of the second ARC.
'Single Exam For All Civil Services'
'Concomitantly, the number of exams for civil services should ideally be brought down to one with all-India ranking,' it said. 'Recruits should be placed in a central talent pool, which would then allocate candidates by matching their competencies and the job description of the post,' it added and emphasized that States can also use this pool for recruitment. Presently, the Union Public Service Commission or the UPSC, through public disclosure scheme, releases the marks of those candidates who have qualified the last stage of exam but not recommended for appointment. This scheme enables employers to identify good employable candidates.
The said report‘Strategy for New India @75'was released on December 19 at a press conference by the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, in the presence of NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, Members Dr Ramesh Chand andDr VK Saraswat and CEO Shri Amitabh Kant.
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