5 Key Reasons that help Engineers to crack the UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Examination
e general trend of last few years has shown us that there has been a clear shift in the way candidates from different backgrounds have been performing in the civil services examination. In fact, if we go by the data provided by UPSC in their annual reports, we can clearly see that candidates from technical background, especially engineers have dominated the IAS examination from 2010 onwards. You can read more about it here.
IAS aspirants from across the country have been wondering about this recent trend but are unable to evaluate the key reasons or factors, which may have led to this phenomenon. Below, we shall try to evaluate the same and find out the 5 key reasons help engineers to crack the UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Examination easily.
CSAT – Civil Services Aptitude Test
The key factor which has triggered the interested of candidates from technical backgrounds, especially engineers in the civil services examination has to be the CSAT prelims format. CSAT which expands to Civil Services Aptitude Test was introduced by the UPSC in 2011.
Prior to the implementation of 2011, the IAS prelims exam was conducted on the basis of recommendation of Kothari Commission. It comprised of a general studies paper of 150 marks and an optional paper of 300 marks. However, UPSC implemented CSAT format for IAS prelims exam in 2011, which was aimed at testing the logical reasoning, analytical ability and English language prowess of the candidates. Currently, the IAS prelims stage consists of two compulsory papers i.e., CSAT I and CSAT II which carry weight of 200 marks each.
Candidates from humanities background have complained that the CSAT has been designed by technocrats in such a manner that it would favour candidates from technical backgrounds. In fact, the entire premise on which CSAT has been designed is inspired from GMAT, CAT, XAT MBA entrance tests, which rely heavily on technical skills of a candidate. The impact of CSAT favouring civil services aspirants from engineering background can be clearly seen in the rise in the success ratios displayed in table 2 above.
Lack of lucrative employment opportunities in engineering domain
While many may choose to ignore this fact, but it is one of the many reasons that has pushed engineering graduates to look for career opportunities in alternative fields. With engineering colleges sprouting almost in every major city and town of the country, the influx of engineering graduates is not in sync with the core engineering jobs being generated in the country. In addition to this, the quality of engineering education in the country under scrutiny as many technology firms have stated that the Indian engineering graduates do not have the necessary skills to be employable. Even those who are being hired or placed through campus placements do not enjoy remuneration as commanded by their peers abroad. In addition to this, due to the evolutionary nature of technology, not many engineers are able to keep up with the latest happenings and develop necessary skill sets required for long term and stable employment.
All these factors combined have compelled engineers to look for lucrative and stable career options in alternative domains apart from the field of engineering, especially in public sector undertakings. The impact of this can be clearly seen in the banking sector, which has seen a significant increase in the number of engineers joining banking industry latterly. On similar lines, engineers have also come to dominate the civil services and IAS examination in last 5 years. Looking at the current trend, this phenomenon is likely to continue for the next decade.
Availability of Humanities subjects as optional
Traditionally, subjects related to humanities stream have been termed as the scoring subjects in the IAS exam with high success ratio. Despite the rise in the number of candidates from technical backgrounds taking up civil services, this trend has continued to be true as denoted in table 3. In fact,